Macbooks fall of AD domain


During the school year, we have teacher MacBooks that fall of the domain, so we have to manually go to the teacher unbind it and join them again, has anyone found a fix for this?


Valued Contributor

I do not have a solution for your issue, but we experienced the same issues. If you are able to, I suggest utilizing NoMAD & NoMAD Login instead of binding your Macs.

I moved all macs in my environment off of AD & moved to NoMAD & NoMAD Login. The Support Team I work with that were dealing with the bound Macs are very very happy now.

Looking for a Jamf Managed Service Provider? Look no further than Rocketman

Valued Contributor II

What are you setting your computer object password change interval to? I think the default is 14 days which can cause some issues if machines don't get used on your network for a couple of weeks. You might try something longer like 90 days.

dsconfigad -passinterval 90

Contributor II

you can try using a configuration profile also, that's what we are using now.


@jconte what do you have to config profile doing?

Contributor II

binding the Mac to AD


New Contributor III

Also check with your AD admins - they might have a policy to suspend or remove stale computer records causing this...

Honored Contributor II

Like user accounts, computer accounts in Active Directory (AD) authenticate with passwords and those passwords will expire. By default, this is every 30 days. Quite often over the summer, teacher laptops bound to AD go offline (go home) for months at a time and fail to communicate when they return to begin the next school year. Or some teachers simply don't use their laptops on the correct Wi-Fi network or at all.

Consult with your Active Directory administrators to learn what they have set for Domain member: Maximum machine account password age. Maybe they can adjust that or maybe you can encourage users to connect their Macs to your network on a periodic basis.

Contributor III

I ran into this at my last org.
On the computer assigned to me I set the interval to 0 so that the computer would pull in a new key daily as well as NoMad.
NoMad solved most of my issues where the web filter still worked fine and I was working with a local account.

There, Windows clients also sometimes run into the same problem and I suspect a replication between DCs is set for too long.

I've heard from my replacement that they ran into problems with iMac devices and had to rebind again.

Contributor III

If you are creating mobile accounts, they should be able to log back into their machines even when it's not bound to AD anymore. If it's still communicating with your JamfPro, Create a smart group "Clients not bound" with criteria "Active Directory Status" operator "is not" then the value "your.domain". Run a rebind script scoped to this smart group, ongoing, recurring check-in, update inventory.

# Rebind/Bind to AD Script

computerid=`/usr/sbin/scutil --get ComputerName`
ou="OU=Domain Computers,DC=school,DC=org"     
admingroups="District IT,District Staff,District Teachers"    

# Activate the AD plugin
defaults write /Library/Preferences/DirectoryService/DirectoryService "Active Directory" "Active"
plutil -convert xml1 /Library/Preferences/DirectoryService/DirectoryService.plist
sleep 5

#Unbinding to AD

echo "Unbinding computer from Active Directory..."
dsconfigad -f -r -u $udn -p $password

rm -f /Library/Preferences/ 2>&1

# Bind to AD
echo "Binding to Active Directory..."
dsconfigad -f -a $computerid -domain $domain -u $udn -p "$password" -ou "$ou"

# Configure advanced AD plugin options
if [ "$admingroups" = "" ]; then
    dsconfigad -nogroups
    dsconfigad -groups "$admingroups"

dsconfigad -alldomains $alldomains -localhome $localhome -protocol $protocol 
    -mobile $mobile -mobileconfirm $mobileconfirm -useuncpath $useuncpath 
    -shell $user_shell $preferred

# Restart DirectoryService (necessary to reload AD plugin activation settings)
killall DirectoryService

# Add the AD node to the search path
if [ "$alldomains" = "enable" ]; then
    csp="/Active Directory/All Domains"
    csp="/Active Directory/$domain"
   exit 0
echo "Killing DirectoryService daemon..."
killall opendirectoryd

if [ "_${SUCCESS}" = "_YES" ]
  echo "Finished."
  exit 1

I haven't tested this on Catalina. But for binding purposes, it should work.

Contributor III

With the work from home thing going on and no guarantee that teachers will connect their systems to the campus via vpn, does anyone have the straight info on this?

Above I read someone saying to use dsconfigad -passinterval to fix it by changing the interval and then another says it needs changed on the windows server side. Back in my windows days that meant a group policy change but I've never had to look into this on the Mac side. Do Macs actually read that group policy setting and act on it in the same way?

Contributor III

@jhuls It's not GP that sets that. I don't think there is a default domain policy for setting a machine password change requirement. But machines will "drop off" if they don't contact the domain in a certain amount of time.

Setting the -passinterval to 0 will prevent the Mac from rotating it's machine password, and would need to be set before binding. It won't work if you run that after.

Contributor III

@patgmac "Domain member: Maximum machine account password age"...unless I'm mistaken that does exactly what I was referring to in terms of changing the interval via group policy. There is also one that can disable.

So, if that does what I believe it does, I'm trying to learn if it can affect Macs? I read the post above by @talkingmoose that it does affect Macs but others here, including you, are saying passinterval is the answer. The last thing I want to do is implement one and it fail or ask our application support people to make a change to a setting that would impact our Windows users when they're saying that they don't have the issue of machines dropping off the domain.

Contributor III

I don't believe I had that setting set in my domain, but it sounds like it would be what is causing the drop from the domain. What is the max age set to?

One thing I used to do (back when I used binding) was use an EA to check if the machine was still bound. Then based on that, I would re-bind when needed.

# This script will check if the AD bind is in fact, working.
# Written by Patrick Gallagher
# Updated: 01/17/2017

OSvers=$( sw_vers -productVersion | cut -d. -f2 )

nc -z ${domain} 636 > /dev/null 2>&1
if [[ $reachable = "0" ]]; then
    ## Mac is on the network, continue
    if [[ $(dsconfigad -show | awk '/Active Directory Domain/{ print $NF }') == "${domain}" ]]; then
        ADCompName=$(dsconfigad -show | awk '/Computer Account/{ print $NF }')
        ## Mac has correct dsconfigad info, continue
        if [[ "$OSvers" -ge "7"  ]]; then
            security find-generic-password -l "/Active Directory/${netbiosDomain}" | grep "Active Directory" > /dev/null 2>&1
            if [ "$?" == "0" ]; then
                ## AD keychain file exists, continue
                dscl "/Active Directory/${netbiosDomain}/All Domains" read /Computers/"${ADCompName}" | grep -i "${ADCompName}" > /dev/null 2>&1
                if [ "$?" == "0" ]; then
                    ## Successful lookup of computer record. AD communication is working
                    res="No - AD Lookup Failed"
                res="No - AD Keychain Not Found"
            res="OS too old"
        res="No - Binding Broken"
    ## Mac is not on the network or has no network connection

echo "<result>$res</result>"

Contributor III

I inquired about this with my Apple SE and he confirmed that the group policy does not influence Macs and that the passinterval setting should be adjusted.

@patgmac Thanks for the script. I'll check it out. I don't know as much about Macs relationship to AD as I'd like so at the risk of sounding like a dumb question, does that script need to be run when the Mac is connected to the network that the AD domain resides? It would be nice to have a way to detect a potential trust issue before systems return to campus so I know what to expect.

Contributor III

That's an EA, so it'll run every time the machine updates inventory. If it can't reach the domain, it'll return "Remote". If your machines won't be using VPN at all during WFH time, then this might not help much until they return.

Contributor III

Thanks. The EA part and what results to jamf I got. I wasn't sure if it was somehow detecting if there was a trust issue before reconnecting on campus or via vpn. Based on your last message it sounds like it would need to connect.

I appreciate the script. I already have it in operation and will certainly be useful.

New Contributor III

the key to keeping Macs from dropping off the domain:
1. have a system based connection to wifi, this way the laptop will have network access at the login screen - we use EAP-TLS with a computer certificate delivered by SCEP
2. dsconfigad -passinterval 0 - this sets it so the Mac never tries to change its computer object password with AD (respectively AD is set to never need a computer object password change)