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group policy problem

Group Policies are applied intermittantly.  I checked the log  and found out that the clients are binding to a domain controller in another building, even thought there is a domain controller in this building.   What determines whcih domain controller users are authenticated from?  What determines which domain controller policies are read from?  As far as I know, the domain controller in this building is the main one (used to be called primary).  These are both 2003 domain controllers, clients are Vista and XP Pro.
thanks
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hage1
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hage1
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1 Solution
 
Darius GhassemCommented:
Well there are a couple of things that determine where a user is logged on. First is the DC on a different subnet? Is the DC a global catalog? Is the DNS server that is preferred DNS server on the clients point to the local DNS server?
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sk_raja_rajaCommented:
Subnet defined the logon priority on multiple sites...probably you should go to the active directroy sites and services and see if the DC's are in the proper site.....
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DrDave242Commented:
Yep, sk_raja_raja is probably correct.  Make sure your AD sites (in the AD Sites and Services snap-in) are set up to mirror your physical locations and that they have the correct IP subnets associated with them.  If necessary create site link objects to mirror the links between locations.
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hage1Author Commented:
In my directory, both domain controllers are in the "Domain Controllers" OU.  However, the two domain controllers are on different subnets.  According tto the Group Policy log in event viewer on my Vista clients, when the client searches for a domain controller, it is finding the one that is on a different subnet even though there is a domain controller on the same subnet as the client PC>
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DrDave242Commented:
If you go into Active Directory Sites and Services, do you have AD site objects configured and associated with their respective IP subnets?
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Darius GhassemCommented:
If you go into sites and services is the DC a global catalog? The clients will look for the nearest GC to login into.
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Darius GhassemCommented:
Also, are the clients pointing to the local DC for primary DNS?
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hage1Author Commented:
This is my first trip into "sites and services".  I see my two servers listed there under "Default -First-Site-Name" and they appear to have the same properties.  There is also an old server listed there that no longer exists.  There is nothing under the subnet folder.
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hage1Author Commented:
Looking into this, I see that the domain controller the clients are choosing does NOT have a check in the global catalog box, and the one that they are not choosing DOES have the check. hmmm
BTW thanks to all helping.
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DrDave242Commented:
You may have more than one problem to work on.  First, create a new site object for one of your servers and move the server into that site.  Then create two subnet objects, one for the IP subnet that exists at each site, and associate the subnets with the correct sites.  It's important to get this right, because those subnet objects are used by AD to determine where the client machines are located.
The presence of the server that no longer exists could hint at a bigger problem.  If it was a domain controller that was not properly demoted before being removed from the network, there will still be references to it in Active Directory, and you'll need to do a metadata cleanup to remove them.  The metadata cleanup process is detailed here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/216498
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hage1Author Commented:
OK I've done the site thing.  It was intuitive. I also see a "Licensing Site Settings" and it is pointing to the server in the other building.  Does that matter?  The server that does not esist any longer does not have an NTDS Settings object under it.  Is that a good sign?
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DrDave242Commented:
You're better off ignoring the licensing site settings unless you run into a problem that is unquestionably related, but that's unlikely.  It probably is a good sign that that server doesn't have an NTDS Settings object.  You should run through the metadata cleanup, though, just to be sure.  If that server doesn't show up when you run the "list servers in site" command, you're in the clear and can just delete it from AD Sites and Services.
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hage1Author Commented:
Now that I have the sites and subnets sorted out, should I make both servers global catalogs?  The idea is to have computers at the elementary (one of the subnets) use the server in that building, and the computers at the high school (the other subnet) use the server there.
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sk_raja_rajaCommented:
oops..it looks like missed a lot... yeah you should make those dc's to be GC's
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DrDave242Commented:
It is recommended to have at least one GC in every site to speed up the login process, so yes, go ahead and make them both GCs.
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sk_raja_rajaCommented:
Also make sure both the dc's are in their own subnet under AD sites and services....this will make all the other workstations to get authenticated from the dc's matching their subnet
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hage1Author Commented:
It is working correctly!  I was also able to get rid of that non existent server as a bonus.  Great job and thanks.
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