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Tough windows DNS problem

Tough windows DNS problem

Tough windows DNS problem

Hi all

Heres my problem and its got me nearly beat:

I have a network with client PCs running mixture of NT4 & W2K which have preferred DNS server set to the IP of the DNS server at our ISP for internet name resolution, the alternate DNS server is set to an internal DNS server which handles any intranet name resolution.

Heres my problem:

On a W2K box I cannot resolve names for the internal network using DNS but I can on an NT4 box???

What is different about the process the two OSs use which fails the lookup on W2K but not on NT4 - Is it something the ISP could have changed? When I first noticed on a W2K box I thought that it could be the ISPs DNS not replying correctly to my request so the Alternate servers were not being consulted but then tested on NT4 and it worked fine with the alternate DNS server answering my query.

Many thanks in advance - any ideas would be appreciated


RE: Tough windows DNS problem

Ok, I'm no windows expert but you have to understand that a DNS server's answer is final. If your ISP's DNS says it doesn't know an internal PC, then your client won't ask another one. The second DNS listed if only in case the primary doesn't answer.

If your NTs can resolv local names it,s probably because they're using a local wins server?? (here's my windows ignorance showing!!)


Henrik Morsing
Certified AIX 4.3 Systems Administration
& p690 Technical Support

RE: Tough windows DNS problem

Thanks Henrik

WINS is available on the network but the Hosts I am trying to resolve for testing are definately NOT registered with WINS and are not reachable through broadcast - there are no Hosts or LMHosts files being used so the NT4 box has to be using DNS to resolve these hosts.

It would be simple if the NT4 boxes failed too then I would completely agree with you.


RE: Tough windows DNS problem

Why not just point your Internal clients to your Internal DNS server and on the DNS server itself, use forwarders to the Internet?  

That way your Internal DNS server will resolve all local inquirers and only those non local requests will be forwarded on for resolution....

Just a thought,


RE: Tough windows DNS problem

Patty is correct.  The way I've got my network setup is all internal clients look at our internal dns.  The servers have the themselves and the isp's dns.  That way, a user looks at the internal dns table first, and if it's not there, the servers go to the isp for name resolution.   Once it's got that, the next time a internal request comes out, it's in the internals dns table.  Good luck.

Glen A. Johnson
Johnson Computer Consulting

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RE: Tough windows DNS problem

Patty & Glen

Thanks for the advice - this is something I will definately look at implementing.  I found some reading which confirms that Windows 2000 clients behave exactly like Henrik said but I would still be interested to know what the difference is in the way NT4 handles its lookups.

Thanks again


RE: Tough windows DNS problem

You can fix the problem by pointing all the clients at the local 2K DNS Server (Like said above)

And you do not need to enable Forwarders! (unless you want to use specific DNS servers) the 2K DNS server will resolve them on it’s own.

Make sure that your DNS Server does not think it is the “root” DNS Server
To check this open DNS management MMC and open your forward lookup zone folder

If you have a  “ . “ Zone Listed you need to remove this or your internet requests will never be answered
Go to the DNS Server (your server name )right-click properties on the root hints tab
There should be a list of servers
If this is not present then your DNS is not setup properly
Look up DNS on technet

With NT4 Around and any other legacy OS’s I would keep WINS around but if you are in a full 2K environment it’s not needed.

My thoughts on the resolution processes
As far as I know NT4 will lookup WINS before DNS, NT4 Was a pre-LOCAL DNS Era OS. so, WINS was the primary system for resolution.

You can enable DNS server to send unknown request to wins in the DNS server Zone Properties

Brock D. Mowry
Hardware Specialist

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