After a power interruption I had 3 computers in our office Windows Server 2008 network come up with an error message saying they were unable to connect to the server: “Windows cannot connect to the domain, either because the domain controller is down or otherwise unavailable, or because your computer account was not found.” Before this happened I was preparing to deploy some new computers so not sure if I did something or if it was some fluke. The good news was that a search in Google using the text of the error message brought me the answer I needed.
The top answer was to a Fixya forum that spelled out how to fix the problem with Server 2003. With some minor modifications I had all 3 machines up and running and a call in to my backup tech support company (who really know how to fix things) to cancel the appointment for them to come in and get the machines running again.
Here is how I resolved the problem using the steps laid out by Maha Pappan in the forum:
- Login to the Windows 2008 server.
- From the Start Menu pull up Administrative Tools then Active Directory Users and Computers.
- Find the errant computer account and delete it using the right click menu.
- Log-in to the PC workstation as local administrator. (I did not have to use this workaround but am leaving it in case you need to try it. If you cannot logon as local administrator, try to unplug the network cable and logon to the computer by using a domain administrator user that used to logon on the PC before, by using cached logon credentials feature.)
- From the Start Menu click Control Panel then the System icon and go to Computer Name tab.
- Unjoin the computer from the domain by clicking the Change button.
- You should see that Domain button is now selected. Write down the domain name in the text box.
- Click on “Workgroup” to remove the computer from the domain, and put any name in the text box (e.g. workgroup).
- Click OK to exit.
- Follow the prompts to restart the computer (supposedly optional but I did it just to be sure).
- Go back to the Control Panel, launch System properties and the Computer Name tab, and click Change again.
- Rejoin the domain by clicking “Domain” and type in the domain name (you wrote down) into the text box.
- Click OK to exit.
- Follow the prompts to reboot the PC.
- Log in as normal — all should be well!
Once again Google was my tech support! And I, in turn, write up my experience to possibly help someone else down the road.