10 – the Default Limit of Workstations a User Can Join to the Domain

By default, Windows 2000 allows authenticated users to join ten machine accounts to the domain – by granting "Add workstations to domain" privilege to the Authenticated Users group by default.

251335 Domain users cannot join workstation or server to a domain

This default was implemented to prevent misuse, but can be overridden by an administrator by making a change to an object in Active Directory.
Note that users in the Administrators or Domain Administrators groups, and those users who have delegated permissions on containers in Active Directory to create and delete computer accounts, are not restricted by this limitation.

The Default Limit of the Number of Computers an Authenticated User Can Join to a Domain can be overridden by using either of the following methods:
  • Use the Ldp (Ldp.exe) tool included in the Microsoft Windows Resource Kit.
  • Use an Active Directory Services Interface (ADSI) script to increase or decrease the value of the Active Directory ms-DS-MachineAccountQuota attribute. To do this:
    1. Install the Windows 2000 Support tools if they have not already been installed. To install these tools, run Setup.exe from the Support\Tools folder on the Windows 2000 Server or the Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM.
    2. Run Adsiedit.msc as an administrator of the domain.
    3. Expand the Domain NC node. This node contains an object that begins with "DC=" and reflects the correct domain name. Right-click this object, and then click Properties.
    4. In the Select which properties to view box, click Both.
    5. In the Select a property to view box, click ms-DS-MachineAccountQuota.
    6. In the Edit Attribute box, type a number. This number represents the number of workstations that you want users to be able to maintain concurrently.
    7. Click Set, and then click OK.
A more secure method of joining computers to the domain is to pre-create the user’s computer account
  1. From the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in, right-click the container where the account resides.
  2. Click New, and then click Computer.
  3. In the Computer name box, type the name of the Windows 2000-based computer that you want to add to the domain.
    Make sure the computer’s name is also entered in the Computer name (pre-Windows 2000) box (this should occur automatically).
  4. Click Change. Select the user or group that will be joining this computer to the domain, and then click OK.
  5. If you want Windows NT 4.0 and previous operating systems to use this computer name object, click to select the Allow pre-Windows 2000 computers to use this account check box, and then click OK.
Method 2: Grant the "Create Computer Objects" and "Delete Computer Objects" Access Control Entries (ACEs) to the User
  1. From the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in, click Advanced Features on the View menu so that the Security tab is exposed when you click Properties.
  2. Right-click the Computers container, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Security tab, click Advanced.
  4. On the Permissions tab, click Authenticated Users, and then click View/Edit.
    NOTE: If the Authenticated Users group is not listed, click Add and add it to the list of permission entries.
  5. Make sure the This object and all child objects option is displayed in the Apply onto box.
  6. From the Permissions box, click to select the Allow check box next to the Create

More Information:

The number of workstations currently owned by a user is calculated by looking at the ms-DS-CreatorSID attribute of machine accounts.

Source (KB243327, KB251335)

Applies To…

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
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