I’m not a fan of binding Macs to an Active Directory, as it offers very few benefits and opens the door to countless potential problems… but it can be made to work on Macs running Snow Leopard and Lion, if the mobile account option is turned on.

Mountain Lion appears to be a different story, at least with OS X 10.8.2. A lot of posts have been made to different user forums describing problems with joining Mountain Lion to AD. Neil McDougall, a Senior Systems Engineer at All Covered, recently sent this note to the Mac support team: “Binding to AD in Mountain Lion doesn’t work so well. It will bind, but the mobile account that is created might subsequently not be able to login at all, or might get disassociated from the binding. i.e.; the Mac is still bound, but the mobile account acts just like a local account. Passwords can’t be changed, servers need to be authenticated etc etc.”

When these AD problems occur, the error “Connection with distorted server was invalidated” is written to the system.log file. It has also been discovered that if a user types in their password incorrectly while at the Login Window, every other login attempt with the correct password may fail, causing the AD account to be locked.

Until further notice, I am recommending that we not bind Macs running Mountain Lion to Active Directory.