Diagnosing and resolving constant AD account lockouts can be a frustrating and time-consuming task. However, with the right approach and troubleshooting techniques, these issues can be effectively solved.
Common Causes of Account Lockouts
- Incorrect password or username:
- Verify that the user is using the correct password.
- Check for any typing errors in the username.
- Open Control Panel and select Credential Manager.
- Under the Windows Credentials section, locate the saved credentials for the locked account.
- Delete the saved credentials and have the user enter their correct password again.
- Open Server Manager and connect to the remote server where the user’s account is locked.
- Go to the Remote Desktop Services section and select Tasks.
- Click on Disconnect to end any active remote sessions for the locked account.
- Open Active Directory Users and Computers and locate the locked account.
- Check the account status and ensure it is not expired or disabled.
- If necessary, reset the password for the account and unlock it.
- Identify any services or applications that are using the locked account for authentication.
- Update the password for these services or applications with the new password.
- Check if the locked account is associated with any mobile devices or applications.
- Update the password on these devices or applications to match the new password.
- Open File Explorer and check for any mapped network drives using the locked account’s credentials.
- Disconnect or update the credentials for these mapped network drives.
Resolving and Preventing AD Account Lockouts
To resolve and prevent AD account lockouts, follow these steps:
1. Identify the source of the lockouts by reviewing the security event logs on the domain controller. Look for event IDs 4740 (account lockout) and 4625 (failed logon attempts).
2. Use the Account Lockout and Management Tools from Microsoft to gather more information about the lockouts, such as the source IP address.
3. Check if any scheduled tasks or services are using the locked-out account’s credentials. Use the Windows Task Scheduler and PowerShell to investigate and update any tasks or services that may be causing the lockouts.
4. Review Group Policy settings related to account lockouts and password policies. Ensure that these settings align with your organization’s security requirements.
5. Verify that the account lockout threshold is set appropriately. Adjust the value if necessary, keeping in mind the balance between security and user convenience.
6. Educate users on best practices for password management and avoiding common mistakes that can lead to lockouts.
7. Implement account lockout policies and password policies that enforce strong passwords and regular password changes.
8. Monitor and audit account lockouts to detect any patterns or anomalies that may indicate malicious activity.
Troubleshooting Account Lockouts with Microsoft Tools
First, start by checking the event logs on the domain controller. Look for event ID 4740, which indicates a lockout. This will give you information on the source of the lockout, such as the computer or application causing it.
Next, use the Account Lockout and Management Tools from Microsoft to gather more information. This tool will show you the domain controller, source workstation, and timestamp of the lockout event.
Once you have this information, you can investigate further. Check if there are any scheduled tasks or services running under the user’s account that could be causing the lockout. Use the Windows Task Scheduler and PowerShell to examine and disable any relevant tasks.
Additionally, verify if the user’s password is stored in a mobile phone or other device. If so, update the password on that device to ensure it matches the new password.
If all else fails, consider using third-party tools like Netwrix Account Lockout Examiner, which can provide more detailed information and help resolve the lockout issue.
Finding the Source of Account Lockouts
|Incorrectly Mapped Network Drives||– Saved credentials for network drives using old or incorrect passwords.||– Clear saved network credentials.
– Remap network drives using correct credentials.
|Mobile Devices||– Mobile devices continuously attempting to authenticate using outdated or incorrect passwords.
– Mobile email app misconfiguration.
|– Update mobile device passwords.
– Verify mobile email app settings.
|Services with Stale Credentials||– Services running under user accounts with expired or changed passwords.
– Scheduled tasks using outdated credentials.
|– Update service account passwords.
– Update scheduled task credentials.
|Programs with Saved Credentials||– Programs or scripts using cached credentials with outdated passwords.||– Update program or script credentials.
– Clear saved credentials.
|Remote Desktop Sessions||– Active remote desktop sessions with expired or incorrect passwords.
– Disconnected remote desktop sessions.
|– Reset remote desktop session passwords.
– Log off or disconnect inactive remote desktop sessions.