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Steps to trouble shoot AD/DNS/DHCP/Server 2003 problems

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Last Modified: 2012-12-30
Hi guys.

I am a new beginner and would like to know how you guys troubleshoot system problems.

For eg.

AD/DHCP/DNS/Server 2003/Sites etc

What is your troubleshooting steps everytime you face a problem.

What steps do you take to really get into the problem and solve it.

I hope you all can provide me a list of tools/sites/knowledge so that i can perform in my job.

I hope someone can provide me information as detailed as possible
Watch Question

The very first place to look any time there's any issue is the Event Log in Administrative Tools.  I sometimes forget to look here first, and hours later will remember to look, and find the issue right away...

Get to know some of the basic events that happen on your systems on a regular basis.  Pay attention to the Event Sources as they are the first piece of information for any event.  Don't pay strict attention to the Info, Warning, Error classifications as many Warnings, and some Info events are key for troubleshooting.  All Windows Server applications either do, or can be configured to log to the Event Logs.  I tend to configure the components (Like Internet Authentication Service, IAS) to log the event log, and sometimes also to their own log file.

In Windows 2003, DNS is a vital component.  Using the command line, and specifically the command "nslookup" is key to troubleshooting basic issues with authentication, connectivity, etc.  Running "ipconfig /all" and paying attention to the DNS servers, DHCP server, and WINS servers info can be of great help.  Ping and traceroute are basic network diagnostic tools, but don't overlook their role in troubleshooting as network connectivity is a prerequisite for Windows AD to work.

Also check to make sure that the time is either synchronized, or quite close on all computers in the domain and that time zones are correct.

Even though Windows 2000 and newer are supposed to depend on DNS, you'll find that enabling and properly configuring WINS and a WINS server (can be the same as DNS and as DC) can really help.

When I see a problem in the event log, or a client reports an error, I'll frequently use Google to search for the exact message text.  Here's an example:
site:microsoft.com "The network name cannot be found"
The first part "site:microsoft.com" limits the search to the microsoft.com domain.  I've found their knowledge base, TechNet, and MSDN to be easily search-able through Google, and it contains volumes of information not available elsewhere.  Putting quotes around the search phrase tends to make sure that I only get hits related to the specific problem that I've encountered.

Microsoft has a number of tools to help identify problems with the domain itself:

dcdiag, for example, can really help identify issues with a DC.

Sysinternals is a name for a number of tools and discussions related to Windows, and they have been critical to my ability to help manage our environment, and many others.  They've recently been bought by Microsoft, but the tools are still there, still free, and still amazingly helpful:

Hopefully that gets you started.  Let me know if there is something specific you need help with.
Zuhir ElgmatiApplications and Systems Administrator
acually let me suggest something else, i will give you my favorite resources for troubleshooting AD,DNS,DHCP and windwos server 2003.
the 1st resource ever : www.microsoft.com
2nd www.windowsnetworking.com
3th www.windowssecurity.com 
and techrepublic.com

don't forget google.com for more resources.
good luck


Thanks guys.

Provided me with lots of solutions.


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