I'm managing about 20 computer for a small business, and set up their network yesterday. We have a server that fills multiple roles, including DHCP, Domain Admin, and file sharing/storage.

Today all of the computers have access to the internet and the server files with the exception of one. This happens to be a laptop and not a workstation, but it's still using hard wired internet(although I've also tested with wireless). The issue we're having is that this one computer cannot log in to the domain. At bootup, he logs in to the laptop with his credentials and logs in to the domain(called Radar). No problems here.

This is an engineering company that uses WinXP so the laptop is old and slow. It usually tries to sync files on the domain but the progress bar never moves. Sometimes a domain login window pops up, and if I enter his credentials and hit enter, nothing happens. The login window acts like nothing happened; it's movable, credentials can be changed, and it can be closed with no problem. It just never actually connects.

Now if I close the sync window and try to access the domain server files I get similar, but sometimes stranger issues. Sometimes it says that the domain is unavailable. Sometimes it says he does not have access to the files. Sometimes a window will pop up saying a possible security threat was detected. If we do get a login window to pop up, it's the same deal as before. He is one of 2 users with Administrator privileges, the other of which has no problem logging in and accessing the server.

He does get internet access with no issues, and I've checked the ipconfig to make sure it's an IP assigned by the DHCP with the correct gateway. No problems there, he just can't access the files. I'm not much of an IT person, so can anyone help me troubleshoot this?

Edit> I forgot another very common behavior, where clicking on a drive on the file server will show him the file tree but if you look through the folders all of them are empty. Could this be an issue with the drive mapping?

Edit 2> Here is a log I pulled from his machine after a login attempt:

Event Type: Error

Event Source: NETLOGON

Event Category: None

Event ID: 5719

Date: 8/2/2012

Time: 11:02:40 AM

User: N/A

Computer: C046

Description: No Domain Controller is available for domain RADAR due to the following:

There are currently no logon servers available to service the logon request. .

Make sure that the computer is connected to the network and try again. If the problem >persists, please contact your domain administrator.


0000: 5e 00 00 c0 ^..À

There was also an error log about not being able to find a domain controller to set the time, so it's not making a connection with the DC. There are no relevant logs on the server side of things.

  • "including DHCP, **Domain Admin**, and file sharing/storage." Do you mean Domain Controller? – MDMarra Aug 2 '12 at 15:38
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    What does "he just can't access the files." mean? Do you get an error? What does it say? What's the event log say? Who is the logged in user and what are that use's effective permissions on the share's NTFS ACLs? – MDMarra Aug 2 '12 at 15:40
  • Can he get to any other network resources? Is that just that one server he can't get to? – George Aug 2 '12 at 15:41
  • Oops, yes. The server is the Domain Controller. By can't access the files I mean he gets the errors I described, and it could be one of many. However the most common is that a window to login to the domain pops up and it doesn't do anything. I will check to see if he can log in to someone elses computer once they're done with a meeting. – Alex Aug 2 '12 at 15:44
  • @Alex is that laptop joined to the domain and is the user logged in with an account that should have access to the sahre? – MDMarra Aug 2 '12 at 15:46

According to that error, the client computer can't locate a Domain Controller. This is almost always a DNS issue. All domain clients should be configured to use a DNS server that holds the zones for the Active Directory that it is joined to. In almost all cases, this means the Domain Controllers for the domain.

No internal clients should have anything configured in their DNS Server list other than DCs that also have the DNS role installed.

To troubleshoot this, run nslookup <your domain> and nslookup <your domain controller(s)>. If you don't get the correct response back, then the client DNS configuration is your problem.

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  • I have the DNS property set to the IP of the Domain Controller(it's also the DNS and DHCP) and is gone, but nslookup still says: >Server: google-public-dns-a.google.com >Address: >*** google-public-dns-a.google.com can't find radar: Non-existent >domain I tried rebooting the server and cycled all the networking equipment, is there a command to force an update or something? – Alex Aug 2 '12 at 17:44
  • If that's what you're getting, then you didn't change it correctly. What does ipconfig /all on the client tell you that the configured DNS servers are? – MDMarra Aug 2 '12 at 18:24

check the network settings to see if he has a DNS server specified. even if the computer is set to use DHCP to get an IP address, it can still be set up to use different DNS servers.

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  • Which DNS should he be using? If I remember correctly, he had and the address of the Domain Controller as DNS servers in ipconfig. – Alex Aug 2 '12 at 15:47
  • so your dhcp server is handing out googles dns servers? or is that hardcoded overriding the dhcp settings. – tony roth Aug 2 '12 at 16:12
  • I put it into the DHCP settings yesterday during troubleshooting. – Alex Aug 2 '12 at 16:48
  • take it out. on a domain network, the first DNS server in the list should be an Active Directory enabled DNS server. in many networks, the DNS server runs on the domain controller. – longneck Aug 2 '12 at 17:00
  • @longneck "on a domain network, the first DNS server in the list should be an Active Directory enabled DNS server" - That should say "on a domain network, all DNS servers should be Active Directory enabled DCs" – MDMarra Aug 2 '12 at 17:04

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