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domain not available on remote sites

Posted on 2008-06-18
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have a main office with a satellite office connected by vpn permanent tunnel (sonicwall firewalls on both ends).  All users log on to one domain, the domain controller is in the main office.  One laptop is having intermittent problems logging on to the domain from the remote site.  When they try to log on to Windows, it just says "domain not available", and I can only log on to the local pc. I can ping everything on both the remote and main offices, get on internet, etc, even when it won't log on to the domain.   When I take the laptop to the main office, it logs on to the domain with no problem.  In the past, I have got this to work by deleting the laptop from Active Directory, making it join a local workgroup, then making it rejoin the domain.  It won't do that anymore, though, it just says domain not available after I do all this.  Other computers on the remote office are not having this problem.  What's the problem?
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Question by:maharlika
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Kieran_Burns earned 672 total points
ID: 21816912
I've seen this before and one work around is to use the LMHOSTS file to point the laptop manually to the domain

You use the 0x1c entry to define the Domain to point to and the IP address of a DC that is in that domain

123.45.101.20  "MYDOMAIN    \0x1C"  #PRE                   #Domain Name
123.45.101.21  "A-THIRD-DC"         #PRE  #DOM:MYDOMAIN    #Domain Name
123.45.220.15  "ANOTHERDC"          #PRE  #DOM:MYDOMAIN    #Domain Name

shows an example (taken from: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q163949/)

you'll need to reboot or run nbtstat -R (note capital) to reload the cache

The important bit to note is that the 0 in 0x1c is the SIXTEENTH character after the " on that line
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Assisted Solution

by:sadburger
sadburger earned 672 total points
ID: 21817793
It sounds like it may be dns related. What are you using for a DNS server at the remote site? Your PCs at those locations will need to have DNS information for the domain or you will get the mentioned error.

You should be able to ping the domain name from your remote locations and get the IP of the domain controller back at the primary location, ie if your domain is "testdomain.local" you should be able to ping testdomain.local from the satelite location and get the correct response for the internal IP to the DC at your main site.
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by:PeterMac
PeterMac earned 672 total points
ID: 21820504
Problem cpuld olso be caused by DHCP / TCP/IP settings. If laptop is ending up with wrong setting for Gateway, this will give symptoms you have. e.g. default gateway set to wrong value would prevent access to remote domain, but would not affect login when it was local to that domain. Check what Gateway setting is when you have problem.
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