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Unable to Locate the Domain Server...?

Posted on 2009-05-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I have read about this problem in other places and usually the changing from Domain to workgroup and back fixes the issue.  Not this time, when i flip flop the domain to workgroup and back to domain it says welcome to domain and i restart.  After it boots up i try to log into domain and im prompted with "cannot locate domian may be unavailable" (not exact quote but close enough)...

So i even changed the computer name and flip flopped the workgroup to domain again and says welcome to domain.  Restart shows that i still cannot log into domain it is "unavailable or could not be found".

Backgound: Windows XP,  THis PC was bought from a college and used to run Novel... the owner of the PC uninstalled Novel but did not re-format the machine.  I was thinking that there was some sort of Registry conflict keeping me from logging into the domain.

What do you guys think this sounds like

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Question by:MGaff
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 24384401
Make sure you are only pointing to internal DNS server in the client's TCP\IP properties there should be no external DNS servers listed in the TCP\IP properties.
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Expert Comment

by:karstieman
ID: 24384410
You should make an A/Host record for this pc in your DNS.
That will do the job.
If there is an old dns record, remove it first.
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Expert Comment

by:bluntTony
ID: 24384660
Sounds like it could be DNS config on the client, but if you sucessfully joined the domain that would suggest you're looking to a DC for DNS in the first place (at least before you join the domain)

Disjoin the machine from the domain, check the Computers container and search AD for that computer account name. Delete it.

Ensure the client is pointing to a DC for DNS and join the domain. Reboot. If you can't log in to the domain, log in locally and check your IP settings again, in particular DNS.

Maybe you have policies set in your OUs that aren't applying to the Computers container? (e.g. IPSEC) - all newly created computers land here and would not get all group policies.
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Author Comment

by:MGaff
ID: 24384776
I have done all of this an still domain is unavailable for only the two PC's that were bought from the college.  All my other pc's on the domain work.  They are all auto config for DHCP, gateway, dns, etc.
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Expert Comment

by:karstieman
ID: 24384839
Try to add  the new pc's in the active directory (your computers container) manually.
Then restart this pc and try again.
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Author Comment

by:MGaff
ID: 24384859
Done that.. also tried the Network Wizard thing... trust me i have tried most of the regular solutions.. that is why i think its a registry issue.. should i just reformat..?  
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Expert Comment

by:bluntTony
ID: 24385366
You could try this but it may not be your issue, I'm not saying it isn't, but you could a few other things first.

These issues are almost always DNS based, but if you log in locally to the machine and your DNS settings are pointing to a valid DC:

1. Can you ping the DNS server by IP address? (basic, I know)
2. If so, where is your global catalog? A GC is required in order to process logins. I know your other users are OK, but their machines will have cached credentials to use if the GC is unavailable. Is the GC up and contactable? Do you have the correct resource records in DNS for GC, LDAP etc? (try restarting NETLOGON on the DCs in question and running ipconfig /flushdns and ipconfig /registerdns).
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 24387334
I would just reformat if you are getting these PCs from another business then you should always reformat.
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Accepted Solution

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fesit earned 500 total points
ID: 24387391
I would just reformat the machines. Why would you use machines that were a member of a totally different Domain/OS? Not only that but I'm sure you are correct in assuming there are remnants of the Novell Domain still in the machine. REFORMAT!! Unless of course there is a good reason not to. The common denominator of course is these are the only two machines that cannot join your Domain and were members of the college Domain.
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Expert Comment

by:kml57
ID: 24387409
fesit, I agree with you. Reformat.....
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Author Comment

by:MGaff
ID: 24387418
Yes i thought this was the case but they are apart of a network i was paid to "build" because the prior build was messy to say the least.  I couldn't just willy nilly format the machines while i was onsite because they were being used.  I will stripe the info and format and see if this solves the issue.

Thankyou.
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Author Closing Comment

by:MGaff
ID: 31581428
Reformattign worked... thx experts
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