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Simple DNS server - just as a backup

Posted on 2006-05-17
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Last Modified: 2010-03-19
I've got a branch office with 12 desktops using Win2000. They have a w2k desktop "acting" as a server, just sharing folders.

Their PVC goes down occasionally, and when it does they can no longer see their shares or printers. The DNS server is in my main office.

I'm looking for a very simple solution to put in place as a backup in case their connection to my main dns server is broken again.

Any ideas? I like free, but Linux it too complicated.
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Question by:hullc65203
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by:dutchclan
ID: 16702942
Linux it too complicated

This is a nice perseption reffering to the old style linux wich is commonly "text based". If you like it cheap or free i would advice you to just install a linux from "today". It usually comes with an installer equal to windows (Graphical) and has a Desktop like windows has today. Next to that today "all" setup and configure can be done from the so called "KDE" (linux explorer if you would).

Do look into Suse for instance. If you dont understand or like it, you can still come back here and ask us to advice you to install windows 2k3 server ;)
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by:dutchclan
ID: 16702987
Oh if your going for Suse (my fav :P ) keep your eyes open for "YAST" short for "Yet another Setup Tool" and is almost like the windows configuration screen. Next All features like "DNS" "FTP" "SAMBA (windows like network shares)" "SSH" "PROXY" etc are included by default. So no complicated "compiles" needed to get it up and running..
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by:rich255
ID: 16703303
With only 12 clients to deal with, using a HOST file might be a good solution.  It will take precedence over your DNS ( only for entries in the host file) and will need to be manually kept up to date, but it will perform faster than DNS and won't fail when the PVC goes down.

-rich
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by:hullc65203
ID: 16703305
You're right, I mis-spoke. I was referring to BIND for Windows. It's still text based and too confusing.

If I could, I'd like to put something on the Windows box, since I don't have an extra machine for Linux. I'd be willing to give up the Windoze box, if I could get PCAnywhere to run on Linux for remote management.
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by:hullc65203
ID: 16703319
How would I set up a HOST file? It would only have the 12 PCs, "server", and 4 printer entries in it.
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by:JimsZ
ID: 16703483
do you have to use dns?  Can you just map the drives by ip address instead?  If wanting to go in and edit the lmhosts file, then go into (usually) C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc and open the hosts file with notepad.  Make sure you have show hidden files and folders in windows explorer.  Then just put the ip address in the first line, click tab and put in the dns name after that.  Then hit enter and add the second computer, etc.
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rich255 earned 2000 total points
ID: 16703565
The HOSTS file is located in C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc.  just put in the IP address, a space or tab, the computername and optionally another space and computername.
It might look like this:

10.0.0.1     PC1
10.0.0.2     PC2
10.0.0.3     server.mycomany.com
10.0.0.4     some.other.server.com     someothername


JimsZ has a good point... it might be easier to set up mapped drives that point to the other folders by \\IP\share instead of \\name\share.

-rich
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by:hullc65203
ID: 16703898
Except that if something changes I'd have to go into each user's profile and make the change. If I use the hosts file, it's just one change per machine.
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Expert Comment

by:Joseph Hornsey
ID: 16704473
For $79, you can buy Simple DNS Plus which will run on anything from Window 98 or better.  Or Windows Me (which is worse, not better).

It's cheap, it's easy, it's full-featured.  Go to http://www.simpledns.com and download the 14 day evaluation.  Then, host a secondary zone which pulls zone transfers from your Win2K server.  Point your branch guys to the local DNS server as their secondary server and you should be all set.

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