Monday, June 9, 2008

Troubleshooting cross-forest trust secure channels

When cross-forest trusts fail, the secure channel should be verified to determine that a foreign DC can be identified and contacted. This post provides information on troubleshooting techniques in this scenario, and is really only the first step in troubleshooting - establishing that there are no DC locator issues determining what should be a valid DC across the trust.

The following commands are useful for troubleshooting secure channel issues, specifically name resolution, DC locator and connectivity:

  • nltest /domain_trusts /v
  • nltest /sc_query:%trusted_domain%
  • nltest /sc_reset:%trusted_domain%[\%DCname%]
  • nslookup -debug -type=srv _ldap._tcp.dc._msdcs.%domainFQDN%

For example, in a domain called domain.local, which trusts and is trusting trustindomain.local, from the domain.local domain:

List the domain trusts:

nltest /domain_trusts /v

List of domain trusts:
0: TRUSTED (NT 5) (Direct Outbound) ( Attr: quarantined )
Dom Sid:
1: TRUSTING trustingdomain.local (NT
5) (Direct Inbound)
Dom Sid: S-1-5-21-6079874623-1494965722-2283543576
2: DOMAIN domain.local (NT 5) (Forest Tree Root) (Primary Domain) (Native)
Dom Guid: 23855607-7223-45a6-a732-13d47536f728
Dom Sid:
The command completed successfully

Query the secure channel for the trusting domain:

nltest /
Trusted DC Name \\
Trusted DC Connection Status Status = 0 0x0 NERR_Success
The command completed successfully

Reset the secure channel for the trusting domain, using standard netlogon DC locator to find a DC:

nltest /

Trusted DC Name \\
Trusted DC Connection Status Status = 0 0x0 NERR_Success
The command completed successfully

Reset the secure channel for the trusting domain to a specific Domain Controller:

nltest /\dc01

Trusted DC Name \\
Trusted DC Connection Status Status = 0 0x0 NERR_Success
The command completed successfully

When this doesn't work due to an inability to find a logon server for the specified domain:

Status = 1311 0x51f ERROR_NO_LOGON_SERVERS
I_NetLogonControl failed

Lookup the service records for a trusting domain (the output below is without 'nslookup -debug' for clarity) from the trusting domain (

nslookup -type=srv

Address: SRV service location:
priority = 0
weight = 100
port = 389
svr hostname = SRV service location:
priority = 0
weight = 100
port = 389
svr hostname = internet address = internet address =

  1. The secure channel queries have a potentially different result from each Domain Controller, which will either randomly select a cross-forest DC, or use DNS service records and site information is cross-forest site synchronisation is available.
  2. If no logon server is found, new cross-forest authentication or authorisation attempts will not work between the source Domain Controller and the target domain. If this occurs, further DNS troubleshooting should occur as this is the primary method used between 2000 and 2003 domain trusts.


How Domains and Forests Work

How DNS Support for Active Directory Works

Wayne's World of IT (WWoIT), Copyright 2008 Wayne Martin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know this post is ~7 years old, but it helped me out a ton today. Thanks!

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About Me

I’ve worked in IT for over 20 years, and I know just about enough to realise that I don’t know very much.