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Small Business DNS setup with external DCHP

Posted on 2006-10-23
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Hi All,
  My understanding of DNS configuration is somewhat limited so let me explain my situation.  I have a server running SBS 2003 but my SonicWall TZ170 is handling DCHP.  I've been simply passing my ISP's DNS servers through the sonicwall to the clients.  The problem I have with this, is that my local machines can't resolve "//companyweb" (SBS Sharepoint sites)  I attempted to pass my the IP of my SBS to the local machines as Primary DNS, but haven't had luck with that either.  Any ideas?
Thanks
Will
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Question by:WMurray219
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 17790467
You're settings are all wrong.

DNS is VITAL to a properly running Domain Controller/SBS server.

Neither your server NOR your workstations should be using the ISP's DNS server, in part due to the very problem you're having.  But companyweb is almost incidental.  Failing to use the Server as the DNS server (which is what you SHOULD be doing) can create lengthy logon problems, problems accessing server resources, and just an overall nightmare of issues.

Here's some reading:

10 DNS Errors That Will Kill Your Network
http://mcpmag.com/features/article.asp?EditorialsID=413

Frequently Asked Questions About Windows 2000 DNS and Windows Server 2003 DNS
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=291382

Best practices for DNS client settings in Windows 2000 Server and in Windows Server 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=825036

How to Verify the Creation of SRV Records for a Domain Controller
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=241515

SRV Resource Records May Not Be Created on Domain Controller
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=239897

How Domain Controllers Are Located in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=314861

How to Verify an Active Directory Installation in Windows Server 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=816106

[links, in part, originally provided by oBdA]
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by:Keyguard
ID: 17790478
There's quite a bit of SBS that ties into its DNS server and the clients registering with it, I'd suggest that unless you have a very good reason to use the Sonicwall for DHCP you disable it and configure SBS to handle DHCP requests instead. I guess its all installed and configured but you've just disabled the service? You should then use the Configure Email & Internet Connection Wizard from the "to do" list on the Server Management console, this will configure your DNS server properly as well.

I'm surprised you haven't experienced other problems such as authentication issues as well since Active Directory is heavily DNS integrated and so if your clients are configured to use an external DNS you'd have problems there too.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 500 total points
ID: 17791134
If you've configured the clients this way, there is much more than http://companyweb that wouldn't resolve.  For instance, you most likely didn't attach the clients to your domain properly using http://<servername>/connectcomputer.  To see what all is done by using this method, please see http://sbsurl.com/connectcomputer

To resolve this problem, after following Keyguard's recommendation above, please do the following:

At the client machine:
1.  Log in with THAT machine's LOCAL administrator account.
2.  Unjoin the domain into a WORKGROUP
3.  Change the name of the computer (this is not an option, you must use a name that is unique and hasn't been used before on your SBS)
4.  Delete or rename the following directory C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Clients if it exists
5.  Make sure that the network settings are configured to get an IP address automatically (DHCP enabled)
6.  Reboot

Then on the server, from the Server Management Console:
1.  Remove the client computers if it still shows in the Client Computer screen on the Server Management Console
2.  Add the client with it's NEW name using the Add Computer wizard

Then, go back to the client machine, log back in with the local Administrator account and join the domain by opening Internet Explorer and navigating to http://<servername>/connectcomputer

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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