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I am trying to join a computer in a lab to a Windows Domain. Domain functionality in this lab is bad and seems to be getting worse. It seems like about 95% of the time, when I try to join a computer to the domain it fails and when I reboot a computer it will fail to login using domain credentials again, about 95% of the time. How do I begin troubleshooting this problem? This domain is part of a large organization and I cannot readily answer detailed questions about the network topology because I simply don't know what is out there (they don't tell me these things). I am fairly savvy in working with Windows and in some network engineering stuff, so I am capable of getting network captures with Wireshark, giving configuration details of different things, etc. I am also working with the domain administrators and will forward any exploratory questions I cannot answer to them, but sometimes they don't answer my emails.

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Looks like what was happening was that when sysprep was run on this system following the image build, it cleared the entry for the WINS server, which we must manually define on this network. Thanks for your help! –  some.hacker Apr 19 '11 at 23:13
    
Why are you using WINS?! –  SpacemanSpiff Apr 19 '11 at 23:36
    
I'm not sure. I've never set up a windows domain before and I am not the domain administrator. I'm just making the images. If it were up to me NO PART of this domain business would be running in Windows... –  some.hacker Apr 20 '11 at 0:26
    
WINS may be hiding DNS resolution issues here. It will be worth your while to figure out why clients with no WINS server are not working properly. –  SpacemanSpiff Apr 20 '11 at 13:50
    
SpacemanSpiff, how would I go about doing that? Is there anything I can do without access to the DC? –  some.hacker Apr 20 '11 at 18:29
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I'd start with DNS on the client workstations. Are they properly pointing to either a DNS server that's a DC or are records properly being resolved for a DC?

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Unfortunately I've gone home for the day, so I can't check this right now, but I will check it when I get in tomorrow. I do know that running the command "ping <NETBIOSNAME OF SOME COMPUTER ON THE DOMAIN, NOT ITS FQDN>" worked. –  some.hacker Apr 19 '11 at 0:26
    
Adding to DNS. Do you have a better success rate of adding to the domain if you add it to the fqdn? (ie somedomain vs somedomain.local). I've also seen when I put in the user name for the domain, making it somedomain.local\administrator works better than somedomain\administrator, or just administrator when putting in the user name. –  Nixphoe Apr 19 '11 at 0:51
    
Pinging the NETBIOS name doesn't ensure proper DNS. There are several other methods than DNS of resolving the NETBIOS name. –  Keith Stokes Apr 19 '11 at 2:38
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