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Cannot connect a Windows 7 Pro client to server 2003 domain

Posted on 2015-01-19
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Last Modified: 2015-01-24
I have done a reinstall of windows 7 Pro 32 bit on a PC which was previously connected to this domain. Other Windows 7 PCs are connected OK, and this PC works happily on the network, can bring up shared folders on the server etc. However, when I try to use http//server1/connectcomputer it doesn't find anything, just comes up with a bing search. When I try to change from workgroup to domain in control panel, it takes over a minute then says "The specified server cannot perform the requested operation"
I have set the dns servers to (1) the server and (2) the router, tried flushdns and registerdns to no avail.
I have also tried switching off the firewall.
Also created a new computer account on the server.
Any ideas please?
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Question by:pcmwales
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by:homerslmpson
ID: 40557524
If I were you, I'd take a look at link below.
It looks like that person had the same issue and was able to resolve pretty easily.
http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/85095-domain-join-error-and-possible-dns-trouble
Hope it helps!
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40557527
Just to confirm, are you typing in http://server1/connectcomputer? Only reason I ask is because you seem to have left out the colon between http and the two forward slashes (//) in your post above.

Sorry if it seems like a silly question but I just have to rule out the obvious.

A screenshot of the search window you see will also be handy in troubleshooting this problem.
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Author Comment

by:pcmwales
ID: 40557550
Thanks for the interest so quickly, yes, I did have the colon in there
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by:VB ITS
VB ITS earned 167 total points
ID: 40557561
What version of Internet Explorer is installed on the Windows 7 machine? Click Help in the menu bar (hit your Alt key if it's not visible) > About Internet Explorer

Only reason I ask is because Windows 7 comes shipped with IE8 by default, which has a separate search box that defaults to the Bing search engine. Are you certain you didn't type the address into the search box on the right and not the address box on the left? See the below screenshot for clarification:
IE8-Address-and-Search-boxes.PNG
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Author Comment

by:pcmwales
ID: 40557653
Homer, thanks for the advice, I've checked out that link and found that there are some dns errors on the server, trying to resolve them now
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by:homerslmpson
homerslmpson earned 333 total points
ID: 40557656
DNS ...I hate DNS (shutters) lol.
Hope it works out for you.
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Author Comment

by:pcmwales
ID: 40557665
VB, I'm not in front of the W7 machine now but I think it's on ie11. I believe if it's selected for suggested sites, if it doesn't find the requested page in the address bar it does a search with the default search engine. Hence the bing result. But to answer your question I was in the address bar. What puzzles me more is that if I try to switch from workgroup to domain it doesn't work. Maybe sorting the dns errors on the server will do the trick.
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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40557685
Ah, missed the bit about not being able to join it to the domain. In that case, definitely fix the DNS issues on the server first!
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Author Comment

by:pcmwales
ID: 40558168
Well, I've sorted the dns errors I think, no more errors in the dns log but the problem is still the same. I've also tried a different windows 7 PC, same result. I'm not sure what to check next.
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by:homerslmpson
ID: 40558179
Going back to the link I provided, did you follow all of the steps?
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by:pcmwales
ID: 40559243
Yes, I went through all of them, one thing I've noticed this morning on double checking is that the "Append Parent suffixes of the primary dns suffix" box was not ticked. I'm pretty sure I tried this both ways yesterday but need to try it again this afternoon when I go to site.
I've run dcdiag which came back all clear but when I ran dcdiag /test:dns I got some results I don't understand, screen capture attached. The dns server 192.168.16.1 is the router, fair enough but I don't know where the other 2 have come from, I looked up the ip address 195.184.228.6 and it comes up as nscache1.mistral.co.uk which means nothing to me.
servercap1.jpg
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by:homerslmpson
ID: 40559445
Is nscache1.mistral.co.uk your website / domain hosting company?
That's what it looks like (I don't know if you're in the UK or what).
I've included the same settings section of the LAN adapter on 1 of my Domain Controllers.
It doesn't look the same as your setup.

If you don't mind taking a step back.  You're having a problem with only 1 PC on your network?
If so, does that 1 PC have an IP addressed that was assigned to it via DHCP or did you assign the PC a static address manually?
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Expert Comment

by:homerslmpson
ID: 40559446
DC IP Address Settings
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by:pcmwales
ID: 40559471
I'm not sure about the hosting, I didn't set up the server originally, took over this client about 5 years ago. I don't think they have any hosting but will have to check.
As for the DNS settings, I have tried settings similar to yours, added in the DNS suffix for this connection as one of the suggestions on the link you gave me, didn't make any difference.
Lastly, on the client, it's set to obtain IP address automatically but the DNS server is set to the server as primary and the router as secondary, I tried it without the router DNS to no avail.
I also tried nslookup on the client and it picked up the server correctly, I can do remote desktop to the server and map a drive using a username and password no problem.
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homerslmpson earned 333 total points
ID: 40559488
Is your client based out of the UK?
Do they have a website and/or Exchange server?

The DNS IP addresses shown in my last image are Domain Controllers (1.15 and 1.14).
Clients aren't given any OUTSIDE IP addresses when being assigned IP addresses.

The only place I see outside IP addresses listed is the DNS FORWARDERS section.

Do you have forwarders pointing to your ISP on your DNS server?
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Author Comment

by:pcmwales
ID: 40559703
They are based in the UK, don't have a website and are not using Exchange. Its just a single server running Server 2003 standard with 15 clients, 11 on XP and 4 on Windows 7 including the one I'm trying to connect.
The IP addresses I was referring to are in the forwarders list, so since this is a single server I don't think it's relevant, 192.168.16.1 is their router, which has the ISP information stored in it, don't know where the others have come from. I think it's a red herring as far as the current problem is concerned.
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Author Comment

by:pcmwales
ID: 40568312
Finally found what the problem was, AVG internet security firewall! Switched that off, the client connected immediately, switched it back on afterward, no problem. Thanks for all the advice, at least I'll know what to do next time.
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