Active Directory: Unable to add user or Change password

This morning I went to create a new user account for someone that started today (uber-last minute request). I log on to the Exchange server (exch 2003- so this is the only place that the exch tools are installed) and try to create the account- only to receive the following error:

Active Directory – An error occurred. Contact your system administrator.

Wow, that was helpful- thanks for that…I AM the administrator. I then proceed to scour the event logs on the exchange server and all DCs…nothing out of the ordinary. At all. Can I create the account on another DC (or locally) and then add a mailbox later? The account create works fine on another DC and my workstation, but when I go back to exchange and try to add a mailbox, the only exchange task available is ‘Remove exchange attributes’.

Looking at where the error was happening – right when I tried to choose ‘Next’ after entering a password, I tried to change a password on a disabled account (from the exchange server) and was greeted with another, excessively helpful error message:

Active Directory – Windows cannot complete the password change for %Username% because: The network path was not found

At that point, I remembered having been working with the Folder Redirect GPOs last week, and I may have linked one to the admin-user OU to test. When I looked, the GPO was not linked- and the GPResult on the exchange server did not show it either. Did I log on to the exchange server when the GPO was linked? Finally, I checked the user shell locations-

HKCU > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > User Shell Folders

Only to find that on the exchange server, my admin account had pulled the GPO for the AppData folder, and even though it was removed, UserShellFolder location for AppData was still showing the old, and invalid location. As soon as I pointed AppData back to the correct – local – location, everything worked perfectly.

4 thoughts on “Active Directory: Unable to add user or Change password”

  1. In my case the AppData key didn't even exist. I thought, "What the hell, I'll give it a shot"… created it, added the path to the folder as the value, closed regedit, and lo and behold, I was immediately able to create my AD accounts! Thanks!

  2. This is great!!!!!!!! I want to say thanks to everybody here and mostly to the one that provide solution for the above error message…


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