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Cannot Connect Windows 8.1 to Windows Servers 2012 R2 Essentials

Cannot-Connect-Yoga-2.pdfOn-and-off, for the past several months, I have not been able to connect my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro ultrabook to my Windows Server 2012 Essentials “home” server so I cannot use the server backups. I have had the Yoga 2 Pro for about 12 months and it was connected and working well with my WSE2012 server without any significant problems. Then, several months ago, because of some issues with the server, I was forced to rebuild the system drive. After doing so, I was not able to reconnect the Yoga 2 running Windows 8.1 Home Premium with the rebuilt server. During the final stage of the connection process, I would always receive an “unable to establish a trust relationship with the server” error (see attached file for complete error message). Even though I initially had similar problems with some other computers running both Win 8.1 “Pro” and “Home Premium”, I was eventually able to get them connected and working. But no matter what I tried, I could never get the Yoga 2 to connect.

The “date/time” on the Yoga 2 and the server are identical so that does not appear to be an issue.
The next step I took was to replace the system drive with a new one (250 Gb Samsung 840 EVO SSD) and migrate to the R2 version of WSE2012, hoping that would solve the problem. Unfortunately, it did not. I still could not connect, getting the same “trust relationship” error with the new server OS. My next step was to upgrade the Yoga 2 OS from Windows 8.1 “Home Premium” to “Pro” so that I would be able to join the server domain. Once again, no luck. No matter what I tried, I could not get the Yoga 2 with Win8.1 “Pro” to connect to the WSE2012R2 server. Same “trust” error. However, I was able to join the domain without any issues. It seems ridiculous that the Yoga 2 can become part of the server domain and active directory but still “not” be trusted to connect to the server. I have no problems accessing anything on the server from the Yoga 2 but, of course, I cannot perform any backups for the Yoga 2 which defeats the whole purpose of having a “home” server.

I just cannot believe that this problem exists and is so difficult to resolve and that I have not been able to find any useful information about this issue after many months of researching it and countless hours of searching the internet for a solution. So I decided to try Experts Exchange. I’m completely out of ideas. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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DRepke
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DRepke
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I connected my Windows 8.1 Pro machine to Server 2012 without so much as a second thought. Have you thought about upgrading your machine to Windows 8.1 Pro?
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DRepkeAuthor Commented:
I mentioned in my post that I did upgrade to Windows 8.1 Pro but it did not help. I was able to join the domain without any issues but still could not "connect" to the server ("trust relationship") error so I cannot do backups.

I also have a notebook (MSI Wind) and a tablet (Dell Venue 8 Pro) running Windows 8.1 Home Premium, and a laptop (Dell Inspiron 1505) running Windows 8.1 Pro, connected to the server without any issues. And I used to have my Yoga 2 running Windows 8.1 Home Premium connected to WSE2012 for at least 6 months "before" rebuilding the system drive. The problem is just with the Yoga 2 for some strange reason.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Try running DISM to see if you can fix the notebook this way.

Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Scanhealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).

Restart the computer and test.

DISM is an advanced repair tool for Windows 8 and above and may help.
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DRepkeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, your suggestion did not help. DISM did not find any problems on my Yoga 2 Pro. I rebooted and tried once again to run the connection software. Same error ("... cannot establish trust relationship with the server..."). It seems like I'm the only person in the world having this issue. Unbelievingly frustrated!
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The next step, then, is to do a Windows 8 Refresh. Do this from Action Center, Recovery Options.

Refresh keeps data and most settings but you will have to reinstall most of your software.
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DRepkeAuthor Commented:
I've been trying to avoid moving to this "next step" which, if that doesn't work, then I know the "next step" will be a factory refresh and Win 8.1 Pro re-update -- which will be a pain. Since I haven't been able to use server backup, I have been running full backups weekly with Acronis. My Yoga 2 Pro has been running so well except for the server connection, of course, that I'm a little "afraid" of redoing everything right now. I'll definitely rebuild the system when the final release of Windows 10 is available later in the summer. I'll have to think a bit more about proceeding with the refresh in the near future.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows 10 is 6 months away. I have it running and it is a good system. But you can probably fix what you have instead of waiting.

Windows 8 Refresh is easier and less time consuming than a complete backup and reinstall of Windows 8.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@DRepke - Thanks. I understand the effort in Refresh or Reinstall, but I was happy to help and I hope you are on your way
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