Troubleshooting Hybrid Azure AD Join

Troubleshooting Hybrid Azure AD Join

Hybrid Azure AD Join and Conditional Access

One of the cool features of Azure AD Conditional Access Policies is being able to require that machines be domain joined, essentially locking down your access to corporate devices only, and preventing non-managed or non-trusted devices from being able to access your business data. You can see from the screenshot below, that there is a fair amount of flexibility involved: for instance, you could select multiple options like I’ve done below, and your users will be prompted for MFA, but only if their device is not domain joined. If the device is domain joined, the user doesn’t get prompted for MFA when accessing the cloud application you’ve specified.

Even better, if you add the option to require device to be marked as compliant, your user will only get prompted for MFA until they register their device in Azure AD / Intune, at which point their device will be considered trusted, and they’ll no longer be prompted for MFA. Cool, right?

Anyway, we’re here to talk about the third requirement – Hybrid Azure AD join. This is a great option for enforcing corporate compliance, as it requires a device to be joined both to your Active Directory on prem, as well as Azure AD. Note that simply taking a BYOD device and joining it to Azure AD does not fit this requirement – it has to be joined in both places in order for it to be considered hybrid AD joined. If you’re shooting for a more self-service option, this is not it – typically only admins can join a workstation to AD, so your end users will not be able to set themselves up and become a trusted device on their own. However, if you’re trying to lock down your environment and prevent personal devices from connecting to your corporate data, this is the option for you!

Setting up Hybrid Azure AD is actually pretty straightforward – I won’t get into the details, go give it a read if you haven’t seen it yet. However, what happens when you have some devices that are not joining Azure AD automatically? The happened to me recently while working on a deployment project, and here’s what it took to fix it – at least in my case…

What happens when devices don’t join?

Troubleshooting this one was difficult as first, as we couldn’t find a pattern of what was causing some machines to fail, and we weren’t finding any error messages that were very helpful in tracking down the root cause. Windows 10 is also challenging, because the hybrid AD join happens automatically – at least with Windows 7 devices, there’s an executable that gets deployed, and allows you a bit more flexibility on forcing the join and troubleshooting why it’s not happening. I discovered later that Windows 10 also has this ability, just done a bit differently – more on that in a bit.

At any rate, after doing a bit of digging, I was able to find the error messages showing why my machines weren’t joining. If you’re looking on the client machine, you’ll find these events in Event Viewer – expand the Applications and Services Logs, click on Microsoft, Windows, User Device Registration, and then Admin.

If your device isn’t joining, you’re more than likely going to find Event ID 304 and Event ID 305, which are remarkably unhelpful:

I mean, seriously – I ALREADY KNOW that they’re failing at the join phase!

I spent a fair amount of time troubleshooting everything I could find – Windows version (get all the updates done), latest version of AAD Connect, checked for updates to ADFS, troubleshooting my claims rules, recreating them, etc.

The suggestions in this post where helpful, but something was still missing. Particularly useful though, was this little tidbit of information: You can run the dsregcmd utility in Windows 10 with a number of different switches to report back on device join information (dsregcmd /status), and you can even use this same utility to force an immediate Azure AD join attempt, and spit out the results to a text file to help you with your troubleshooting. Note that dsregcmd needs to run as System, so you’ll need psExec to get your commands running in the correct context.

psexec -i -s cmd.exe

dsregcmd /debug > c:\users\username\desktop\workstationJoin.txt

You can crack that text file open and start looking through it to see if you can find your answer. Sadly, though, all the digging I was doing wasn’t getting me anywhere, so I opened up a Premier support ticket to see if Microsoft could shed some light on my problem here. In all honesty, this is one of the few times when I’ve opened a Microsoft support ticket and got the answer to my problem quickly – so kudos to them this time around!

Anyway, you’re here to find out what the answer was, and here it is: I had two ADFS claims rules that supplied the immutable ID claim, and they were conflicting with each other.

Here’s what happened… when ADFS was originally deployed (not by me), the

This rule was created automatically because the –SupportsMultipleDomains switch was used. This is the recommended approach to federation, as it allows you to easily add federated domains down the line – however, it creates an additional rule that was causing me problems.

This is the rule that was created:

c:[Type == ““]

=> issue(Type = ““, Value = regexreplace(c.Value, “.+@(?<domain>.+)”, “http://${domain}/adfs/services/trust/“));

And then this is the rule that gets created when you are supporting multiple domains for device registration:

As you can see, the rule is a bit different, and this second rule contains the accounttype = “user” claim as well.

Basically, device registration won’t work with both those rules in place, and the second one is the only one you need. It also wouldn’t work with just the first rule in place (which is how I had set it up originally). When I configured my hybrid Azure AD, I set it up without the multiple domain support, because I didn’t realize that it had been set up that way in the beginning. Since the rule is missing the account type claim as well as the UPN (c1 && c2 above), the claims rule won’t allow device registration to work properly in a multi-domain environment. As you’d expect, I went back and added the claims rules for multiple domain support as part of my troubleshooting, but that still won’t resolve the issue when you still have the first claims rule in place. Thankfully, the solution was easy – delete the original claims rule, and keep only the second (the claims rule that supports device registration), and your devices will start to register.

TL;DR… give me the short version!

If you’re following these instructions to set up hybrid Azure AD, you’ll more than likely use the script to set up the claims rules – highly recommended, it works well. Just make sure to check beforehand if your federation was set up to support multiple domains so that you can configure your claims rules appropriately.

You can find out if your federation supports multiple domains by running the Get-MsolFederationProperty -DomainName – if the Federation Service Identifier is different between the ADFS Server and the Office 365 Service (screenshot below), then your federation is set up to support multiple domains. If they’re both the same, then you’re configured to only support a single domain.

If your federation supports multiple domains, make sure to provision the correct rules using the script Microsoft provides, and delete your original claims rule – otherwise things won’t work properly afterwards.

After this was done, my workstations started joining Azure AD correctly on next reboot, and my pages and pages of error messages started going away. Good times were had by all!

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