How to deal with “Login Failure: the target account name is incorrect” on a Windows file share
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Google Query: Login Failure: the target account name is incorrect
This problem had me going for a bit today. As it turns out the answer was simple. Let me set up the scenario for you.
At work we are in the middle of an Active Directory child domain migration (we are migrating our users and computers into a child domain). As part of this domain migration, we are also moving from separate departmental file servers onto a single file server for the building. I had a logon script in place that would disconnect old mapped printers from a client and reconnect new mapped printers so that we could decommission one of the old file servers (a dying behemoth HP that looks like a mini-fridge).
The script worked beautifully except for on two legacy Windows 2000 Professional workstations (the rest are Windows XP). The old printers were not removed and the new printers were not mapped on these machines. So, I proceed to try and run the script manually by going to:
I get the following message:
Login Failure: the target account name is incorrect
Huh!?! OK, so this sounds like a DNS or WINS problem. I proceed to check both using nslookup and nbtstat. Everything looks normal. I can query the server and get the appropriate IP address. I even flushed both the DNS and NetBIOS cache. Still the same message. Google time.
After searching for “Login Failure: the target account name is incorrect” I came upon a forum entry at experts-exchange that got me thinking in the right direction.
One of the accepted answers said to remove the problem server from the domain and rejoin it. What that does is essentially reset the computer account for that server. So, I got to thinking (dangerous, I know). The server that I was using for the logon script had recently been migrated to the child domain…
What if the old computer account still existed in the parent domain? A quick query in Active Directory confirmed this to be true. AHA! I deleted the account from the parent domain and all was well after that. The two Windows 2000 Professional workstations were able to access the Script server share.
The only thing that I am still fuzzy on is why the Windows 2000 Professional workstations had a problem and the Windows XP Professional workstations didn’t. Any ideas? Leave them in the comments.
This was a very specific case in which the error was experienced. However, the cause may enlighten those administrators in a similar situation. Perhaps the server computer account is screwed up. In this case, maybe resetting it in Active Directory or removing and re-joining the server to the domain will help. I hope you find this helpful. I was glad that it was a relatively simple solution.
Happy File Serving!
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