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PC's do not show up in DNS

Posted on 2006-06-27
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Hi folks

I am a little stupmed here.  Probably easy but need your help.  I am setting up a new set of DNS servers to replace the old NT ones.  I have got the forward and reverse lookup zones set-up, and I can create the records manually and all works fine.  The problem I have is, when I set a test pc to look at the new DNS servers, I was kind of expecting it to appear in the forward lookup zones but its not.  In the setting tab on the pc, it is set to Register the connection in DNS but I cant see it.  Any one got any ideas?
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Question by:stefanjoc
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by:Jay_Jay70
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any errors in the event log re DNS? if you reload the zone does anything show up? is the zone AD integrated
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by:stefanjoc
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There are no events in the event viewer.  Its an NT4 Domain so no AD.  I tried reloading and nothing
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by:Jay_Jay70
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ah sorry i thought you meant you were replacing the NT DNS zones - i havent touched NT ever
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by:stefanjoc
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I dont think it is an NT problem.  The DNS Servers are 2003.  :-)
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by:feptias
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Hi stefanjoc

Have you still got the old DNS servers running alongside the new?
If so, does the test PC register itself on the old DNS server?

The DDNS registration process will look up the primary DNS server in the SOA record for the zone. It will then try to register on that primary DNS server (not necessarily the Preferred DNS server for the test PC).
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by:stefanjoc
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Yes there are old DNS servers running but I have both the Primary and Secondary DNS servers set to the new ones.  The NSlookup works fine.
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by:stefanjoc
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Forgot to say, I have set the new DNS server to be SOA .
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by:feptias
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Hi stefanjoc

The terminology can be a bit confusing here so I just would like to get this clear:
On the client PC, within the Properties for Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) you can set a "Preferred DNS server" and "Alternate DNS server".
On the DNS servers, you can specify that a Forward Lookup zone is a "Primary", "Secondary" or "Stub" zone. (You can also make it AD integrated if you have AD and it is installed on a DC, but that is not relevant for you at present). A Secondary is like a read-only copy of the Primary. The Primary is the only one that can accept changes such as the addition of new Host records during DDNS registration. The Primary is indentified in one of the fields in the SOA record for that zone.

The fact that NSlookup works fine only tells us that the client PC is able to connect to a working DNS server and resolve names to IP addresses. It uses the Preferred DNS server if available, but is also able to use the Alternate if the Preferred is off-line. NSlookup does not make changes to any DNS records and it does not use the SOA record to find the Primary DNS server, so it is not doing two important steps that are required for DDNS to work.

Please check the "Dynamic updates" settings for the fwd lookup zone on the Primary DNS server. Open the DNS Management Console, right-click on the fwd lookup zone and select Properties. Half way down the General tab is the setting - it should be set to Nonsecure and secure.
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by:feptias
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BTW, if you make changes and need to test if they are working, you must force the client PC to re-register itself with DDNS. Go to the command prompt and type:
> ipconfig /registerdns
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by:stefanjoc
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Hi ya.  Yes, it is set to Nonsecure and Secure.  I tried the ipconfig /registerdns and it still doesnt register.
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by:feptias
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Perhaps the test PC is not trying to register in the right domain. It should if it is a member of the domain, but you can also tell it to register with a particular domain in the TCP/IP Advanced options:
"DNS suffix for this connection" - put the name of your fwd lookup zone/Windows domain in there
"Register this connections address in DNS" - this must be ticked
"Use this connections DNS suffix in DNS registration" - this must be ticked
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by:Pber
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Is the DHCP client running?  Even if you have static IP, turn on the DHCP client... I believe it is the DHCP API that controllers the DNS registration.
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by:feptias
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Old Windows operating systems don't know about DDNS so don't support it. DHCP can get around this problem, but there are complications in this case because he says there is an old NT domain still operational. So there might be an existing DHCP server on the NT domain server or other similar complications.

I was assuming the client PC being used for the test has a recent O/S installed. stefanjoc, can you please confirm what O/S is running on the client test PC? If it is pre-Windows 2000 pro then that is probably the explanation for your problems.
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by:stefanjoc
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The clients are xp.  There is a DHCP Server running on the network but the PC's I am testing on are staticly assigned.  DHCP Client is running yes.

Thanks a lot for the help folks.  We'll get there :-)
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by:feptias
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Another thought: Are you refreshing the view of the fwd lookup zone in the DNS Management Console? The Refresh option is under the Action drop-down menu. Without this, it is possible that new records have been added to the zone but you just didn't see them!

If you run out of ideas for solving this, as a last resort you could use a packet sniffer (like ethereal) on the client PC to find out what is going on. It would be quite hard work, especially if you have never used a technique like that before. Another idea would be to try the "Debug logging" that is available on the Win2k3 DNS server as a tab on the properties form for the server (not the properties of the zone). Also check the event logs on the test PC and the DNS server PC just to make sure there isn't a nice useful message relating to your problem.

Good luck
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by:stefanjoc
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Hi folks

I found out what it was.  I was basically trying to get it working with a NT4 DHCP server that doesnt register clients in DNS regardless of Policy.  After changing this over to the new 2003 DHCP, I was able to set this in the server and hey presto, al the pc's came in.
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