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Issues joining domain and getting DHCP after clone

I have a Acer Extensia 5630 that I had to clone from another laptop (same model).

I used RDeploy for windows (part of Altiris) and once the image had been loaded it asked to change the computer name and other details. All I changed was the computer name. Once the laptop was on site we found out it could not pick up a dhcp address. Once a manual IP was set we tried to join the domain without success, and this led to me using Microsofts New SID v4.10 (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897418.aspx) to change the SID to a new random number.

The laptop still cant join the domain. I don't have the exact error message at the moment but the only pointer I read in regards to it said to check you gateway server which was fine. the message says something like the domain can no longer be contacted.
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npcs
Asked:
npcs
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1 Solution
 
KCTSCommented:
The exact error message would be useful!
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npcsAuthor Commented:
Sorry, I had to wait for the laptop to be turned on, it is in a different state! I will post it as soon as I can reproduce it.
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jjardineCommented:
Not sure how your cloning works, but also make sure that your MAC address is different on both computers.   I have seen this in Virtual machines, but not sure if it could happen on a clone of a machine.   do the ipconfig /all  on both to verify the physical addresses?
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npcsAuthor Commented:
OK, The error is:

Computer Name Changes
The following error occurred attempting to join the domain "(domain name here)":
The network location cannot be reached. For information about network troubleshooting, see Windows Help.

I get this after it asks for a username & password. I have double checked the domain name, username and passwords are correct.

jjardine: I wasn't aware that mac address could be copied, I thought they were hardcoded. I will check anyway.
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npcsAuthor Commented:
MAC Addresses are different.
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KCTSCommented:
The MAC address will be different - its normally built into the card - so thats not an issue. It sounds like a DNS issue. Make sure that your DHCP server is giving the DNS server in the DHCP options as the address of your domain controller.
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jjardineCommented:
I understand that the MAC addresses are built into cards.. but they can be changed, spoofed and other.  See this article on how to change said mac address.   http://www.tech-faq.com/change-mac-address.shtml
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npcsAuthor Commented:
Just to clarify, I have 2 of these laptops and 1 works fine, I added it to the domain without incident on Thursday and it was receiving dhcp fine. Also from the effected laptop if I ping the domain name I get a response from the dns server.

The funny thing is that that message should come up BEFORE asking for username details to authenticate to join the laptop to the domain if it can't contact the domain, not after.
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npcsAuthor Commented:
jjardine: I have seen cases where a MAC address needed to be changed and it was possible, however it requires changing it on the device, not a setting in windows.
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dbruntonCommented:
Failing network card?  Or bad cabling or connection?

Just suggestions.
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npcsAuthor Commented:
The laptop works fine for everything else once it has a static IP, it just wont join the domain or get dhcp.
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dbruntonCommented:
If you've got the two laptops and they are both the same then try swapping the hard disks and see if the fault follows the hard disk or stays with the laptop.

I still suspect/suggest NIC.
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npcsAuthor Commented:
hmmm...

I may have the opportunity to try that later this week. It is a bit hard to diagnose as I have to do everything remotely. As I said earlier on it is in another state, it's in QLD and in regional NSW.
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npcsAuthor Commented:
..it's in QLD and in regional NSW.

Well there's your problem, it's in 2 places at once!

What I meant to say:
*it's in QLD and i'm in regional NSW.
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npcsAuthor Commented:
Also these are brand new laptops.
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dbruntonCommented:
Still could be bad NIC.

You could also take Linux bootable CD (the ones that run only from CD and don't access hard disk - SUSE had a version.  Or Knoppix).  Use those to test for DHCP.

Also if you have a spare PCMCIA NIC card you could take that as well.  Disable onboard NIC and insert PCMCIA and see what happens.
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npcsAuthor Commented:
The PC was picking up a DHCP address from PXE pre boot environment for imaging with altiris, however rdeploy could not find a hard drive to image to.
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dbruntonCommented:
Interesting.

So how did you get the image down to it then?
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npcsAuthor Commented:
Pulled out the hard drives and imaged them via USB with RDeploy for windows. We as a company have had a gut full of acer products of late as they seem to be falling down at the hurdles put out when sata was concieved. The S460 has major problems and Acer's solution to it was to "Remove the hard drive and image it in another PC".
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dbruntonCommented:
Just this one laptop had the imaging problem or the whole lot?  Not clear from last post.
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npcsAuthor Commented:
We only had 2 of these laptops. They came with vista and the client wanted XP. We wern't told they had the 'special' installation set of cds (3!?!) to install XP. In troubleshooting we formatted the hard drive of one of the laptops. The traditional XP cd was unable to find the hard drive. From experience trying to get a sata driver for xp installation off any of acers website is like drawing blood from a stone. We finally found the special install cd's and used them in this order on the unformatted vista laptop:

1) Format CD
(Reboot)
2) System Boot CD
3) XP Setup CD

The Format CD would only work on the unformatted drive as it looked for a pattern of partitions which it would then reformat to be ready for the next cd. It would not format a blank hard drive to be ready for the XP installation!

The XP CD and the System Boot CD were both labeled "CD 1". The XP cd was not bootable. The System CD does a few things then asks for the XP CD. What a debacle!

We are currently thinking that now that the hard drive has the correct partition table then the format CD may work and we can start from scratch.



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BrucematCommented:
Have you syspreped the machines as part of the imaging process. You could do with making sure that your machines have unique SID's (System Identitifications). You can get a free util called newsid from: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897418.aspx 
which will recreate a unique SID on a machine then try dhcp and domain joining again (should fix the domain join if not the dhcp problem)
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npcsAuthor Commented:
Brucemat: I have already done the New SID trick. See the initial question for the same link you are trying to give me. And no, it wasn't through any form of sysprep.

Looks like the solution was to re-install XP now that the partition table is something that the Acer format CD will detect. Will confirm that later today after speaking to the onsite tech.
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npcsAuthor Commented:
A re-install fixed the issue.
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