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AD/DNS issues - Joining workstations to Domain server 2012 R2

Hello - I am quite frustrated I am having to post what should be a simple problem but I am stuck now. I look after a small network (8 staff with a single server) which was SBS. I have been advising they replace this server which they have ignored and now the old server is dead.

So i decided that I would start again from scratch. I built a new Windows 2012 R2 Server and configured it on the same IP range but with a different Domian name.
I initially had issues with DHCP and DNS not installing correctly and also when joining computers to the domain they were refusing to join. I decided that I would wipe the server and install it adding each feature one at a time. This was looking much better now so I took the server back, connected it to the network giving it a static IP and ensuring it was using itself for DNS resolution. I added two forwarders within DNS from my ISP and setup DHCP to issue IP's from the same range as the server and using the server as the primary DNS server.

I went to join two new laptops to this new domain and with both of them I had a number off issues trying to connect them but eventually they seemed to join - now the only variables here are using the domain name of DOMAIN or DOMAIN.local  - when using Domain.loca it would come back saying not DC found but when just using DOMAIN it would then prompt for username and password. Now it will refuse the username and password however I have managed to join two laptops and one workstation to the domain which is strange.

Just to confirm:

- There are no errors in event viewer on the server
- Clients are using the DNS server on the DC for Name resolution
- DNS is only using external forwarders provided by the ISP
- The old server was SBS 2008 and the new server is just 2012R2 on a 2012 functional level.
- Dcdiag has not shown anything other than an issue with TLS which can be ignored.
- I have disabled the firewall on the server and clients to ensure its not being blocked there. I have never seen this before but was worth a
 - DNS tests all pass.

I have posted the screenshot of the errors I get when trying to join to the domain as well as the text which is displayed in the box.

Any thoughts or tips would be much appreciated.
Windows Server 2012Active DirectoryDNS

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8/22/2022 - Mon