Windows cannot complete the password change error 0x800708c5


A client called saying that she believed that someone has access her computer and changed her password as she was unable to log in. As a precaution we attempted to reset the password, but when trying to do so from within Active Directory Users & Computers it returned the error "Windows cannot complete the password change error 0x800708c5".

Restarting AD services didn't help, and restarting the server wasn't an option during business hours. There was no evidence of her account being logged into locally or via other services (OWA, OMA, RWW etc) or failed attempts.

Searches for the error didn't return anything with the specific scenario we were experiencing, but Microsoft's "Help" section of their website suggested that I disable the minimum change time  and maximum expiry time, in group policy editor, and turn off any complexity settings. On a hunch, i tried resetting the password to be a far more complex version of the password.

It worked...

What i believe has happened here is that when we changed the password requirements for this client some time ago, this particular user never changed their password, and over the weekend it possibly expired. The error message generated by Windows however was completely unhelpful. I don't however know why it didn't generate the same error as previously seen: "Unable to reset this user's password - Does not meet the Complexity requirements" which tells you immediately what the issue is.


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