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Windows DNS Not Resolving Properly

Posted on 2007-11-15
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
We're having some strange issues with name resolution.  All users are running Windows XP and all DNS servers are Windows 2003 Domain Controllers.

When I try to connect to a system by name, (with RDP, to a share, to AD, etc), I get an error that I could not connect.  If I try to ping the name, I get "Ping request could not find host".  However, I've checked in DNS and the entries are there.  Also, NSLOOKUP resolves the names correctly.

Why can I perform NSLOOKUP but cannot PING?

This is getting bad and is starting to affect a number of users.

Thanks.
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Question by:bornskir
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 20289450
Sounds like the router lost the list of DNS servers.
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by:mikeleebrla
ID: 20289460
can you elaberate a little bit more about your DNS setup?  Are you clients only pointed to your AD DNS server? Does your AD DNS server have any forwarding going on? Conditional forwarding?  What is this host you are trying to ping? Is it internal, external? Are you having this trouble with just one host?
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by:bhnmi
ID: 20289489
Verify that the computer is using the correct IP for the DNS server. Clear your arp cache and flush your DNS on your local machine. When you run NSLOOKUP from a member workstation does your DNS server show as authoritative?
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by:bornskir
ID: 20289537
Sorry.  These are internal hosts that I am trying to connect to.  Internet works fine.

I started looking further and I don't think it is actually a DNS issue, because NSLOOKUP works fine.  I ran WireShark and it looks like my PC is trying to do a NetBIOS lookup rather than DNS.  Since the host is on another subnet, the NetBIOS broadcast won't find it.

Note that when I try to ping, neither the hostname nor hostname.domain.com will resolve.

Thanks.
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by:bhnmi
ID: 20289596
You have a wins server setup onthe network?
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by:bornskir
ID: 20289701
We currently have 2 WINS servers, but we wanted to phase them out.  They were only there when we still had NT4 workstations.

I don't have the WINS servers configured in my network settings.
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by:bhnmi
ID: 20289714
WINS server are a great thing ;)
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by:bhnmi
ID: 20289724
Let me explain alittle...

Network browsing uses netbios and wins is a centralized updated list of netbios names and there ip's.
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by:bornskir
ID: 20289894
Are WINS servers still that necessary?  I thought that MS was doing away with that and making everything DNS.

Should I be adding more WINS servers?
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by:bhnmi
ID: 20289910
If you have two there is not a need for more. Just utilize them.
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by:bornskir
ID: 20290275
I added a third WINS server local at my site and set all 3 to replicate with each other.

I updated DHCP to assign the WINS servers and I refreshed my IP to get the new settings.

I'm going to let it sit and cook for a bit and see if it resolves my issues.

The strange thing though is that I haven't had this problem at other sites where they do not have the WINS servers assigned via DHCP and have no local WINS servers.

Very odd.

Thanks.
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by:bornskir
ID: 20291763
The new WINS server did not fix the problem.  The odd thing is it seems to be intermittent.  I will not be able to resolve a host and then some time later, it will start working.

Also, if I do an ipconfig /release and /renew it will fix the problem temporarily.

It seems to want to do NBT lookups instead of DNS.  It's like it's not even trying to do a DNS lookup.
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by:bornskir
ID: 20291874
Evidently, restarting the DNS Client service also seems to resolve the problem.
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by:cooledit
ID: 20298146
hi, there

try this from a client

nslookup does it point to the dns server straight away. if not look int the dhcp scope.
All your clients should be shown in the Subnet zone under the dns settings.

Ex. 192.168.0.1 should then list all clients.
if there is no reverse lookup then create one for each different subnet that you have.
Is there a Proxy server device somewhere on the network, sound in that direction as when you restart the dns server it works for a little while. Check for MAC addresses on the server versus the client.

Cooledit
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bornskir earned 0 total points
ID: 20653440
I managed to figure out the problem.  Through DHCP, I have all of our DNS servers (ie, all of our domain controllers, about 13 or so) being added to all DHCP clients.  We had a problem with one of our domain controllers so I demoted it and then shut it down.  However I forgot to remove this server from the DNS list.  It seems that every once in awhile, a computer would decide to use this shutdown server for a DNS lookup and since it was off, it would fail.

I ended up rebuilding this DC and bringing it back online.  Once I did that, all was well.

The only strange thing that I don't understand is that why would a host try to use this server for DNS if it was not listed as its primary.  And if a host did not get a response (because it was turned off), why did it not move on to the next server in the list.

A little strange, but it's working now.

I'm going to ask to have this question closed and have my points refunded.

Thank you all for your help though.
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by:Lunchy
ID: 20692207
Closed, 250 points refunded.
Lunchy
Friendly Neighbourhood Community Support Moderator
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