Problem with Default DNS Server for laptop when out of office

Posted on 2007-07-20
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Hopefully simple problem.
I have a simple Windows 2003 server domain with some laptop users.  The laptops are all configured to use DHCP.  When they are in the office my DHCP server tells them to use three IPs for DNS servers
let call them IP-1, IP-2, IP-3 which are internal DNS servers on my domain.

When the user connects to another server outside the office, everything appears correctly.  IPCONFIG show the new IP assigned by their DHCP, the new gateway and the new DNS servers.  All servers can be pinged.

However, they cannot connect to the internet ( or any name specific site.  The problem must be DNS.  If they connect using FTP to an IP specific site, it connects fine.  If they specify a name it fails.

My only clue is if I try NSLOOKUP, it wants to look for IP-1, IP-2 and IP-3, which of course it can't find
I am not sure I understand how NSLOOKUP works but I think it would default to the current DNS servers

Why would DNS not be using the DNS server listed in IPCONFIG?
What do I need to do to fix this?  TIA-TOMG
Question by:Tgilbert
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    Have you put your ISP's DNS server as the Forwarders in your DNS?
    LVL 16

    Accepted Solution

    Try having them run ipconfig /flushdns from the command line.
    I have had this issue before as well. There is a registry key that stores the DNS servers and does not always delete them!
    will list the adapters, going into them will have the key "name server"
    If you delete that and do and ipconfig /renew it will work. Bit of a faff but I'm sure you can come up with a script or something :o)
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    You don't happen to have a proxy server set in your browser that would be preventing access for web traffic (ports 80/443)?

    Author Comment

    Solved and lesson learned.  I am splitting the points for helping

    We have a need to use three DNS suffixes in the search order list on our network.  DHCP has no options.  So this was done with Group Policy by configuring the DNS suffix search order setting on the DNS Client which was then assigned to all computers.  The results were that all three suffixes were added when the connection was made.  Good so far.

    However the DNS client was also configured using Group Policy to use our three local DNS servers IP-1, IP-2 and IP-3 and the DNS servers.  I also discovered using Group Policy is the Trump card.
    Regardless of what is manually assigned or what servers the other DHCP servers assigned (which show up in IPCONFIG) the computers were forced to use the same IP-1, IP-2 and IP-3 as DNS servers
    Since these DNS servers were local to our network, they were unaccessible when on the road and the connection always failed.    I removed DNS servers from the Group Policy settings and everything is fine

    Lesson - Be careful when using and check for Group Policy when nothing else makes sense...
    Thanks - TOMG


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