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Can only log in to domain through domain controller

I am working on a network domain controller running Windows 2000 Server for someone who downloaded a new group policy and locked all users and client computers out of the domain. A lot of services such as DHCP had been disabled, but after re-enabling the services I was able to connect client computers to the domain. The problem now is that I am unable to log into the domain anywhere except the domain controller. If I try to log in from a client computer I receive an error that the user has another session open on the service that must be closed before the user can log on. All client computers are running Windows XP.

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I've really never come across such a problem so I wouldn't be able to provide the solution to you. However, there are a number of things you can try to resolve the problem you are experiencing.

Because I am unaware how large your network is and the amount of clients relying on the Active Directory service, you might need to try this during non-business hours. Active Directory contains a special recovery/safe mode, which can be used to troubleshoot such problems or perform operations that wouldn't be possible during normal operation. During startup you'll be presented with an option to press F8 to bring up the DOS-like menu. From there you can select the appropriate menu item to troubleshoot your Active Directory.

Combining this "feature" with Microsoft's support page, I'm sure you'll be able to find a solution. In the case you've also got a backup of your server (and Active Directory), you might be able to use it during a repair or restore process, but this will depend on a lot of other parameters that you can find on Microsoft's page.

In closing, check your event viewer log for any reported conflicts or errors and use their event ID when searching through the above mentioned support page.

This was first published in April 2005

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