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Cannot view or ping web server when www is included, but works without www

Posted on 2008-09-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hello,

Recently, one of our company websites has become invisible in our office when we navigate to it like this:
http://www.website.com

but

http://website.com works - or at least partly.  It loads most of the page, but fails to load one or two elements of the page.  Also, pinging www.website.com returns "Ping request could not find host www.website.com. Please check the name and try again."  But pinging website.com works fine.

I know that the site is working fine from everywhere else - I've tested it in multiple locations, and I can see that our visitor stats have not changed.  This problem occurred while I was on a day off, my colleague reported it to me.  He says he didn't change anything...

FYI, here's the output of nslookup, with and without the www:

C:\WINDOWS\system32>nslookup website.com
Server:  zzz-server.zzz.local
Address:  192.168.3.16

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    website.com
Address:  123.123.123.123

C:\WINDOWS\system32>nslookup www.website.com
Server:  zzz-server.zzz.local
Address:  192.168.3.16

*** zzz-server.zzz.local can't find www.website.com: Non-existent
 domain

(apologies for the obfuscated domains/servers/IPs, but I'd rather keep this relatively anonymous).

We're using SBS 2003 in the office.  I don't know where to begin to fix this, any help would be greatly appreciated.

If you want me to try anything, please tell me how and I'll post the results!

Thanks,

Paul.
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Question by:paulc2000
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Expert Comment

by:swaller
ID: 22597757
Have you made any hardware changes? check you DNS forwarders to make sure that the SBS is forwarding to the proper Name Servers for your ISP. You could create your own alias or A record in your DNS to properly resolve to your outside IP address.
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Author Comment

by:paulc2000
ID: 22597872
Thanks for the quick reply, but I'm afraid I'm a novice in this field.

There have been no hardware changes.

How do I do try the things you suggested?
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Accepted Solution

by:
swaller earned 400 total points
ID: 22597926
With a SBS server, all DNS at the workstations and the NIC for the SBS server should point back to the SBS Server's LAN IP address (ie, 192.168.1.5). Then the DNS requests all go to the server and it looks for a matching IP address to the requested URL in it's tables first. If there is not a match then it *forwards* the request to the DNS servers for your ISP.

Go to Administrative Tools | DNS then right click on the name of your server and select properties. Then click the *Forwarders* TAB. You should have the proper DNS IP Addresses of your ISP in this tab. Contact your ISP to verify that you have the correct IP addresses for their DNS servers.
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Assisted Solution

by:tigermatt
tigermatt earned 100 total points
ID: 22597946

It would indicate to me from that information you have posted that there is a DNS zone on the SBS Server called "website.com", but within this zone, there is no www A record to resolve that subdomain. As a result, the website.com is working fine, but the www will not.

On the SBS Server, open up Administrative Tools, DNS. Look in the Forward Lookup Zones for a zone called "website.com". If you see it, expand it, then create a new A record, called simply www and enter the external IP address of the site. Perform an nslookup test again to check whether it will now resolve correctly.

-tigermatt
0
 

Author Comment

by:paulc2000
ID: 22598038
Thanks again for the quick replies.

@swaller: I didn't have any DNS setting in the Forwarders tab, only "All other DNS domains" under "DNS somain", and nothing in the "Selected domain's forwarders IP address list".  So I added our ISP's DNS servers to that list, and voila - it worked.

@tigermatt: thanks for the reply, but I didn't get to try it, because it's working now!

Thanks again,

Paul.
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