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Can't connect to domain

Posted on 2011-03-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
XP Pro SP3; Windows Server 2008.

One workstation is giving me this error:

Windows cannot connect to the domain, either because the domain controller is down or otherwise unavailable, or, because your computer account was not found. Please try again later. If this message contines to appear, contact your system administrator for assistance.

I can't get past the Log On screen.

Thanks.
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Question by:carlosab
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17 Comments
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:itconsultant7717
ID: 35211337
I've seen this if you don't have SP2 installed, can't remember exactly if it was SP2 or SP3.

Anyway please verify the SP's are installed.
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Expert Comment

by:sramireztech
ID: 35211371
Check the network connection and ping the Domain Controller. If both of those are working, Log on as a local administrator, remove the computer from the domain and change the computer name. Restart, then re-add to the domain.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:itconsultant7717
ID: 35211387
Sorry for any confusion, I meant to say reinstall the SP.
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 35211427
This is usually a DNS issue. Log on as a local administrator, check the network settings, make sure that the SBS server is also the only DNS server (static if need be, but preferrably given by DHCP) and you should see this issue resolve.

If the problem was caused because of incorrect information given by a DHCP server, update the DHCP scope information to give out proper info.

-Cliff
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:larry urban
ID: 35212027
If you are the admin remove the computer from the domain and re-add it via logging on as admin and. Remove then add to domain.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Steve
ID: 35212103
get the PCs name from the logon screen (click the drop down box next to 'log on to' and ping it from the server.
if no response its a network connection error
If it works Id check active directory and locate the computer's account to check it isnt disabled or deleted.

you may need to get the local admin password so you can readd it to the domain.
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 35212332
Generally when a computer cannot join the domain using http://connect (SBS 2008 & 2011) or http://SBSname/connectcomputer (SBS 2003) it is due to inability to correctly resolve the name of the domain controller in a timely fashion. Below is a list of common reasons for the connect wizards to fail. In an SBS domain the server should be the DHCP server, and if so, items 2 and 3 below should be automatically set through DHCP. However if addressing is statically assigned or you are using a router you may need to make changes. Items 2 and 3 are also basic networking requirements of a Windows Domain, not just important for joining the domain.

1.      If there is more than 1 network adapter installed , wired or wireless, disable all but 1, preferably wired, until after joined to the domain
2.      Make sure, using IPconfig /all, that the client's DNS points ONLY to your internal DNS servers, in this case the SBS. Do not allow a router or ISP to be added as an alternate.
3.      IPconfig /all should also show next to “Connection-specific DNS Suffix” your internal domain suffix (MyDomain.local). If not you need to add the domain suffix to the client machine. To do so insert it in the "DNS suffix for this connection" box under the DNS tab of the NIC's advanced TCP/IP IPv4  properties
4.      If there are any 3rd party firewalls or security suites installed, disable them until joined to the domain
5.      If still failing add the connect web site to the “trusted” sites list in Internet Explorer under Internet options / security
6.      On a few occasions Bluetooth accessories such as keyboards and mice have been known to interfere with the connect wizards. If necessary temporarily replace these with wired devices until domain joined.
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Expert Comment

by:ahmedthebest
ID: 35221667
This error  mostly occur because of network connectivity issue,ping the domin controller from client check ip proper network connection put the system in workgroup & then try to add to domain.
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Author Comment

by:carlosab
ID: 35266403
I don’t know what SPs are installed. I don’t have log on information for the local administrator, so, I don’t think that I can follow any of these suggestions.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:itconsultant7717
ID: 35266426
Basically reinstall the OS is the only thing that worked for me if you can't do it at the SP level.
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 35391410
carlosab have you tried any of the suggestions? Or can you provide any feed back. It is unlikely related to service packs.
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Author Comment

by:carlosab
ID: 35408105
I was able to log on to the computer by unplugging the LAN. I guess the cached credentials were ok. I still have to try to resolve the domain issue. Next time I'm at the site, I'll look into that.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:itconsultant7717
ID: 35408145
My point about the SP and reinstalling is 3 hours later it's working (assuming an average operating system rebuild is around this time, if you have a known good image far less time) and I'm including adding applications back. Just a thought, a part of troubleshooting is knowing the time constraints spending endless hours trying to find the problem. I respect you trying to find a solution but time is of an essence as well. Just my thoughts. If you want to eliminate the NIC throw a card in the PCI real quick, will take 10 minutes. The reason I don't see it being DNS is because you mentioned other computers are not affected, it appears to be an isolated incident in my opinion.
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 35408217
It sounds like a DNS issue. When the network is available it tries to contact the DC but cannot.
My notes were referencing not being able to join the domain. Sorry I assumed that with the title "cannot connect to the domain". However #'s 2, 3, & 4 still apply.
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Accepted Solution

by:
carlosab earned 0 total points
ID: 35488191
I was able to log on to the computer by unplugging the LAN. I guess the cached credentials were ok. It now connects OK on a restart. I guess that once it was able to connect once it is now OK.
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Author Closing Comment

by:carlosab
ID: 35510974
Selected my own answer as the solution because it did not appear that anyone else suggested it.
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