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Intermittent Printer Issues

Background
I have a Windows 2000 server running as a domain controller for an organization with about 30 Windows XP Pro PC's. A couple of these are linux boxes. I also have several printers hanging off this server via jetdirect print servers that have reserved IP's. Printing has been fine since the printers were set up a couple of years ago.

The Issue
Periodically, several times a day. A random PC will stop printing. It will loose all connectivity to the printer resources on the server. File access is fine, network access as well, just none of the printers attached to the server can be communicated with. Other users can print fine, and the server can print a test page.

Possible Related Issues
At about the same time, actually a few days before a couple of users complained that to access a network share on the server they would have to reboot.

What's changed in the past two weeks?
My ISP changed DNS servers so I had to make new DNS entries on the server to allow internet access. The Domain controller is also our DNS server.

Troubleshooting Steps
I've run ipconfig /release /renew /flushdns, restarted the print spooler, restarted dhcp, and none of these seem to work. I'm wondering if this isn't some sort of infection that's gotten past the AV software and the Sonicwall. At any rate, any help is appreciated.


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Stormspace
Asked:
Stormspace
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1 Solution
 
Steve KnightIT ConsultancyCommented:
When you say there are new DNS entries on the server these should ONLY be in the forwarders for the DNS server and the server should only point to itself or other internal DC's holding the internal DNS zone.  Is that what you mean or do you have ISP DNS servers in the TCPIP properties for client PC's or the server?
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StormspaceAuthor Commented:
The DNS entries point to the server itself and the ISP DNS as the backup in the TCP/IP settings on the server. The gateway is set to the Sonicwall. I've also set the DNS entries in the scope options to the gateway and the isp DNS server.

Server is 192.168.1.20
Gateway 192.168.1.1
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StormspaceAuthor Commented:
Those settings are on the server only. The clients all use DHCP.
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Steve KnightIT ConsultancyCommented:
Then that is wrong.  The DNS server should only point to itself and is possibly what is causing the issue.  Remove the secondary entry and check in the forwarders tab on the dns server properties in the DNS console, that is where the ISP DNS servers shoudl be.

What does the DHCP give out to clients. Again that should only be the DNS server of the server.

DNS  won't go to the secondary unless primary isn;t responding normally but once it does it will try to register itself with the ISP's DNS and all sorts.  Don't got there!

Steve
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Steve KnightIT ConsultancyCommented:
So to clarify server and clients should only have 192.168.1.20 as their DNS if that is your only internal DNS server on a Windows 2000 or 2003 domain, otherwise logins may be slow and all sorts of potential problems.

Steve
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StormspaceAuthor Commented:
Ok. walk me through this...

In the scope options I remove the ISP DNS and change the other entry to point to the domain controller and not to the gateway?

Where exactly is the forwarders tab. I see in the DNS screen a forwarders folder.
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Steve KnightIT ConsultancyCommented:
Go into the DNS management console under Admin tools, then to the properties of the DNS server at the top level, not properties of the forward lookup zone.  There is a forwarders tab and under there you define the list of servers at your ISP your internal server will go to to resolve names outside their own domains.

In the scope options for DNS (option 006) it should only be your server.  In a domain environment you should only use your internal DC DNS server for DNS on clients.

The gateway probably forwards out to the ISP directly too, it could be configured to point at the server but probably not.

Does that help?

Steve
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StormspaceAuthor Commented:
Ok. I made those changes, went to a PC with the problem. I verified the issue existed, did an ipconfig /all to verify the old dns settings, did a ipconfig /flushdns and then an ipconfig /registerdns and tried to print again with the new DNS settings and it worked. I'm giving you the points, but I want to wait until Monday in case something related comes up.

THX!
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StormspaceAuthor Commented:
This also corrected the file share issues on the server as well. Woot!
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Steve KnightIT ConsultancyCommented:
No problem, it really does cause a lot of silly issues when you have ISP DNS servers in the settings, 2000 was fairly forgiving but XP clients really don't like it,.

Good luck.

Steve
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