Deal with duped SPNs

How to solve this problem that causes user logon difficulties.

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At times, a domain user will try to connect to a Windows 2000 server that is a member of the same domain, only to be asked for their credentials (user ID / password) before they can access the server.

When this happens, an error may be generated in the event log which reads:

Event Type:Error
Event Source:KDC
Event Category:None
Event ID:11
Description: There are multiple accounts with name
host/SERVERNAME.microsoft.com of type 10

If this happens, it's due to a duplicate SPN (ServicePrincipalName) value in the Active Directory tree. SPNs are used for things other than direct user validation; for instance, a service that runs under a user account will have an SPN attribute for that account.

To locate and delete the duplicate SPN:

  1. Run LDP. This is an Active Directory search tool included in the Windows 2000 Support Tools, but is also included on Windows 2000 domain controllers.

  2. Select Connection | Connect | OK (with nothing in the Server box).

  3. Select Connection | Bind | OK (with all fields blank).

  4. Select View | Tree | OK (with the BaseDN window blank).

  5. Select Browse | Search. Set the BaseDN as DC=<domain name>,DC=com, where <domain name> is your organization's FQDN.

  6. Set the filter to serviceprincipalname=Host/<computername>.<domain name>, where <computername> is the computer to search. Set the scope to Subtree and click Run. The duplicate SPN should appear.

  7. Open the ADSI Editor (Adsiedit.msc). This is supplied with the Windows 2000 Resource Kit, but can be downloaded separately from www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/reskit/tools/default.asp.

  8. Go to the duplicate SPN value, which you located in step 6, and delete it. Close the ADSI Editor.

  9. Remove the server from the domain. Delete the server's computer account from the domain, and then rejoin the server to the domain with the same computer account.

Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.


This was first published in January 2003

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