How to Fix Trust Relationship Between This Workstation and the Primary Domain Failed?

Imagine you’re logging into your computer, ready to dive into work or play, only to be met with a frustrating error message: “The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed”.

It’s a common hiccup for those navigating the intricate world of IT, but fear not! In this article, we’ll break down this problem and provide step-by-step solutions for resolving it.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get your computer back on good terms with the domain.

Understanding Trust Relationship

Before we dive into the solutions, it’s crucial to understand what the “trust relationship” is all about. Essentially, it’s a secure connection between your computer (workstation) and the primary domain controller (PDC). This trust allows your computer to authenticate users and manage access permissions. When this trust is broken, you’re left locked out and frustrated.

Why do Trust Relationships fail?

There are three basic reasons behind the failure of Trust Relationships:

  • Password Mismatch
  • Machine Account Issues
  • Security Token Failures

Resolving Trust Relationship Issues

Now that we’ve got the basics down, let’s explore how to fix this error and regain trust.

Reason 1: Password Mismatch

When the computer’s machine account password doesn’t match the one stored on the domain, the trust relationship breaks. Here’s how to resolve it:

Step 1: Boot into Safe Mode

Reboot your computer into Safe Mode by pressing F8 during startup.

Step 2: Reset the Machine Account Password

Use the Netdom command to reset the machine account password.

Reason 2: Machine Account Issues

If the machine account itself is corrupted or experiencing issues, you’ll need to address this head-on.

Step 1: Disconnect from the Domain

Unjoin your computer from the domain temporarily.

Step 2: Rejoin the Domain

Reconnect your computer to the domain by providing proper credentials.

Reason 3: Security Token Failures

Sometimes, security tokens can cause trust relationship problems. Here’s how to tackle this:

Step 1: Clear Cached Credentials

Clear any cached credentials on the computer.

Step 2: Verify Group Membership

Ensure your computer is part of the correct security groups.

Preventing Future Trust Relationship Issues

Once you’ve resolved the current problem, it’s essential to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Regular Password Updates

To avoid password mismatches, make sure your computer’s machine account password gets updated regularly. So, you need to set up a scheduled task for this purpose.

Backup Your Machine Account

Regular backups of your machine account are like insurance for trust relationships. Keep these backups handy in case issues arise.

In Conclusion

In the world of IT, “The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed” is a familiar foe. However, with the right knowledge and steps, you can overcome this error. Remember, trust is a delicate thing, whether in real life or between your computer and the domain.

Just as trust can be rebuilt, so can the trust relationship between your workstation and the primary domain controller. Now, that you’re equipped with solutions and preventive measures, go ahead and restore that trust. Moreover, your computer and the domain controller will thank you!


1. What causes the trust relationship between a workstation and a primary domain to fail?

The most common causes are password mismatches, machine account issues, and security token failures.

2. Can I prevent trust relationship problems in the future?

Yes, regular password updates and keeping backups of your machine account can help prevent future issues.

3. What is the role of a primary domain controller?

The primary domain controller manages user authentication, access permissions, and the overall security of the domain.

4. Can I fix trust relationship issues without administrator rights?

Resolving trust relationship issues typically requires administrator privileges, as you’ll need to reset passwords and perform domain-related tasks.

5. How can I identify the specific cause of a trust relationship failure?

Event logs on your computer can provide detailed information about the cause of the failure, helping you pinpoint the issue more accurately.