Where is an AD Account Lockout Occurring?

How often do you hear “my account keeps getting locked out” followed by “I’m not typing my password wrong”?

I’ve found the easiest and quickest way to determine where the account lockout occurred is to query the PDC Emulator with Powershell. You may require a domain admin to do this.

# Get PDC Emulator from the domain
$pdcEmulator = (Get-ADDomainController -Filter * | ? {$_.OperationMasterRoles -contains "PDCEmulator"}).hostname

# Run command against PDC Emulator
$lockouts = Invoke-Command -Credential (Get-Credential "DOMAIN\AdminAccount") -ComputerName $pdcEmulator -ScriptBlock
{
    # Filter on event id 4740 for the past 24 hours
    Get-WinEvent -FilterHashtable @{logname='security'; id=4740; StartTime=(Get-Date).AddHours(-24)} | select timecreated, @{N='who';E={$_.properties[0].value }}, @{N='where';E={$_.properties[1].value }}
}

# Search results for the user
$lockouts | ? {$_.who -eq "User.Locking" } | select timecreated, who, where | ft -auto
TimeCreated             who               where            
-----------             ---               -----            
5/07/2016 1:34:12 PM    User.Locking      computerName
5/07/2016 12:34:12 PM   User.Locking      computerName
5/07/2016 10:46:47 AM   User.Locking      UAGserver
5/07/2016 10:01:56 AM   User.Locking      CASserver

Depending on your environment, if you are seeing lockouts occurring on a workstation, it will generally be typing a password wrong or saved credentials somewhere. If you are seeing them at a UAG or CAS server, investigate their activesync devices.

Get-ActiveSyncDevice -mailbox 'User.Locking' | ft guid, friendlyname, devicetype, whencreated -AutoSize
Guid                     FriendlyName                 DeviceType    WhenCreated           
----                     ------------                 ----------    -----------           
28236d04-478a-433a-9af6  Outlook for iOS and Android  Outlook       15/06/2016 12:24:14 PM
4abe3b7c-cba3-45db-ade2  computerName                 WindowsMail   2/12/2015 4:19:10 PM

If you need to remove these ActiveSync devices:

$devices = Get-ActiveSyncDevice -mailbox 'User.Locking'

$devices | % { Remove-ActiveSyncDevice -Identity $_.identity }

If you get an error like “An unexpected error has occurred and a Watson dump is being generated: Object reference not set to an instance” then set this before running remove:

Set-ADServerSettings -ViewEntireForest $true
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