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Server cannot join a windows 2003 domain, "semaphore timeout"

Posted on 2008-10-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I am trying to join a windows 2003 server 64 bit enterprise edition workstation  on a freshly installed vmware instance to a windows 2003 domain controller 64 bit enterprise edition. The domain controller is also a clean install on a physical server. Both servers are equally patched with service pack 2.
The workgroup server can ping the domain controller by ip and FQDN. ( a host file entry was also added to the workgroup server) I run steady pings on both machine, and there are no timeouts. I don't see anything in the windows event logs. After supplying the domain admin credentials during the domain join, the system hangs  and eventually gives the error message "semaphore timeout" . Microsoft has a few articles on this, which appear to hardware related - possible issues in the nic cards and network switches not auto-negotiatiating the correct port speed and duplex.  I tried manually changing these on both machines. I restarted the netlogon service on the domain controller. The dns entries on the dc are correct.


Any help is appreciated


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Question by:bignewf
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MikeKane earned 125 total points
ID: 22616565
Funny as it sounds...   I've seen this a few times.  

This has worked for me:

On a domain server, install WINS services.   Add the WINS IP to the DHCP scope options or manually to the 2 devices.  

Reboot and then join the domain.  

Once you are joined, remove wins.  


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by:bignewf
ID: 31502039
IT worked, but I had also added static entries in the hosts file on the machine that had issues.  So I wonder if it was wins or the static entries.

thanks for your great help
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