Joining domain; "credentials in conflict" error

DavidAtkinson at DavidAtkinson at
Mon Sep 24 16:30:03 GMT 2001

You can also achieve this effect by depatching at the switch, or if you know
the local administrator password you can delete the machine account using
server manager and login as the local administrator and recreate the machine
account that way. You can sometimes get lucky and have a domain
administrator account work after deleting the domain account, but this does
not always work. If you get really desperate you can use the original
NT/Win2K install disk in recovery mode to restore the virgin SAM, just say
you don't have a recovery disk, but I'm not sure how much this wipes out.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Willett [mailto:kwillett at]
Sent: Tuesday, 25 September 2001 7:04 AM
To: samba-ntdom at
Subject: Joining domain; "credentials in conflict" error

When joining an NT or W2K client to a domain, one may run into the error
"Credentials are in conflict with an existing set of credentials". This has
been noted in previous posts, and occurs with both Samba and Windows PDC's
(it's really a client problem, not a server problem).

Recently I struggled with this while reimaging machines using Ghost, because
immediately on login, the client would authenticate to the server for
purposes of mapping a network share. Once that has happened, attempting to
join the domain will fail with the message given above. Sometimes unmapping
the drive(s) will get around this problem, but this doesn't always seem to

My recipe now, which is simple enough, is:
1. Unplug the network cable from the workstation.
2. Log in as administrator, ignoring any network-related messages.
3. Plug the cable back in.
4. Join the domain.

If the cable is inaccessible, and you are using DHCP, you can do an
"ipconfig /release", log out and back in, and then do an "ipconfig /renew"
before joining the domain.

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