Troubleshooting a Problem that Occurs When Using ADSI Edit to Delete Certain Objects

When I attempt to use the ADSI Edit tool to delete an object, I receive an error message that the object doesn't exist. Do you know what's causing the problem?

I recently had this problem with a Group Policy Object (GPO) that I couldn't delete. The object showed up in the ADSI Edit tool, but I couldn't delete it. I received the error message The specified directory service attribute or value does not exist. To resolve the problem, you need to take ownership of the object via the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Start the MMC Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in (Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, Active Directory Users and Computers).
  2. Ensure that Advanced Features is selected in the View menu.
  3. Open ADSI Edit and navigate to the object that's giving the error message. Right-click the object, and select Properties.
  4. Select the Security tab.
  5. Click Advanced.
  6. Select the Owner tab.
  7. Under Change Owner to, select the Administrators group or select a user (the user you are logged on as), then click OK.
  8. In the Security dialog, assign Full Control to the account you're using.
  9. Click OK.

You should now be able to delete the object in question.

—John Savill

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