Adding Domain user as local administrator on computer not retaining


I will try to make as much sense of this that I can. I just started maintaining a small network which has a Windows 2003 server and 5 workstations. I haven't had the opportunity yet to fully dig into how their server was configure by the previous administrator.

I recently added a new laptop to the domain with a new user. I added the domain admin AND the new domain user as a local administrator on the laptop through the Control Panel>User Accounts interface. A couple days later the user was unable to download and update Flash, insufficient privileges. I noticed he was no longer a local admin on the laptop, neither was the domain admin. I added both the domain admin and the new domain user as administrators again on the local machine and all was well. A couple days later, again the user could not perform certain actions. And again the settings in the User Accounts did not retain.

What could be causing this? Is it a GPO on the server?

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Mike KlineConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes probably being pushed via restricted groups; you can see how that is done here:

Run an RSoP report and you will be able to see what policies are being applied.


Randy DownsOWNERCommented:
If they log on to the domain then they will have the privileges you setup on the domain users. That's really an advantage of using a domain.
I personally would check for a log in script that sets the local admin.  I have seen some techies put a script in that deletes all local admins except the actual local administrator acocunt.  the script could of course be anywhere in AD or more likely the profile script.


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mattconroyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Group Policy is the only thing that can do this.
Joseph MoodyBlogger and wearer of all hats.Commented:
You can run an RSOP report by opening up command prompt and typeing rsop.msc

Check under computer config\windows settings\restricted groups.
AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Check Default Controller Domain policy. It seems Domain admin is part of restricted group. But why you are giving domain admin to user. It is unsafe as you have giving full rights for whole domain. Local admin rights are enough. As you added the user to domain admin already, admin count is now changed to 1. You can make it 0 by using adsiedit.msc tool.

It is by design, that AD check for protected groups and it is added as restricted group, it will remove it automatically. You first need to remove protected group from restrict policy as it is not recommended by MS. I have 4 days call for same issue with MS and finally we removed it from restricted gpo.
Mike is correct.  Group Policy Restricted groups is likely what is happening.

The last Admin obviously set that up wrong because, by default, the DA group gets added to the local Administrators group when you join the domain - and it should stay there.

You can also get information on where this is coming from by running gpresult /v on the laptop when it's connected to the domain.

clraymondAuthor Commented:
Turns out there was a "Local Admin" GPO with a Restricted Group. That restricted group was the BUILTIN\Administrators. The new user that was having the issue was a member of the BUILTIN\Administrators group therefore we could not add him as a local admin on the machine.

What happen was before we could get in to configure his user, the employer attempted to set up his user, wanted to give the user some Administrative privileges and thought that by adding him in the BUILTIN\Administrators group he was giving him those rights. When we originally saw that this user was a member of that group we didn't think much of it (also because of budgetary reasons). BUT unfortunately being a member of that group restricted him from being a local admin.

Can't fully test this on the machine until Monday but that is what I am seeing the server end and so far this makes the most amount of sense. Thanks for all the help.

I am going to give Matt and Mike the credit. Thanks guys.
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