Active Directory test network, unable to add client to domain

Robert Logan
Robert Logan used Ask the Experts™
Hi -- I'm setting to set up a home AD network.  Got two computers (so far) and have installed AD and DNS on the server.  

Problem:  When I try to add the client to AD, I get the error: "An Active Directory Domain Controller (AD DC) for the domain, "the shire.local" could not be contacted. The error was: "DNS name does not exist."  (error code 0x0000232B RCODE_NAME_ERROR)

I did install DNS on the server, and added a reverse lookup record for the client (  Details:

1)  AD Domain = theshire.local
2)  Domain Controller (WinSrv2019) = Gandolf
3)  Client (Win10) = Frodo
4)  Both Gandolf and Frodo connect to the Internet via an xFinity router.
5)  On the router, I created static IPs for both computers:

- Gandolf (WinSrv2019) =
-  Frodo (W10) =
-  Router (xInfinity default IP) =

Should I drop back and punt...and set the IP for the Server to and for the client and just use a private network?  If so, how would these computers be able to connect to the Internet for updates?  I could add the router's IP as the Gateway...

Thank you!
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Gaurav SinghSolutions Architect - DWP

can u please share screenshot of your win 10 pc and server NIC card settings?
Sr. Systems Administrator
10.x.x.x is a private network. Make sure your client and server are both using the same Subnet mask (a will work for the addresses you have given). The router IP needs to be the Default Gateway. And make sure the DNS server address for the client points to Is your router a combination switch/Router. Make sure you can ping the Servers address and FQDN from the client.
MichelangeloSystem Administrator / Postmaster
After double checking IP and mask of each computer, set the Ad DC  IP as dns on the client nic and in the ad dc nic.
  Try again. Also in the error there is a space between 'the' and 'shire'. A typo?
Robert LoganSemi-retired Windows Tier III


Hey Guys - I'm out this PM but will respond tonight with screenshots, etc.  Thanks.
Top Expert 2016

in the network adapter settings ensure that the DNS settings ONLY point to your DNS Servers. If you don't have IPV6 setup you may have to uncheck ipv6 networking
Shaun VermaakSenior Consultant
Awarded 2017
Distinguished Expert 2018

Add as a DNS forwarder on DNS server
Add as a DNS server for
Do not disable IPv6
Shabarinath RamadasanInfrastructure Architect

Hello Robert,

Name resolution should happen for the domain for domain joining process to identify the right domain controller to be contacted.
The error DNS name doesnt exist means that the current DNS configured on the client network interface is unable to respond for the initial query on locating the domain controllers for your domain. I guess the DNS ip address configured on the client is of the router which is also acting as a DNS for public name resolution.

In an ideal scenario, all active directory clients on the network should use AD DNS or a DNS solution which is integrated with Active Directory. And you can verify the name resolution from the client by running " nslookup " from command prompt. This should list down the ip address of all the domain controllers on the domain. If this works fine, adjoin process mostly should work.

If the domain joining process is still failing even after name resolution is working perfectly, You need to refer the C:\Windows\debug\netsetup.log on the client machines to understand whats failing on the sequence of activities happening for domain joining process.

Hope that helps !

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