DNS on 2003 Server Mucked Up?

Posted on 2006-05-18
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
First off.. I am not a computer wiz.  We are so far in the boondocks that we must depend places like this to help.  So thanks to all upfront.

Problem.. 2003 Server.. Most PC's throughout the day and night loose their connection to their shares on the server.  Trying to rectify this.  Learned a lot about how important DNS is for AD.  So I ran an NSLOOKUP and found something that may or may not be the problem.  On the NIC settings.. the DNS servers are set as follows:
XXX.XXX.XXX.15 - Primary
XXX.XXX.XXX.16 - Alternate

Both of these IP's belong to our ISP.  So when I do an NSLOOKUP.. this is what I see..
Default Server:
Address : XXX.XXX.XXX.15

Should this not be showing my AD server which is also my DC?

I would like to alse note this and apologize if it is too wordy.  We originally had a W2K server in place that was dying.  We wanted to replace it with a 2003 Server and also change the domain name to ourserver.local instead of (which is our actualy FQDN) Inhouse users would try to go to our website and would be routed back to our inhouse server.  Anyway, we could not use the new name and migrate accounts over from the old server to the new one. We ended up keeping the domain name as it was.
Question by:wtrdog
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    > "Should this not be showing my AD server which is also my DC?"
    Yes. I don't know how you would be able to log on to your domain with the DNS set only to your ISP's servers

    I'm not sure if that last paragraph is a question about DNS, about migration or just a plaintive cry from the heart.

    Author Comment

    I think at this point is all a cry from the heart!
    What I have learned is this since I posted.  I went to the DNS settings on the NIC properties.  I clicked on the DNS tab and noticed that servers IP was listed 3rd, but I could not see it on the main screen until I went into advanced.  I moved the order up, rebooted the PC's and now when you run NSLOOKUP they show
    Which is the IP of the 2003 server.  

    Could this be the problem that was making the PCs loose their shares?
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    It should certainly work much better with the internal DNS server as the Preferred. It is quite common to have internal DNS servers as the *only* ones in the list on your workstations and i'm sure some experts would say that it is essential.

    You should also check the Preferred and Alternate DNS settings on the Server itself - what are they set to?

    The usual arrangement is to have DNS server installed on the Domain Controller PC, to have its Preferred DNS set to point to itself and to only have alternate DNS servers that are essentially replicas its own one - i.e. only other internal DNS servers (if there are any).  Workstations would have Preferred set as the IP of the nearest DC/DNS server and alternate as some other internal DNS server that replicates with the local one. The use of external ISP DNS server addresses in the list of alternates on your workstations is not recommended but you'll probably get away with it and it would provide a means for the workstations to browse the web just supposing they cannot contact any internal DNS servers (I expect I'll get some contradictory comments on that one).

    Author Comment

    What you are saying makes sense.  I have another box that we purchased on the recomendation of someone, just be an alternate DNS box, or at least a backup.

    OK.. so I read about DCDIAG and I ran it.. Not pretty.. This server should have been a PDC.. at least that was my understanding of what was to occur when the tech was onsite out here for three days..

    C:\Program Files\Support Tools>dcdiag

    Domain Controller Diagnosis

    Performing initial setup:
       Done gathering initial info.

    Doing initial required tests

       Testing server: Default-First-Site-Name\MYSERVER
          Starting test: Connectivity
             MYSERVER's server GUID DNS name could not be resolved to an
             IP address.  Check the DNS server, DHCP, server name, etc
             Although the Guid DNS name
             ( couldn't
             be resolved, the server name ( resolved to the
             IP address ( and was pingable.  Check that the IP address
             is registered correctly with the DNS server.
             .........................MYSERVER failed test Connectivity

    Doing primary tests

       Testing server: Default-First-Site-Name\MYSERVER
          Skipping all tests, because server MYSERVER is
          not responding to directory service requests

       Running enterprise tests on :
          Starting test: Intersite
             ......................... passed test Intersite
          Starting test: FsmoCheck
             Warning: DcGetDcName(GC_SERVER_REQUIRED) call failed, error 1355
             A Global Catalog Server could not be located - All GC's are down.
             Warning: DcGetDcName(PDC_REQUIRED) call failed, error 1355
             A Primary Domain Controller could not be located.
             The server holding the PDC role is down.
             Warning: DcGetDcName(TIME_SERVER) call failed, error 1355
             A Time Server could not be located.
             The server holding the PDC role is down.
             Warning: DcGetDcName(GOOD_TIME_SERVER_PREFERRED) call failed, error 1355

             A Good Time Server could not be located.
             ......................... failed test FsmoCheck
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    Sorry, I'm struggling to get a clear picture of what you've got now and where you're trying to go. Also, migration from 2000 to 2003 is getting outside the realms that I would be comfortable to offer expertise - DNS is definitely in the confort zone which is why I initially picked up on your question.

    Do you still have the Win 2000 server or has it died?  How many (relevant) servers do you have, what O/S is on them and what services (DNS, DHCP etc) and which are acting as domain controllers. Please give each a notional name like DC1 or Server2 so we can communicate without misunderstanding. Some reference to the subnet addressing scheme would also help communication - e.g. DC1 is on Please confirm if your description is what you have now or what you plan to have as an upgrade.

    I assume the DCDiag output is for the new Win 2003 server, but where are you in the migration process from the old server to the new? Migration is quite a big job and I doubt that many experts would volunteer to walk you through the whole process in detail within this forum.

    Author Comment

    Did not mean to bog anyone else down with me in this mess.  Been reading all day and trying to learn as much as possible.

    The W2k Server is still in existence... one bad drive, put the primary with the OS is still good.  I can put it back on the network if I need to.  There are a total of two servers.. w2k and the new w2k3. So it looks like this..

    Old Server W2K - unplugged from the network but still usable.
    New Server W2K3 - Running currentley and the server putting out all the errors from the DCDIAG.

    What was supposed to happen was this.. (at least what we paid for) The W2K server which is a PDC running AD was to be taken down after installing new W2K3 server, migrating all roles, etc, then make it the PDC.  Most of the errors I am getting are due to the fact that the job was only half way done.
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    Yes, I think that in the circumstances - i.e. you paid someone to do the job for you and provide the expertise - the least you could expect is that they hand over to you a working system that does not report a whole bunch of errors when you run dcdiag. It looks like the new server is very unhappy, either because it is still dependent on the old one for some crucial roles or because the DNS is not right (or both).

    Good luck.

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