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Unable to join Windows 7 Workstation to SBS 2008 Domain

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“Your computer could not be joined to the domain because : An attempt to resolve the DNS name of a domain controller in the domain being joined has failed.”

We run into this error a lot on improperly configured SBS 2008 domain servers. The issue usually has to do with improper DHCP settings on the domain controller – where an external DNS is listed before the domain controller’s IP address in your IPv4 settings. Check that your domain controller is listed as your primary DNS server – for instance DNS settings should look like this on your client computer :

192.168.1.2 (Internal SBS)
8.8.8.8 (Google Primary)
8.8.4.4 (Google Secondary)

If this doesn’t work, we’ve also had success with a quick workaround – sometimes we’ve had to edit the hosts file at c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc to add a line manually specifying the network name of the server : for instance :

192.168.1.2             SBS-SERVER

Finally, we’ve seen IPv6 sometimes cause issues with joining workstations to a business domain. As a last resort, try temporary disabling IPv6 by going to your Network Adapter’s Properties, and unchecking the box next to IPv6.

Any of these methods work for you? We’d love to hear how you resolved this problem on your company network below!

Questions, comments? Let us know!

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