Mark's Windows Server Blog

Snippets of Windows Server information from Mark Wilson

The Windows runas command and the /netonly switch

Earlier today I needed to administer a Windows Server remotely, using a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. Unfortunately, the computer I was using was in one domain and the remote server was in a workgroup, meaning that many of the MMC operations failed due to security issues. I tried running MMC as the administrator for the remote machine (using runas /user:remotecomputername\username mmc) but kept on getting a message that indicated an authentication failure:  

RUNAS ERROR: Unable to run - mmc 1311: There are currently no logon servers available to service the logon request.

Then I found out about an obscure switch for the runas command - /netonly, used to indicate that the supplied credentials are for remote access only. By changing my command to:

runas /netonly /user:remotecomputername\username mmc

I was able to authenticate against the remote computer without needing the credentials to also be valid on the local computer, as described by Craig Andera.