Error: "Unable to create service user account . . ." or ". . . Configuration Server. Unable to log on. . ." during Ghost installation

Article:TECH107377  |  Created: 2000-01-14  |  Updated: 2012-06-14  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution



During the Ghost installation, you see the following messages:

"Unable to create the service user account. Until an appropriate account is created for the configuration service to use, domain membership operations will not be able to be performed."

"Error: Symantec Ghost Configuration Server. Unable to log on the Configuration Server's private user account, which is required in order for the configuration server to perform cloning and domain membership operations"

The installation completes after displaying these messages. When you attempt to open Ghost Enterprise Console after installation, you see a message similar to:

"Unable to log on to Symantec configuration server."

You installed Ghost onto a Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 computer.



Ghost 6.5 console service user account install installation, service account unable to logon to symantec configuration server cannot logon to symantec configuration server cannot login to symantec configuration server unable to login to symantec configuration server, service user account ngserver.exe ngserver


This problem happens most commonly in any one of the following situations:

  • Ghost is installed and used without sufficient permissions.
  • When using Symantec Ghost 6.50 Enterprise Edition, the computer is running Windows 2000 and is using Active Directory in Native Mode instead of in Mixed Mode.
  • The Ghost Server is installed on a different computer than the domain controller, and the network connection between the two computers is not functioning.


  • Sometimes the problem happens even though none of the above situations appear to apply; the permissions appear to be sufficient, Active Directory is set to Mixed Mode, and the Ghost Server is installed on the domain controller. In this case, the problem was resolved in the 6.51 update to Ghost 6.5. For instructions on downloading and installing the update, see the document How to run LiveUpdate. Because the 6.51 update file is very large, about 20 MB, you might prefer to purchase a CD that already has the update. For information on obtaining replacement CDs, contact Customer Service at
  • If the problem happens on a Windows NT computer that is running Service Pack 6a, and you see the message "Cannot start Ghost service account" in addition to the other messages, you might be able to fix the problem with one of the following methods:

For a successful installation, Ghost requires that the user be logged onto the computer using the Domain Administrator account.

    • If you are not logged in to the computer as the Domain Administrator, log out and log back in as the Domain Administrator, and then reinstall Ghost.
    • If you removed some of the access rights from the Domain Administrator's account, restore the default permissions to the Domain Administrator account and then install Ghost.

In addition, Ghost Enterprise Console can add cloned computers to the domain only when the user (who is running Ghost Console) is logged on with the Domain Administrator account, with the Domain Administrator's default permissions.

NOTE: If installing the Ghost Server on a workstation, Ghost requires that you also be a member of the local Administrators security group, and have the full permissions of that group.

Active Directory and Symantec Ghost 6.50
This problem also occurs when you install Symantec Ghost 6.50 Enterprise Edition to a Windows 2000 computer, and the computer is using the Native Mode of Active Directory instead of the Mixed Mode. Ghost 6.50 requires that Active Directory be in Mixed Mode. The Windows 2000 Active Directory installation defaults to Mixed Mode.

NOTE: If you chose to install Active Directory in Native Mode, or to convert Active Directory from Mixed Mode to Native Mode, you cannot convert it back to Mixed Mode. See Microsoft's article number Q186153 Modes Supported by Windows 2000 Domain Controllers in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

This problem does not affect Symantec Ghost 6.51, Symantec Ghost 7.0, and Symantec Ghost 7.5. These Ghost versions can be installed to a Windows 2000 computer that is using either Native Mode or Mixed Mode.

How to find out whether Active Directory is using Mixed Mode or Native Mode:

During Active Directory installation
During Active Directory installation, Windows prompts for whether the environment will use Windows NT computers in addition to Windows 2000 computers. If the network uses both Windows NT and Windows 2000 computers, Active Directory is installed in Mixed Mode. If the network uses only Windows 2000 computers, Active Directory is installed in Native Mode. If you do not answer the question, Active Directory defaults to Mixed Mode.

After Active Directory installation
To find out whether Active Directory is using Mixed Mode or Native Mode, look at the General tab under "Active Directory Domains and Trusts." For more information, consult the Windows 2000 Help files.

Domain controller
If the Ghost server computer and the domain controller are different computers, use the Ping command at a DOS command prompt to verify that the Ghost server computer and the domain controller are accessible to each other on the network. If they are not, then check the following:

  • Verify that the network cable is plugged in at each computer.
  • If the Ghost server computer runs Windows 2000, verify in the Windows 2000 Device Manager that the network card is not disabled.

Other causes and solutions

  • This problem sometimes occurs when you install the Ghost server software twice (during installation, the Ghost server software is referred to as the Ghost Console installation type), once with Domain Administrator permissions and once with local Administrator permissions. To resolve the problem, remove the NGServer user account from the local Administrators security group.
  • This problem is sometimes related to ODBC problems. If you see a message similar to "Cannot create service user account . . ." or messages regarding ODBC, update the ODBC drivers and reinstall Ghost. See the document ODBC errors while installing Ghost Server, running Ghost Enterprise Console, or running an ODBC application.
  • This problem sometimes happens when other programs interfere with the Ghost installation. To resolve the problem:
    1. Move all programs in the Startup folder to a new folder.
    2. Restart the computer.
    3. If running Windows NT or Windows 2000, stop any unnecessary services.
    4. Install Ghost.
    5. Move the programs back to the Startup folder.
    6. Restart the computer. Restarting the computer restarts the services that you stopped.

Related information
Error: "Unable to create configuration server object" when launching Ghost Console


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