Active Directory Users and Computers not connecting to domain

Problem

What you open the Active Directory Users and Computes tool, you receive the following error message:

Active Directory Domain Services

Naming information cannot be location because:
The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted.
Contact your system administrator to verify that your domain is properly configured and is currently online.

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Solution

The error message is displayed with the Active Directory Users and Computers tool has not been able to connect automatically to a Windows domain.

This can be for many reasons, but it typically:

  1. The computer is not a member of a Windows domain.
  2. The user account you are logged in with does not have access to the Windows domain – for example, you are logged in with a local account instead of a network account.
  3. The computer is not connected (via the network) to a Windows domain.

How do I fix this?

  1. Verify that your computer can ‘talk’ to the Windows domain. For example, if your full domain name is domain.local – use the command prompt to ping domain.local – does it respond? If it doesn’t, you have a networking issue.
  2. Verify that the computer you’re using is a member of the Windows domain. Has it been joined to the domain yet, or is it still connected to a workgroup?
  3. Verify that the account you’re logged in with is a network account, that has access to the domain. All user domain user accounts have ‘read’ access to the Active Directory – so you should at very least be able to connect and view, even if your account doesn’t have any administration roles.

How do I connect manually?

To connect manually, click ‘OK’ when you see the error message.

When the tool loads, right-click on ‘Active Directory Users and Computers’

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Then enter in the full name of your domain, for example domain.local

Or use the ‘Browse’ button to select the domain.

If this still doesn’t work, you most probably have a network issue – your computer is not connecting to any of the domain controllers.

 

Windows 7 – How to install the Active Directory Users and Computers tools

The Active Directory Users and Computers tools come as part of the Microsoft Server Tools. Once the Server Tools are installed you are able to add the Active Directory Users and Computers tools features to the computer. The steps below detail how to do this.

  1. Download the install package here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-AU/download/details.aspx?id=7887 – make sure to select the correct one for your system, 32-bit or 64-bit
  2. When you run the install package you will see this message, which explains that you are able to install an update – click ‘Yes’
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  4. Then after reading and agreeing to the terms, click ‘I Accept’
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  6. The installation will take a few minutes, when complete click ‘Close’
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  8. Open the Windows Start menu and in the search box type ‘Programs and Features’.
  9. When it appears above, click on the icon for ‘Programs and Features’
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  11. On the left of the window click on the link for ‘Turn Windows features on or off’
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  13. Expand Remote Server Administration Tools > Role Administration Tools > AD DS and AD LDS Tools > AD DS Tools
  14. Place a tick next to ‘Active Directory Administrative Centre’
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  16. Click ‘OK’ to save the changes
  17. Once it is installed you can use the Windows Start menu to find ‘Active Directory Users and Computers’
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