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IIS 5.1 in Win XP Pro, help with DNS resolution

Posted on 2003-02-25
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Hello, I have recently used this site to solve a problem connecting to my office computer from my home computer using remote desktop connection.  I can connect no problem using only my IP address.  I have a ADSL internet connection at the office computer with a D-Link 604+ router.  I opened the port 3389 and the connection works great.  I can not however connect using my computer name.  I installed the IIS 5.1 today hoping to be able to make it a virtual FTP server and be able to connect to the default web site of my intranet and be able to download files etc.  From what I have read and so on, I should be able to put my computer or NetBios name in the address bar of IE and connect to my site.  I cannot.  I get the "this page cannot be displayed" error.  Now, when I use my IP address in my address bar, I get connected but I get the " this site is under construction" message.  That is because I guess I don't have a default web site in the main directory.  I can work on that issue later.  I put a file in the main directory and typed the path to that file after my IP address in explorer and the download dialog box opened up and allowed me to download the file to my home computer.  So as far as that goes it worked.  But, I want to be able to connect to a site in my intranet, even if its blank, and be able to browse directory's that I choose to put it and download what I want or need.  And anyone else I give the address to for that matter.  I tried to troubleshoot it and found some documention that told me if I can connect using my IP address, but cannot connect using my computer name, then I have a Name resolution problem.  I don't know if the server (which is the office computer) needs a DNS name, or if it has one but it is not enabled etc.  Can anyone help me solve this problem?  I am generous with points.... Thanks,
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Question by:meyer91
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Expert Comment

by:icedbacon
ID: 8022959
hi
i think its your computer which has a problem resolving dns. Try to put the dns your obtaining from your router then hardcode it in your computer..

hope this help
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Expert Comment

by:stevebates1
ID: 8024759
The problem is DNS. A quick and dirty approach is to put the name and the ip address of the machine you are attempting to connect to in your hosts file.

When you are on the internet your DNS is handled by your ISP that you connect to. When you are in the office it is handled by an internally running dns server or wins.

A better solution is to use a DNS providor to enable you to resolve the machine name to IP address while on the internet. This would then work from any internet machine.
The trouble is you will need to register a DNS name to do this.
If you  already have an ISP hosting your website they may be able to add the additional entries for you, or you could use one of the free dns suppliers if it is not mission critical.
http://www.zoneedit.com/
http://www.dyndns.org/

However your machines address will then appear to be machinename.dyndns.org, and this may cause conflicts when in the office.
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Author Comment

by:meyer91
ID: 8027314
Icedbacon, I have no idea what you mean.  Can you please explain or make it simpler to me?

Stevebates1, I am not sure what you mean either.  I am sorry, but this kind of stuff is rather new to me.  On those two links you supplied, can a I register a donaim name with them?  Or do I need to find a registrar to do that with.  Also, I do not have a web site at all, I am only wanting to use my machine at the office to act as a server, so I or anyone I give access to can get in and download files from it.  I talked to my ISP (SBC Yahoo DSL) and they said I need to register a donaim name with someone and they will link my name to my IP address.  Am I making any sense??  :)  I don't necessarily need it to be a web site, just a ftp server would work, as long as remote users can access the files and directories I choose to be accessed.  What should my first step be??
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Expert Comment

by:stevebates1
ID: 8032007
Ok, Sorry for the technobable.
Lets concentrate on the simple solution first.
1. open the file C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts into notepad. (NB your c:\windows may be on c:\winnt or c:\win.. )
Add a new line
n.n.n.n      mymachinename
Where n.n.n.n is the external ip address you normally key in manually.
Save the file.
now when you use mymachinename in a browser it will automatically use the ipaddress specified inthe hosts file.
Let me know if this works

Steve
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Author Comment

by:meyer91
ID: 8037130
Thanks Steve.  I did as you mentioned and then had my Mom try and connect from her house using my computer name and she got a window open up saying that the computer could not be found or to make sure you have permission to access.  Something to that effect.  I asked her to use my IP address and she got right in.  I set up a folder in the root directory with some programs in it and she was able to download what was in there to her machine.  So it is working but only with the IP address, not the computer name.  I will be standing by for more instructions :)
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Expert Comment

by:stevebates1
ID: 8040397
Did your Mom update her hosts file?
To test open a dos session and type ping mymachinename
Where mymachinename is the entry in her hosts file.
If you get replies then all is well, if not then then her hosts file is not set up properly.

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Author Comment

by:meyer91
ID: 8041135
Okay Steve, I misunderstood but corrected the problem.  I was thinking to add that line on my office machine.  I came home and did it with my machine here and it worked.  So, I can connect to my office computer now with typing in my machinename.  Just hope the IP doesn't change on me.  I guess that also means that anyone who wants to connect to my pc via ftp://mymachine has to update there hosts file?  Seems like the simple solution worked, is there a next step?? :)
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Author Comment

by:meyer91
ID: 8041177
Also, what can I do to solve the problem with my IP address changing?  I have a dynamic IP and it will change on me but never know when.  The first time it changes I won't be able to connect to it.  I have read about these services you can sign up for I guess, where it will keep track of your ip when it changes etc.  But won't I still have to update my hosts file everytime?  
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Accepted Solution

by:
stevebates1 earned 800 total points
ID: 8041488
Great,
Thanks for testing that, this means we are definately on the right track (DNS)
The next step is to get a dns name registered with a providor, and configure it so that the dns is kept in sync with the IP address when that updates.
I've heard good things about www.dyndns.org for this and their basic service is free.

1. Open an account with dyndns.
2. Add dynamic DNS to the account, pick a hostname.(eg myserver111.dyndns.org)
3. Download the dynamic update program for your operating system (http://www.dyndns.org/services/dyndns/clients.html) and install on your server.
4. Now when the ip address changes the dynamic update will update the dns entry hosted by dyndns.org and users on the internet will be able to get to your computer using the name myserver111.dyndns.org.

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Author Comment

by:meyer91
ID: 8045358
Okay Steve thanks for the comments.  I will check into that right away and download it.  Question, does that mean that once I have my name registered, everyone that I want to come to my ftp site does not have to add my IP address to there hosts file?  Will they just be able to log onto the internet, put in my address and connect?  I hope so.  In the meantime I will check out the link you supplied me with and get that done.  I will post results here right away.  
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Author Comment

by:meyer91
ID: 8071887
Thanks Steve for your help.  I am able now to connecto to my office machine using my ftp site address and download files to my home machine.  You have been a great help.  Thanks again and best of luck to you and yours,
John
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