FIX: The Specified Domain Either Does Not Exist or Could Not Be Contacted (Solved)

Last updated on April 4th, 2019

This tutorial contains instructions to resolve the following problem, when you try to join a Windows based computer to an existing domain: "The Specified Domain Either Does Not Exist or Could Not Be Contacted".

The error "The Specified Domain Either Does Not Exist or Could Not Be Contacted" commonly occurs due to invalid DNS settings on the workstation's side, because Active directory requires you to use domain DNS to work properly (and not router's address).

Specified Domain Does Not Exist or Could Not Be Contacted.

How to fix: Specified Domain Does Not Exist or Could Not Be Contacted.

Let's suppose that your Active Directory Domain Controller (and DNS Server) is a Windows Server 2016 machine and is responsible for the domain "wintips.local" and has the IP Address "192.168.1.10".

At this example, the IP and the Preferred DNS address on the Primary Domain Controller (Server 2016) must be the same, e.g.

Primary Domain Controller (Server 2016)
Computer Name: Server2k16
Domain Name: WINTIPS.LOCAL
IP Address (Static): 192.168.1.10
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway: 192.168.1.1
Preferred DNS Server: 192.168.1.10
Method 1. Set the Preferred DNS Server Address to match the Domain Controller's IP Address (on Client Workstation)

To resolve the "Specified Domain Does Not Exist or Could Not Be Contacted" error, you have to set the Preferred DNS IP to point to Primary Domain Controller's IP address, on each client workstation that you want to join in the domain. To do that:

1. Open Network and Sharing Center.
2. Right click on Local Area Connection and click Properties.
3. Double click on Internet Protocol TCP/IPv4.
4. Change the Preferred DNS server address to match the Primary Domain Controller's IP Address (e.g. "192.168.1.10" in this example).
6. Click OK twice and close all windows.

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7. Try to join the workstation in the Domain.

Method 2. Specify the WINS Server's IP Address on Client.

If your Active Directory Domain Controller acts also as a WINS server, then set the WINS IP address to point to WINS Server's (Primary Domain Controller's IP address),* on the client machine that you want to join to the Domain. To do that:

* Note: This method works even when the Primary Domain Controller does not act as a WINS Server.

1. Open Network and Sharing Center.
2. Right click on Local Area Connection and click Properties.
3. Double click on Internet Protocol TCP/IPv4.

4. Click the Advanced button.

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5. At WINS tab, click Add.

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6. Type at WINS Server's IP Address filed, the IP address of the WINS server (e.g. "192.168.1.10" in this example) and click Add.

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7. Press OK three (3) times to apply changes and close all windows.

8. Try to join the machine in the Domain.

That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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