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Win 2003 Server DNS intermittently stops forwarding

Posted on 2008-06-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
We have a Win 2003 Server installed as the DNS server on our office network.  It is set to forward "All other domains" queries to external DNS servers (in our case one from our ISP and the alternates from OpenDNS).  Our internet connection comes in through a router, which handles the DHCP routing.

Periodically the server simply stops forwarding DNS queries, which prevents all users on the network from resolving internet addresses outside of our local domain. This occurs sometimes just once a day but often 2-3 times a day.  Stopping & restarting the DNS Service handles the problem immediately...until the next time.

There are no warnings or error messages in any of the event logs.
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Question by:worthyking
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 21867058

Is server is patched and the version of DNS.exe the highest available (5.2.3790.4171 for 2003 Server)?

Chris
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Author Comment

by:worthyking
ID: 21867311
All windows updates on the server are current. Can we assume then that DNS.exe is most recent?  How do I check for that?
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 21867346

It's unlikely to be out of date if you have all the patches, you can check it under %SystemRoot%\System32\DNS.exe

Just check the base file version there. I've seen this problem with the base version of DNS.

You're certain it stops Forwarding? And that it's not just the ISPs system which stops replying?

Chris
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Author Comment

by:worthyking
ID: 21867400
DNS.exe is version 5.2.3790.4171

I am sure that it stops forwarding for a couple reasons:

1) I have three alternate dns servers listed as forwarders (one fromm our iSP, two from OpenDNS). The chances of all three being down at the exact same time are slim to none.

2) The problems corrects immediately the moment I stop/restart the DNS Service.
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ryansoto earned 170 total points
ID: 21868244
Why not try eliminating the forwarding servers just to be sure -
I would start by using just the ISP's box and then test.
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Assisted Solution

by:Chris Dent
Chris Dent earned 165 total points
ID: 21868398

I concur, I would start with removing the ISPs, but either way works.

I wondered if you'd had a packet sniffer on the DNS box and seen that yours had stopped sending requests.

Chris
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Assisted Solution

by:ChiefIT
ChiefIT earned 165 total points
ID: 21896222
Hey Chris and Rayan:

2 forwarders using recursive and public "forwarders". Could this be that the public servers will not allow recursive lookups and therefore causing him grief?
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Author Comment

by:worthyking
ID: 21899281
I have done the following, will test it out and see if the problem reoccurs:

1. Deleted the public forwarders (OpenDNS)
2. Got updated primary & secondary dns server IPs from our T1 provider and have set those as the forwarders.

Will see if it hangs again, and report back here when it does (or does not?  fingers crossed!)
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 21933504
Howdy, Howdy:

Have you noticed any difference?
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Author Comment

by:worthyking
ID: 21934006
It has been a few days with no problems. I am conservatively optimistic that it is fixed, but want to give it a few more days just to be sure.
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 22013095
Still looking good?
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Author Closing Comment

by:worthyking
ID: 31470628
Okay, the problem seems to have gone away but without any specific corrections made.  First I removed the public (OpenDNS) servers fromm the forwarders and left only our ISP's dns servers.  That worked fine with no problems.  I then added the OpenDNS servers back into the forwarders list to see if it would break again, but it did not. It has been running perfectly for almost two weeks now in the same configuration as we originally had.  I am stumped, but at least it works now.
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Author Comment

by:worthyking
ID: 22015820
Okay, the problem seems to have gone away but without any specific corrections made. First I removed the public (OpenDNS) servers fromm the forwarders and left only our ISP's dns servers. That worked fine with no problems. I then added the OpenDNS servers back into the forwarders list to see if it would break again, but it did not. It has been running perfectly for almost two weeks now in the same configuration as we originally had. I am stumped, but at least it works now.
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Expert Comment

by:ryansoto
ID: 22016851
The problem may resurface at some point - Is there any reason to just leave the ISP DNS there?
Get rid of the opendns...?
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