Windows 2000 Computer Accounts
I recently received an IBM ThinkPad running Windows 2000 Professional (Win2K Pro). It's my first real hands-on experience with Win2K, if you discount a quick training course I attended a few months ago. Like many of you, I pay more attention when I’m connecting a new system to my network than I do when I'm taking a class. In any case, the Win2K notebook had no trouble joining my Windows NT 4.0 domain on the first boot, and it correctly browsed all the network resources.
However, when I reconnected the Win2K notebook to my network after a week of travel, I couldn't log on to the domain. Yes, your instinct is correct—the computer account password had expired. I deleted and re-added the account on the NT 4.0 domain controller and synchronized the domain, but I still couldn't log on to the domain from the Win2K notebook. Instead, I saw the familiar "your computer does not have an account" message every time I tried. The event log message on the NT 4.0 domain controller said
"The session setup from the computer W2K failed to authenticate. The name of the account referenced in the security database is W2K$. The following error occurred: Access is denied."
and the Win2K notebook event log said
"The time service has not been able to find a domain controller to synchronize with for a long time. To reduce network traffic, the time service will wait 960 minutes before trying again. No synchronization will take place during this interval, even if network connectivity is restored. Accumulated time errors may cause certain network operations to fail. To tell the time service that network connectivity has been restored and that it should resynchronize, execute "w32tm /s" from the command line."
When I typed w32tm /s at a command prompt, the utility returned the message "RPC to local server returned 0x0." I'm unclear as to whether this message meant success or failure. I still couldn't log on to the NT 4.0 domain after executing the time synch command.
I’m not sure exactly how I eliminated the problem computer account, but I tried two approaches: First, I disabled password synchronization on the Win2K notebook; second, I directed the workstation to join the NT 4.0 domain (instead of logging on to the domain via the logon screen). After a couple of tries, the notebook joined and I logged on successfully. I found an article at Microsoft Support Online that describes this problem exactly, but the recommended solution didn't work. I can already visualize the fur flying when we wade into this mixed NT 4.0 and Win2K environment. Put on your problem-solving hat and reach deep into your cache of patience, because you're gonna need it!
On the bright side, my notebook notices when I unplug it from the network. And when I reconnect it, the status option for the LAN icon in the lower-right corner of my screen reports the connection speed. When I upgraded to a 100MBMbps hub, the notebook cheerfully informed me it connected at the higher speed. I appreciated the instant feedback—and this confirmation should eliminate all troubleshooting problems that start with "Is your system connected to the network?"
The "Win2K Where Is It" Guide
Now that I have a notebook that dual boots Win2K Pro and Windows 2000 Advanced Server (Win2K AS), I’m on a scavenger hunt for old, familiar applets that Microsoft has moved or has embedded in different utilities. It's a constant digging, squinting, and head-scratching routine that reminds me of the kid’s game Where's Waldo. Colleagues who have been testing and evaluating beta versions of Win2K have said, "I can’t find (fill in the blank)" in a steady refrain for months. I figure you're all in for the same challenge in the next few months, so today I present the first version of Paula’s "Win2K Where Is It" guide, specifically for network setup. If you’re like me, the first thing you do is connect your Win2K system to the network, and if you’re not satisfied with the default configuration, you’ll find the following list handy for changing your Win2K system settings. I wish I had this list when I was troubleshooting the problem computer account I discussed earlier. I spent half my time just looking for the correct place to make changes.
I expect this guide to be a moving target until we see the street version of Win2K (the following entries pertain to Build 2194). I start with networking, but I’m sure other categories need a similar table. If you have suggestions for how to organize the "Win2K Where Is It" list or submissions to add, please send them my way. I’ll keep it updated and summarize it periodically in this column.
"Win2K Where Is It" Guide. The following functions start at the Network and Dial-up Connections window, which you can get via the Control Panel's Network and Dial-up Connections applet (or right-click My Network Places and select Properties) You should see a window with at least two icons: Make New Connection and Local Area Connection. Win2K displays the LAN icon automatically when you have a network adapter card. (For reference purposes, my test system is running build 2194.)
|Computer Name and Domain Name||Network Identification hot link (lower left) OR Advanced menu, Network Identification OR Control Panel, System applet, Network Identification tab.|
|Add/Remove Protocols||Right-click Local Area Connection, select Properties; click Install|
|TCP/IP Settings||Right-click Local Area Connection, select Properties; select Internet Protocol, click Properties.|
|Bindings||Advanced menu, Advanced Settings.|
|Network Services||Advanced menu, Optional Networking Components; Select Networking Services and click Details.|
|SNMP||Advanced menu, Optional Networking Components; Select Management and Monitoring tools, and click Details.|
|Network Adapters||Run the Control Panel's System applet, and select the Hardware tab; click Device Manager.|