Use PowerShell to Determine the NetBIOS domain name given a specific ADUser

I was writing a script to synchronise AD users to Umbraco using the ActiveDirectory PowerShell snapin today, and I came across a scenario that’s not covered by the properties returned by Get-ADUser.

I had this specific requirement:

Determine the NetBIOS domain name given an AD User object

This is distinct to getting the current domain for the logged-in user, which is a piece of cake:


I was iterating through a list of users from Get-ADUser, and needed to know the NetBIOS domain name for each user.

Given the $user variable already exists – for example by doing this:

$user = Get-ADUser -Filter * -ResultSetSize 1

Running the below command will return the NetBIOS name for that user:

(Get-ADDomain (($user.DistinguishedName.Split(",") | ? {$_ -like "DC=*"}) -join ",")).NetBIOSName

I love how you can achieve multi-step procedures in little one-liners like this.

Breaking it down

Split the User DN into an array

# DistinguishedName : CN=Joe Bloggs,OU=Users,OU=Sydney,DC=contoso,DC=com


# Becomes:
# CN=Joe Bloggs
# OU=Users
# OU=Sydney
# DC=contoso
# DC=com

Pipe the array to Where-Object (alias: ?) and select only the non-user-parts of the distinguished name

| ? {$_ -like "DC=*"}

# Results in:
# DC=contoso
# DC=com

Join the resulting array back up into a domain distinguished name

-join ","

# Results in:
# DC=contoso,DC=com

Grab the NetBIOSName property returned by Get-ADDomain

(Get-ADDomain <the above code>).NetBIOSName

# Returns:

3 thoughts on “Use PowerShell to Determine the NetBIOS domain name given a specific ADUser

  1. Pingback: Rilevare SamAccountName via Powershell + pre-Windows 2000 Netbios – - Tutto quello che c'è da Sapere sul mondo Server

  2. This is useful (why cannot NETBIOS domain be part of the user object properties??), but if you are not in the same domain as the account object, even if the domain is in your forest, Get-ADDomain cannot use the Distinguishedname format “DC=contoso,DC=com” as the identity parameter.

    But the DNS format for the domain works, so you can join with dots and replace the DC= part to do:

    (Get-ADDomain (($user.DistinguishedName.Split(“,”) | ? {$_ -like “DC=*”}) -join “.” -replace “DC=”,””)).NetBiosName

    which would provide a DNS-domain string like or, and Get-ADDomain accordingly returns the NetBiosName of any AD domain that DNS resolves for.


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