Default limit to number of workstations a user can join to the domain

This article describes how to the change the AD to allow more or fewer machine accounts in the domain.

Original product version:  Windows Server 2012 R2
Original KB number:  243327

Summary

By default, Windows 2000 allows authenticated users to join 10 machine accounts to the domain. If a user attempts to join an 11th machine account, the error messages listed in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base Article are displayed:

251335 Domain users cannot join workstation or server to a domain

This default was implemented to prevent misuse, but can be overridden by an administrator by making a change to an object in Active Directory.

Note that users in the Administrators or Domain Administrators groups, and those users who have delegated permissions on containers in Active Directory to create and delete computer accounts, are not restricted by this limitation.

More information

The number of workstations currently owned by a user is calculated by looking at the ms-DS-CreatorSID attribute of machine accounts.

To modify Active Directory to allow more (or fewer) machine accounts on the domain, use the Adsiedit tool.

Warning

Using Adsiedit incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Adsiedit can be solved. Use Adsiedit at your own risk.

  1. Install the Windows Support tools if they haven't already been installed. This is necessary only for Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003. For Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Adsiedit is installed automatically when you install the Active Directory Domain Services role.
  2. Run Adsiedit.msc as an administrator of the domain. Expand the Domain NC node. This node contains an object that begins with "DC=" and reflects the correct domain name. Right-click this object, and then click Properties.
  3. In the Select which properties to view box, click Both. In the Select a property to view box, click ms-DS-MachineAccountQuota.
  4. In the Edit Attribute box, type the number of workstations that you want users to be able to maintain concurrently.
  5. Click Set > OK.