"Network Location Cannot be Reached" Error Message When You Try to Join a Domain

This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.


When you try to join a Windows 2000-based client computer to a Windows 2000 domain by using the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the domain, you may receive one of the following error messages after you type the name and password of an account with permissions to join the domain:
Network Identification

The following error occurred attempting to join domain "example.com":
The network location cannot be reached. For information about network troubleshooting, see Windows Help.
Network path not found.
When you try to join the domain by using the NetBIOS domain name, you are successful.


This issue may occur if the TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service is not running on the client computer.


To resolve this issue, start the TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service, and then join the domain. To start the NetBIOS Helper Service, follow these steps:
  1. Log on to the client computer by using an account that has administrator permissions.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type services.msc in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. In the list of services, double-click TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service.
  4. In the Startup type list, click
    Automatic, and then click Apply.
  5. Under Service status, click
    Start to start the TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service.
  6. When the service is started, click OK, and then quit the Services snap-in.

Article ID: 329866 - Last Review: Dec 16, 2009 - Revision: 1