Several users are getting the ‘following error occurred attempting to join the domain‘ error when trying to connect a computer to a home or work domain. Most of the time, the error is accompanied by an explanation message telling the user that it has exceeded the maximum number of computer accounts. The issue is not restricted to computers that connect to a domain for the first time, as it’s often reported to occur with PCs and laptops previously connected to the same domain.
What is causing the ‘following error occurred attempting to join the domain’ error?
We investigated this particular error by looking at various user reports and the troubleshooting guides that they themselves followed to get the issue resolved. Based on what we were able to gather, there are several different scenarios that might trigger this particular error message:
- SMB1 support is disabled on the client machine – One of the most common reasons why this error appears is because SMB1 support is disabled on the computer that is trying to connect to the domain. If that’s the case, you can enable SMB1 support quite easily via the Windows Features screen (Method 1).
- 3rd party firewall is blocking some bi-directional ports used by the joining procedure – There are several 3rd party antivirus and/or firewall applications that are commonly reported as being responsible for blocking domain joining attempts.
If you’re struggling to resolve this particular error message, this article will provide you with several verified troubleshooting steps. Below you have a collection of methods that other users in a similar situation have used to get the issue resolved.
For the best results, follow the methods below in the order that they are presented. You should eventually find a method that is effective in resolving the issue for your particular scenario.
Method 1: Enabling SMB1 support
This particular error is often an indication that SMB 1 support is disabled on the client’s machine. SMB (Server Message Block) is a common protocol commonly used across Windows. Several users have reported that the problem was fixed after they discovered that SMB1 support was disabled on the machine that was trying to connect to the domain.
For most affected users, re-enabling SMB1 via the Windows Features screen eliminated the error and allowed the computer to connect to the domain. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” and press Enter to open up Programs and Features.
- Inside Programs and Features, click on Turn Windows Features on or off from the left-hand pane.
- In the Windows Features menu, scroll down through the list of features and make sure that SMB 1.0/ CIFS File Sharing Support and any associated sub-menu are enabled. Then hit Ok to save the changes.
If this method wasn’t effective in resolving the ‘following error occurred attempting to join the domain‘ error, move down to the next method below.
Method 2: Uninstalling 3rd party firewall
As some affected users have pointed out, several 3rd party antivirus suites are known to be overprotective with the connections that they allow to go through. Some users dealing with the ‘following error occurred attempting to join the domain‘ error have reported that the issue was no longer occurring after they uninstalled the 3rd party firewall.
Some users are speculating that some external security suites are blocking some bi-directional ports that are used when a computer tries to connect to a domain for the first time.
Keep in mind that if you’re using a 3rd party firewall, temporarily disabling the firewall will not resolve the issue since the same rules will remain firmly in place. The only acceptable solution, in this case, is to uninstall the 3rd party firewall and see if the same error is still occurring.
You can follow this guide (here) to ensure that you completely uninstall the security program that you’re using.
Once the 3rd party firewall has been uninstalled, restart your computer and see if the issue is still occurring. If it’s no longer appearing, consider sticking with the built-in Windows Firewall or search online for specific steps on establishing exception rules for the ports used by the network devices involved in domain connectivity.
If this method wasn’t effective, move down to the next method below.
Method 3: Using a System Restore point
Some users struggling to resolve the ‘following error occurred attempting to join the domain‘ error have reported that the issue was resolved after they used the System Restore wizard to revert the computer to a previous point in time. After the restore process was complete, affected users reported that the error no longer appeared during the joining procedure.
Note: A previous System Restore point will restore your computer to a previous point in time. This means that any changes made during the reverted period will be lost.
Here’s a quick guide on using the System Restore wizard to resolve the ‘following error occurred attempting to join the domain‘ error:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type ‘rstrui‘ and hit Enter to open the System Restore wizard.
- At the first System Restore screen, select the Choose a different restore point toggle and hit Next.
- Choose a system restore point that is older than the apparition of this issue and hit Next once again.
- Click Finish to revert your machine to the older state. After a short while, your computer will restart and the restore point will be enforced at the next startup. With the older state in place, you should no longer encounter the ‘following error occurred attempting to join the domain‘ error.