Which KB articles resolve the most Directory Services issues?

Hi, Craig here. It can be frustrating to call support only to have your issue resolved by an article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. Sometimes you are just happy to get the problem solved, but most people prefer to solve something themselves and avoid calling support. So it may be interesting to know which KB articles are used the most in Directory Services support to solve customer issues. By becoming more familiar with these articles you can improve your troubleshooting skills for the most common Active Directory-related issues.

When we resolve an issue using a specific KB article, we can link that article to the case for reporting purposes. We report on this to get an idea of which articles are most useful, as well as to help understand the types of issues we see the most. While there are other ways we report on top issues, this is one of the few that shows KB article usage.

Note that this is not a report on which KB articles get the most page views on Microsoft.com. Just because an article gets a lot of hits doesn’t mean it is particularly helpful. For example, many articles offer generic troubleshooting steps for common issues, so they come up high in search results, but they may not provide a complete solution to your problem. Also keep in mind that this report shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a list of the most common Directory Services issues. There are KB articles that customers use all the time to fix themselves without ever calling support. This list only shows articles that were used when someone called Microsoft product support.

Depending on how you slice it, we support about 30 different Windows components in the Directory Services specialty. But to give you a general idea of the types of articles that are included in the report, here is a more concise list of what technologies we support.

•    Active Directory
•    Authentication
•    Authorization
•    File Replication Service
•    DFS Namespaces
•    DFS Replication
•    Public Key Infrastructure
•    User Profiles
•    Terminal Server Licensing
•    Windows Time Service

Because most issues with those components are dependent on healthy network connectivity, the list includes some articles that deal with network issues that will impact Directory Services components. KB 936594 about the TCP offload features introduced in Windows Server 2003 SP2 is a good example of that. And since Active Directory is heavily dependent on DNS, there are some DNS-related articles listed as well.

Hopefully that puts it in the proper context. Here are the top 50 KB articles used to solve issues in Directory Services support during the first quarter of Microsoft fiscal year 2008 (July 2007 through September 2007).

Number

Title

216498

How to remove data in Active Directory after an unsuccessful domain controller demotion

822134

The function of Terminal Server CALs in Windows Server 2003

823313

Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server licensing issues and requirements for deployment

917385

Error message when you run the Active Directory Installation Wizard: “The version of the Active Directory schema of the source forest is not compatible with the version of Active Directory on this computer”

290762

Using the BurFlags registry key to reinitialize File Replication Service replica sets

279561

How to override the license server discovery process in Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services

255504

Using Ntdsutil.exe to transfer or seize FSMO roles to a domain controller

273566

How to rebuild Windows 2000 and 2003 Terminal Services Licensing database

936594

You may experience network-related problems after you install Windows Server 2003 SP2 or the Scalable Networking Pack on a Windows Small Business Server 2003-based computer

258062

“Directory Services cannot start” error message when you start your Windows-based or SBS-based domain controller

315457

How to rebuild the SYSVOL tree and its content in a domain

325869

How to activate a License Server by using Terminal Server Licensing in Windows Server 2003

840001

How to restore deleted user accounts and their group memberships in Active Directory

244474

How to force Kerberos to use TCP instead of UDP in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, and in Windows 2000

816042

How to configure an authoritative time server in Windows Server 2003

332199

Domain controllers do not demote gracefully when you use the Active Directory Installation Wizard to force demotion in Windows Server 2003 and in Windows 2000 Server

325379

How to upgrade Windows 2000 domain controllers to Windows Server 2003

887303

Applying Group Policy causes Userenv errors and events to occur on your computers that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000

919151

You cannot deploy a Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 Edition-based domain controller in a Windows Server 2003 forest

842804