I have a windows service installed (Vista SP1), and I'm trying to set its logon user to a domain user instead of the SYSTEM account.

I'm able to select the domain location & user through 'browse', but hitting Apply gets me this error message:

"the specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted"

What am I doing wrong?


The workstation is in the domain, has network access (in fact, I'm logged in as a domain user through mstsc)

  • i found that user services wont auto start when windows restarts UNTIL you login as that user. lame.
    – djangofan
    Mar 12, 2010 at 16:39

3 Answers 3


A Restart solved the problem.


Are you connected to the network on which the domain resides, physically or VPNed in?

A few things I would do to start:

  1. Ensure that the workstation is joined to the domain
  2. Ensure that you can physically contact a domain controller of the domain in question.
  3. Check the DNS settings on the workstation to make sure that the domain is resolvable.
  • The workstation is in the domain, has network access (in fact, I'm logged in as a domain user through mstsc)
    – ripper234
    Aug 24, 2009 at 14:10

Instead of using the Browse button, try typing in [Domain name] \ [username] and then the password. Are you getting anywhere? Do you know which server is the Domain Controller for this domain? Do you know its name or IP address? If you do, could you go to Start > Run > type in ping [Domain Controller IP or name]? If you do this, what ping replies do you get (do you get Request timeout?).

What you should also do, is go to Start > Control Panel > Network Connections. There, right-click on your network connection (i.e. Local Area Connection) and go to Status. There click the Details button and see the following: Default Gateway address DHCP server address DNS server addresses

Try pinging all of them and see if you're getting replies. If you do - then, as squillman says, the computer is not connected to the domain, thus you can't access its user lists. If you don't get a ping to one of them, problem is somewhere else.

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