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Windows Domain Errors

This guide is intended to help resolve issues associated with the Windows Networking.

Joining the Domain

ClearOS uses a special account for windows administration. In Microsoft Windows*, this is equivalent to the Domain Administrator Account. In ClearOS, this account name is 'winadmin' and the password for this account is set in the Windows Networking module. You need to use the winadmin account to join the domain.

Windows Vista and Windows 7, 8*

Newer Windows operating systems are tuned to use Active Directory and not NT* 4 style domains. As such they will try to validate their domain suffix with Active Directory when they join the domain. This produces an error which can be ignored. If you want a patch for Windows 7 so that you don't see the error (which again, can just be ignored), you can download it here.

Domain resolution issues

There are a couple of things that can affect a computer seeing the domain controller. When a computer tries to find the server, it does a couple of things.

First, it can look in the lmhosts file for an override which states the name of the server, if a record is provided, it will try to resolve the name via WINS or DNS or NBT broadcast.

Second, it can query the WINS server or a domain server record. If WINS is being hosted on the network it will be able to find the record and then try to resolve the name via WINS or DNS or NBT broadcast.

Third, the workstation will broadcast a message via NBT to find the domain controller. Then try to resolve the name via WINS or DNS or NBT broadcast.

Whenever we see troubles like this is is usually related to a misconfiguration of WINS or DNS. Sometimes it is because the network is being run on multiple subnets which cause all broadcasts to fail. And sometimes it happens because the switches in the environment fail to properly broadcast information (you'd be surprised how often this happens).

Here are some things to try:

  • Ensure that WINS is running on your network and that your DHCP server is handing out the right address for wins.
  • Ensure that DNS is running and that the name of your server resolves using DNS. You can use the 'nslookup' command to find this out.
  • Replace your switches and see if that magically fixes the issue. Switches which behave perfectly for unicast may utterly fail at broadcasts.

Determining Functionality vs. Configuration

Adding an entry in the lmhosts.sam file of the workstation can help you determine whether there is a failing in functionality or configuration. Here you can copy the entry listed as 'rhino' and make an uncommented copy down below. You will need to have the server name as listed for 'Server Name' in the Windows Networking app and the IP address. You can change the comment as well.      server1   #PRE   # Comment about the server

If this works then you definitely have a problem with your name resolution. This can exist with the WINS server (nmb service) or with the way that your workstation communicates for discovery.

* (Microsoft Windows, Windows NT, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation)


content/en_us/kb_troubleshooting_windows_domain_errors.txt · Last modified: 2016/11/09 12:16 by dloper