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Preparing for the End of Windows Server 2003

It’s a little embarrassing, or maybe I should say lucky, that somehow I hadn’t the need to review the changes to the dynamic port range assignments. I say it that way because the range wasn’t something that recently changed. By recent, let’s call it 2012. No, in fact, it goes back to 2008. Microsoft changed the dynamic port range to comply with IANA recommendations effectively moving the range:












The troubles you’ll find with this kind of change usually won’t present itself until you try to restrict it somehow. This issue was noticed when domain controllers were upgraded to 2012. The version previous was 2003. :-|

The kinds of issues witnessed appeared all over the place, compounded with confusion since the issues weren’t well captured or documented during troubleshooting. Here’s what was seen along with the corresponding error messages:

  • Failure to connect to a share
    • Windows cannot access <share>
    • The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed
  • Failure to test secure channel
    • Access Denied
  • Failure to join a domain
    • The join operation was not successful. This could be because an existing computer account having name <myComputer> was previously created using a different set of credentials. Use a different computer name, or contact your administrator to remove any stale conflicting account. The error was: Access is denied.

Notably, netlogon.log would also show errors suggesting problems during the domain join such as:

10/03/2014 02:00:52:695 SamOpenUser on 564842 failed with 0xc0000022
10/03/2014 02:00:52:695 NetpManageMachineAccountWithSid: status of attempting to set password on <myDomainController> for <myComputer>: 0x5
10/03/2014 02:00:52:695 NetpJoinDomain: status of creating account: 0x5
10/03/2014 02:00:52:695 NetpJoinDomain: initiaing a rollback due to earlier errors



Sometimes the quickest way to resolution is what some people assume to be the hardest. It’s important to get trace packets from both hosts at the same time. After that, the other trick is to read it. :o)

In this dump, you’ll see where EPM (endpoint mapper) negotiates to port 50445. After that, all hell breaks loose. Just kidding. In reality, you simply won’t see any of those packets reaching the destination port since the environment was configured to respect the old dynamic port range. (Never mind the IPs. I’m protecting the innocent.)

4846    4:12:03 AM 10/3/2014    62.5715595      svchost.exe   <myDomainController>  EPM     EPM:Request: ept_map: NDR, DRSR(DRSR) {E3514235-4B06-11D1-AB04-00C04FC2DCD2} v4.0, RPC v5, (0x87) [DCE endpoint resolution(135)]    {MSRPC:857, TCP:856, IPv4:130}
4847    4:12:03 AM 10/3/2014    62.5721299      svchost.exe     <myDomainController>   EPM     EPM:Response: ept_map: NDR, DRSR(DRSR) {E3514235-4B06-11D1-AB04-00C04FC2DCD2} v4.0, RPC v5, (0xC50D) [50445]  {MSRPC:857, TCP:856, IPv4:130}
4848    4:12:03 AM 10/3/2014    62.5944302      svchost.exe   <myDomainController>  TCP     TCP:Flags=......S., SrcPort=65207, DstPort=50445, PayloadLen=0, Seq=3334272165, Ack=0, Win=8192 ( Negotiating scale factor 0x8 ) = 8192 {TCP:858, IPv4:130}
5010    4:12:06 AM 10/3/2014    65.5937718      svchost.exe   <myDomainController>  TCP     TCP:[SynReTransmit #4848]Flags=......S., SrcPort=65207, DstPort=50445, PayloadLen=0, Seq=3334272165, Ack=0, Win=8192 ( Negotiating scale factor 0x8 ) = 8192    {TCP:858, IPv4:130}
5380    4:12:12 AM 10/3/2014    71.5937519      svchost.exe   <myDomainController>  TCP     TCP:[SynReTransmit #4848]Flags=......S., SrcPort=65207, DstPort=50445, PayloadLen=0, Seq=3334272165, Ack=0, Win=8192 ( Negotiating scale factor 0x8 ) = 8192    {TCP:858, IPv4:130}

A quick, client-side port query would confirm that in fact, it cannot do anything over that port.



In short, prepare for your transition away from 2003. I know many of you (myself included) still have things running on 2003. This is one you should look for and remediate wherever possible. Here’s a link to the article describing the default dynamic port range changes:

The default dynamic port range for TCP/IP has changed in Windows Vista and in Windows Server 2008

By the way, did you know you can run a packet trace from netsh? Oh yes, you can. Here’s a link to my blog post: Using netsh to Capture Packets


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