Tip

Correcting a corrupted computer account

For the most part, the domain account for a client computer is self-maintaining. However, from time to time, especially in very large domain networks, the account becomes disjoined or otherwise fails to function properly. This typically is symptomatic of being unable to use a specific client to log into the domain with a valid domain user account.

If you suspect that the computer account of a client computer is missing, corrupt, or otherwise behaving badly, you can follow the following procedure to restore the functionality. However, you should take note that you need to perform the entire list of steps, stopping after the account reset action will not correct the problem. Resetting the computer account changes the secret password used by the computer to log into the domain, without re-connecting to the domain, there is no other mechanism to tell the client system what its new domain password is.

You must be a Domain Administrator, Enterprise Administrator, or have the appropriate delegated permissions in order to perform this action. Also, this can be used on any system except for a domain controller.

  1. Reset the computer account. There are two methods:
    1. Open the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC snap-in, then locate the computer account. The account is in the Computers container by default, but if it is not there, check your OUs. Right-click on the computer account name, then select Reset from the

    Requires Free Membership to View

    1. pop-up menu.
    2. Open the Command Prompt, then type "dsmod computer <computername> -reset", replacing the <computername> placeholder with the correct name of your failing system.
  1. Now that the account is reset, you must leave then re-join the domain:
    1. Right–click over My Computer, then select Properties from the pop-up menu.
    2. On the Computer Name tab, click Change.
    3. Select Workgroup, then click OK.
    4. Reboot the computer.
    5. Right–click over My Computer, then select Properties from the pop-up menu.
    6. On the Computer Name tab, click Change.
    7. Select Domain, provide the correct domain name then click OK.
    8. Reboot the computer.
  2. Log onto the domain using a domain user account to verify the process completed successfully.

James Michael Stewart is a partner and researcher for ITinfopros, a technology-focused writing and training organization.


This was first published in October 2004

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.