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C# Trying to get users groups from domain controller using computer that is outside of the domain

Posted on 2016-09-24
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Last Modified: 2016-10-06
I am using C# and trying to to get a users groups from domain controller using computer that is outside of the domain.
The domain controller and DNS server are on the same server. The server is an Azure VM running 2012R2.

I get this error:
Information about the domain could not be retrieved (1355).
The code breakpoint and variables

I have put the DNS server for the domain controller as the first DNS server on the computer where I am running the code, and the domain name resolves:
 The domain resolves
Any suggestions?
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Question by:itnifl
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Assisted Solution

by:Aaron Tomosky
Aaron Tomosky earned 250 total points
ID: 41814138
I'm not a programmer but I know when doing ldap queries you have to auth before you can get any data out of AD. Since the computer isn't domain joined it can't pass the logged in user so you need to auth somehow.
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Expert Comment

by:Coralon
ID: 41814151
This should get you along..

http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/article/accessing-the-active-directory-from-microsoft-net/

The main thing...  you need DNS access to the directory, and you'll create an authenticated connection to the AD, and then you can enumerate the groups, memberships etc. just like normal.  

Coralon
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Author Comment

by:itnifl
ID: 41814383
Hello guys and thank you for the replies.
So, the authentication gets done in line 68. You can see it in the screenshot. Lets take a look at the line:
using (var context = new PrincipalContext(ContextType.Domain, uri.Host + ":" + uri.Port, connectionUsername, connectionPassword)) 

Open in new window


So what happens here is we declare a PrincipalContext, using ContextType Domain (used for AD), we define the address we talk to (uri.Host + ":" + uri.Port), and give a username and password (connectionUsername, connectionPassword). You can see the values of the variables in the screenshot as well. The using block makes sure the method dispose is called on the object named context that is declared within the using (declared as: var context). This happens when the code block that the using defines is done.

We can see the code breaks at line 71. This is in the inner most part of all the using blocks. That the code hasn't broken before means that all the objects defined before in the code flow have been established successfully. These establish only if I can:
  1. Authenticate at line 68
  2. Initiate a searcher at line 69.
  3. Find a user at line 70.

Now lets check out line 71 better. Here I check if user is null. That happens only if I found no user in line 70. If the user is null, the rest of the checks on the line will abort and the line will return false (user != null will evaluate as false because user == null, meaning user is null). But we know that didn't happen, because then the error would never have been thrown (referring to "Information about the domain could not be retrieved (1355)."). That again means that there is communication with AD. So lets look at the next condition at line 71:
user.IsMemberOf(context, IdentityType.SamAccountName, groupName);

Open in new window


This is where the code fails. I am asking if the user I found is a member of the group name that is defined in the variable groupName. The reply I get is:

Information about the domain could not be retrieved (1355).
So some sort of chat between the client and the AD server is not happening because of something unknown.

My first check was to make sure that the client can resolve the domain and get the SRV records for the domain. So I added the DNS server for the domain as the first DNS server in the list of DNS servers at the client and verified that name resolution happens. See screenshot in my original post. But that didn't fix it.

This article:
http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/article/accessing-the-active-directory-from-microsoft-net/

Is very informative and shows an alternate way to code against AD. But it really isn't addressing the core problem, which would be nice to handle.
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Assisted Solution

by:Coralon
Coralon earned 250 total points
ID: 41815124
Wish I could be more help.. I'm not a programmer.. I just script a lot of AD stuff..

One interesting thing.. It looks to me like error 1355 is The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted. and if that is correct, then are you possibly losing your authenticated session to the domain?

Coralon
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Accepted Solution

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itnifl earned 0 total points
ID: 41824685
I moved the code to the AD controller, and it all worked fine.
So there is something wrong in the setup for the client being outside of AD, or in the network communication between the AD controller an the external client.

No one hit the nail here in this thread, but giving points to everyone that participated for the participation.
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Author Closing Comment

by:itnifl
ID: 41831400
Used workaround described above.
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