Microsoft KB Archive/253753

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Article ID: 253753

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition

This article was previously published under Q253753


After you install a Windows NT Terminal Server system in an existing domain, you may receive the following error message when you attempt to log on (or if automatic logon is configured):

The system cannot log you on because the system's computer account in it's primary domain is missing or the password on that account is incorrect.


This problem is caused by Netlogon.dll on the client computer. The update to correct the problem must be installed on the client computer during installation.

When a Windows NT-based computer joins a domain during installation, a machine account is created on the primary domain controller (PDC). If the PDC is running Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 or later, the new account is not replicated to backup domain controllers (BDCs) until the next scheduled Netlogon replication interval. Before Service Pack 4, the PDC replicates all machine account updates immediately. When a domain user logs on or an automatic logon to the domain occurs, the client computer establishes a session with either the PDC or one of the BDCs. If a BDC does not have the computer account in its database, it returns "User Unknown" to the client computer logon request. When it receives this response, the client computer stops processing the logon request and displays the error message.

The default Netlogon replication pulse is five minutes, but is configurable. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

142692 Minimizing WAN traffic

Because you must modify the installation folder, you must use over-the-network installations or installations that pre-copy the files to the local hard disk. You cannot use this fix when you install from one of the standard Microsoft Windows NT CD-ROMs or Windows NT Service Pack CD-ROMs.

To install, you must replace the Netlogon.dll file that is included with the original version of Windows NT 4.0 with the version that is associated with this hotfix:

  1. In the appropriate platform installation folder (I386 or Alpha), rename the Netlogon.dl_ file to
  2. Copy the Netlogon.dl_ file that is included with this update to the installation folder.


Service pack information

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Microsoft Windows NT 4.0. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

152734 How to obtain the latest Windows NT 4.0 service pack


To work around this problem, use any of the following methods:

  • Add all computer accounts before you install Windows NT on the computers, making sure that the entire domain is synchronized before you continue with the installation.
  • Use an Lmhost file that has a #PRE #DOM entry with the PDC's IP address specified.


This problem was first corrected in Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6.Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

Keywords: kbbug kbfix kbqfe KB253753