“Windows cannot complete the password change”

This week I was helping a customer which was unable to change user password in Active Directory.
They had 2 domain controllers running Windows Server 2003.

When trying to change a user password in Active Directory Users and Computers they received an error message stating “Windows cannot complete the password change for %user% because: The network path was not found”. This occured when logging on to both domain controllers. They also had a backup administrator-account which we tried, and the error also occured there. We started to run some basic tests like dcdiag and netdiag to check that basic domain health were ok. Afterwards I ran a RSOP for the current user to have a look at the applied domain policies. It turned out that an admin had been changing folder redirection policies, and there was an invalid network path in these. It also were set at a level which affected all domain admin accounts, thats why it didnt matter which account who logged on trying to change password.

The folder redirection GPO were disabled, and we ran gpupdate on both domain controllers and logged off and back on. Same error message occured.
I then had a look at the shell folder path in the registry, at this registry path: image

The value for AppData were invalid:

image

This resulted in this error message:

image

If set to a local path like this…:

image

..the error message is different:

image

I then sat the value for AppData to the default value:

image

Afterwards the error was resolved, and changing user passwords from ADUC were successful.