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Weird DHCP/DNS Issue (Server 2003)

Hi, I'm running Server 2003 with DHCP and DNS set up on the main domain controller. I have DNS set up correctly so that all XP clients look at (and only at) the Domain Controller (DNS) server for both DNS and DHCP.

On client machines, I can't access web pages using Internet Explorer. I can't access google.com by typing the URL or by typing in the numeric IP Address in the web browser. However, from the command line I can ping google.com using both the URL and IP address.

On the server there was an Application warning that said that I didn't have a DHCP user set up that would allow DHCP to actively update DNS...so I used the Administrator login to allow DHCP to update DNS. However--I never had to do this before and things worked fine for a few months--Also, even though I added the admin user login to DHCP to allow active updates of DNS; DHCP will no longer automatically create A records in DNS when  computer logs onto the domain. So, I hand created A records for the client computers that I'm testing on and they still have the same problems.

Weird thing is, the server itself and one member server can access the internet. However, another Domain Controller (backup DNS without DHCP) and none of the clients can access the internet through a web browser--however they can all resolve domain names at the command line.

Furthermore, client computers can send email and can use Instant Messaging programs like Yahoo Messenger with no problem...but no web sites.

I'm confused as hell...I've already uninstalled and reinstalled DHCP and the issue persists. Is there anything I can do other than reinstall DNS from scratch?

thanks,
goldy
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goldylamont
Asked:
goldylamont
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1 Solution
 
feptiasCommented:
From your description, it sounds more like a web proxy or firewall issue than anything to do with DNS or DHCP.
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goldylamontAuthor Commented:
we have no proxy. the firewall was a good guess too....but i turned it off on the clients just to be sure and the same problem persisted. i think it's a corrupted dns database-that's just my guess. i'm going to try reinstalling it from scratch today. got any tips?

thanks,
goldy
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feptiasCommented:
The only tip I would offer is: Are you quite sure your hunch is correct because re-installing DNS sounds like trouble to me, especially if it is the only internal DNS server. Domains Controllers and AD really need a DNS server. If this is a production system then you really want to be sure of what you're doing. Ask an expert (not me I should add).

The reasons I don't think your problem is DNS are:
> "I can't access google.com by typing the URL or by typing in the numeric IP Address in the web browser."
> "from the command line I can ping google.com using both the URL and IP address"
> "they can all resolve domain names at the command line."
> "can use Instant Messaging programs like Yahoo Messenger with no problem"

None of those statements is consistent with a non-working DNS. Working DNS is even required for the users to be able to log onto the domain.

When you say "they can all resolve domain names at the command line", are you using nslookup?
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goldylamontAuthor Commented:
> When you say "they can all resolve domain names at the command line", are you using nslookup?
yes. and using ping with url names and/or ip address numbers...everything works. and, outlook can send emails and yahoo instant messenger works on client computers. but no dice with web browsers. they just don't work, using url's or ip addresses.

> "Are you quite sure your hunch is correct because re-installing DNS sounds like trouble to me, especially if it is the only internal DNS server. Domains Controllers and AD really need a DNS server."
**I know, it is trouble, but it's all i can think of to do. i've turned off firewalls. restarted the server and clients several times. i've uninstalled/reinstalled dhcp from scratch and given dhcp admin rights to dynamically update dns...but to no avail. i don't want to reinstall dns...but i've had to do it before and at this point i feel like i'm out of options. feptias, you may find this article helpful about configuring dns--it's what i used a few months ago to set up their server and it worked like a charm. bookmark it:
http://www.petri.co.il/troubleshooting_dcpromo_errors.htm
**Scroll down to the part titled "Manually re-create the DNS zone"

also, i have to wait until i get there but i ran a dcdiag.exe /test:dns and there were some errors. i'll post them up. but dcdiag.exe is great for troubleshooting dns...

please, someone help!!...... ;-) thanks for the support though feptias.


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feptiasCommented:
You're welcome. I think posting the dcdiag output is an excellent idea, but I'm on UK time (getting late here) and not around much tomorrow so it'll have to be picked up by someone else.

Good luck.
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goldylamontAuthor Commented:
weirdness. i came in today and the issues were still there. so i started running dcdiag.exe tests. on friday there were some errors for some reason...now there weren't. things still didn't work at first and now mysteriously they do. i did restart our netopia router though. maybe that's why things were going haywire and not dns, but, hell i don't know it's working now.

thanks feptias for the comments though. hey, try running this on you main dns server (you may already have done this). this command line tool gives you oodles of information and runs all kinds of tests on your domain controllers to see if anything is wrong:

dcdiag /v /c /e /f:c:\networktest1.txt

this will output the test settings to a file named networktest1.txt on the c: drive

anyways, i'm happy that it fixed itself, somehow....i bet you it was that stupid ass router. i dunno. i'mma go play some music.

g
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goldylamontAuthor Commented:
Hi EE, if i'd like to decrease the point value of this question and still reward points to feptias, who did respond and try to help, how would i go about doing this? another expert mentioned that i could do this somehow (decrease the points that  a question was worth). if not, then go ahead and PAQ/Refund this one.

thanks,
goldy
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feptiasCommented:
Comments on the disposition of this question:
Well, I didn't identify that the router was causing Goldy's problems, but that wasn't what the question asked. My response directly addressed the specific issue raised in the question - i.e. was there something wrong with DNS that would justify re-installing DNS. I hope my answer saved Goldy a lot of time and possible trouble and helped her identify the real cause.

I'd be more than happy with Goldy's suggestion of reduced points if that is possible. To be honest, I'm not going to feel hard done by if you refund all the points - I have been on the receiving end of far greater injustices in the EE points system than anything that might be done here.

I've not been answering questions in EE for long, but when it comes to earning expert points it seems to be a case of "swings and roundabouts" so I have adopted a policy of don't complain, just move on to the next question. Besides, there are so many questions that get left open, it would make the moderators' jobs almost impossible if people queried every case. Go ahead - refund - I'll take it like a man!

Happy moderating.
John
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goldylamontAuthor Commented:
<<Well, I didn't identify that the router was causing Goldy's problems, but that wasn't what the question asked>>

well, actually i didn't say for sure that it was the router either...that was just a guess at what the issue was. honestly, i KNOW that dns was corrupt in some way. Yes it was working to some degree for some clients, but not for most of my clients. i think perhaps the netdiag tests that i ran the second time triggered something in dns/dhcp that got it working again, but it was a dns issue. anyways, sounds like you've been screwed over too much to not earn these points. earlier i posted in the community area to figure out the best way to resolve this because i didn't want to just get a refund and give you nothing....but this process is taking too long and you're cool and you probably deserve these points anyway because of other idoits on here that never give what is do. cheers!

goldy
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feptiasCommented:
Thanks Goldy. Points and being told I'm cool. This is too much!
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