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The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted

Posted on 2011-03-17
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I have a network with one windows server 2003 server and about 35 workstations running xp pro.
Until recently most everything seemed to be working okay most of the time.
Now, none of the workstations can log onto the domain. The error they get is "The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted". As a temporary solution, I've created individual user accounts for each workstation with the same login and password as their domain login. Logging into the local computer they can now access the server using mapped drives.
I cannot remote desktop into the server anymore, I get the same error as above. However, I can use that same  login to get into the server when I am sitting in front of it.
I'm pretty sure this has something to do with either DNS or Active Directory, but I don't know much about either of those. (Everything was already set up on the server by someone else who is no longer here)
I've got DHCP running on the router and not on the server.
The workstations and the router have the ip address of the server listed as the dns.
There are outdated records in the servers DNS files even though I tried manually updating these and they are set to dynamically update.
There are errors in the dcdiags log:
Starting test: NetLogons
         Unable to connect to the NETLOGON share! (\\ULAN-SERVER\netlogon)
         [ULAN-SERVER] An net use or LsaPolicy operation failed with error 1203, No network provider accepted the given network path..
         ......................... ULAN-SERVER failed test NetLogons
      Starting test: Advertising
         Fatal Error:DsGetDcName (ULAN-SERVER) call failed, error 1355
         The Locator could not find the server.
         ......................... ULAN-SERVER failed test Advertising
Any help you can give me would  be greatly appreciated!
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Question by:LearningToProgram
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by:EvaUnit01
ID: 35156570
Can your workstations ping the server by its hostname? Is the domain controller set as the DNS server for the DHCP range?

That would be step 1 and 2.
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by:Ernie Beek
ID: 35156638
Did you check if all services are running (atleast the ones set to start automatically)?
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by:EvaUnit01
ID: 35156810
Make sure the netlogon service is running on the server. This service is responsible for communication between systems in response to a logon request and other AD functions.
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by:LearningToProgram
ID: 35158108
Hi EvaUnit01, Yes the workstations can ping the server by hostname
Could you walk me through the steps of checking to see if the Domain controller is set as the DNS server for the DNS range. I'm not sure where to look for that.. thanks!
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by:EvaUnit01
ID: 35158297
DHCP range not DNS range, just go to your router and make sure the DNS server is set to the IP of the server.
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by:LearningToProgram
ID: 35158704
Yes, I've got the dns server ip set as the primary IP address in the router.
Previously, I had a second NIC card in the server and was using this as the secondary DNS IP. However I was instructed to remove the second NIC from the server so I currently have the secondary DNS in the router set back to the IP of the router.  Since I now only have one DNS IP, what should be used for the secondary DNS IP in the router and on all off the workstations? Thanks
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by:LearningToProgram
ID: 35158771
Also, I'm getting a lot of 1054 errors on the server
Event Type:      Error
Event Source:      Userenv
Event Category:      None
Event ID:      1054
Date:            3/17/2011
Time:            11:03:39 AM
User:            NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM
Computer:      ULAN-SERVER
Description:
Windows cannot obtain the domain controller name for your computer network. (The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted. ). Group Policy processing aborted.

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by:EvaUnit01
ID: 35159159
You're getting this on the server?? I thought this server was your domain controller? Where is your domain controller? I wanted you to check the logs on the Domain Controller.
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by:LearningToProgram
ID: 35159551
That is from the event viewer on the server. The Domain controller is on the same machine. Where do I find the logs for the Domain controller ? Please excuse my ignorance.
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EvaUnit01 earned 500 total points
ID: 35159616
A Domain Controller is just a name/label for the server on your domain that is servicing all Active Directory related functions. So if you are telling me that those logs you posted are from your Domain Controler, then you have big problems. Can you open Active Directory users and computers from your server/domain controller? I don't want to scare you, but from what you are showing me it seems like your domain just blew up?
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by:Ernie Beek
ID: 35159657
Found some things:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326152
My problem was an old entry in _msdcs under my domain (an old DNS server was configured). Once I removed that the problem was gone

And some other on: http://eventid.net/display.asp?eventid=1054&eventno=1393&source=Userenv&phase=1
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Author Comment

by:LearningToProgram
ID: 35161429
Hi Eva, Yes, I am usually able to open active directory. Right now I am, but yesterday it would sporadically tell me that it couldn't contact the domain controller. I just clicked on Active Directory Users, went to the domain controller, and it shows the server there, but when I click on Properties for the server, it will sometimes slow the entire server computer down, and almost lock it up. For example, I click on one of the tabs ('general', 'location', 'delegation', etc) and it won't respond for about 30 seconds sometimes.
So, IF my domain blew up....what is the solution to that?

erniebeek: thanks for the links, I tried both of these (I also had two outdated entries in the forward looking DNS zone which I've now deleted.) but it's still got the same problem...

Thanks for the help!
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Author Comment

by:LearningToProgram
ID: 35161435
One other thing I just noticed is that I'm getting a lot of these errors in the dns event log:

Event Type:      Error
Event Source:      DNS
Event Category:      None
Event ID:      4004
Date:            3/17/2011
Time:            7:05:24 PM
User:            N/A
Computer:      ULAN-SERVER
Description:
The DNS server was unable to complete directory service enumeration of zone UNS.lan.  This DNS server is configured to use information obtained from Active Directory for this zone and is unable to load the zone without it.  Check that the Active Directory is functioning properly and repeat enumeration of the zone. The extended error debug information (which may be empty) is "". The event data contains the error.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: 2a 23 00 00               *#..    
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 35163048
Go to the command prompt and type these two commands:

DCdiag /test:DNS
and
IPconfig /all

You are having a problem with DNS records, or Netbios resolution. In either case the server can't find itself because it can not resolve a routed protocol.
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Author Comment

by:LearningToProgram
ID: 35185875
dclog.txt  ipconfigSorry it took so long (had to reconfigure all of the workstations to connect without going through the domain as a temporary solution)
I've attached to dcdiag and ipconfig.
Thanks again for your help!
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 35293110
As suspected, you are having problems with domain delegations and SRV records. This is the same issue I had:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Protocols/DNS/Q_24349599.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+30+chiefit+record+srv

After following their advice, I had to go to the command prompt and type:
Net stop netlogon
Net start netlogon
Dcdiag /fix:DNS
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Author Closing Comment

by:LearningToProgram
ID: 35755727
Well as far as I can tell, you were correct--the domain controller crashed. But I have no idea how to fix it>
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