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Don’t You Trust Me?

December 23, 2013

An old problem has caused new headaches in my office. While upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 (and eventually Windows 8.1), I occasionally encountered the following error message when a user needed to reset their password on a domain-joined machine:

The security database on the server does not have a computer account for this workstation trust relationship.

You’ll find plenty of fixes for this online like this one, discussions about the issue, and even a Microsoft KB article. Unfortunately, none of the recommended solutions seemed to solve the problem, in my case. Here’s what finally did:

  1. Log on to the affected device with a local admin account.
  2. Disjoin the device from the domain and reboot.
  3. Log on, as a user with rights to add/remove computer accounts from the domain and manage user’s passwords, to a domain controller in the domain to which you want the device joined.
  4. Open the Users and Computers snap-in.
  5. Find the computer account for the device that you just disjoined from the domain and delete it (right-click > Delete).
  6. Find the user which requires a password reset and manually reset the password (right-click > Reset Password…).
  7. Log off of the domain controller.
  8. On the affected device, log on with the local admin account again, re-join the domain, and reboot.
  9. Log on to the affected device with the domain account that needed the password reset, using the new password that you created.

I hope these instructions are clear. Please comment if they need some clean-up.


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