Creating an External Trust (NT4) – Could not find a Domain Controller for this Domain

While working on an NT4 to Server 2003 Domain migration, I was trying to create a Trust Relationship between the domains and encountered the error "Could not find a Domain Controller for this Domain".

Name Resolution

This was a bit perplexing, because I had spent some time to ensure that resolution was occurring correctly. When that didn’t work, I forced the issue by establishing an LMHosts file.(How to Write an LMHOSTS File for Domain Validation and Other Name Resolution Issues). So now I could ping in both directions, there were no firewalls between the servers, and NBTStat –c was showing exactly as expected, but I was still getting the same error.


Momentary High

Then I thought I found the solution, a TechNet article that described my situation exactly (Could Not Find Domain Controller When Establishing a Trust):

Regardless of the protocols being used, when you try to establish a trust, you may receive the following error message:

Could not find domain controller for this domain.

You may receive this error message even though LMHOSTS files and the WINS database are correct and there are No connectivity problems on the network. Also, you may see the following information in a network trace:

SMB R session setup & X – NT error, System, Error, Code = (109) STATUS_LOGON_FAILURE


The fix was to delete or modify a registry key……But the RestrictAnonymous key didn’t exist. So on goes the Troubleshooting



Then I found an article that led me to the promised land (–ftopict449671.html). Establish a NetBIOS connection from the NT4 server to the 2003 DC by connecting to a file share (i.e. \\2003DC\C$). After that I was able to create the trust… Go figure!

One Response

  1. Chris April 16, 2015

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