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Does setting DNS by Group Policy actually work?

Posted on 2008-10-10
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hi,

I've been installating a Windows 2008 Server to provide a domain on a network in a school. The school has a satellite broadband connection and there is a gateway machine which provides DNS and DHCP services for the network.

I have configured my 2K8 DNS server with a static IP (provided by the company who are resposbile for the internet gatway) and it correctly forwards unresolved requests to the existing DNS server on the network.

I can join WinXP machines to the new domain but I have to manually set the DNS server on the XP boxes, as they get their IP address from the existing DHCP server.

I found a Group Policy to set DNS servers, but it doesn't seem to work (I know other GP stuff is working as I have a WSUS server working ok). Any ideas?

Thanks,
Jeff
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Question by:jeffeld
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Expert Comment

by:Paka
ID: 22686482
You should set the DNS on the client boxes using DHCP to point to your 2K8 machine.  The 2K8 machine should forward unresolved requests to the ISP's address.

Pushing the address via Group Policy is difficult, because the clients need DNS services to connect to the domain (and receive Group Policy).
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Author Comment

by:jeffeld
ID: 22686648
I cant change the DHCP configuration; it isn't under my control and the owners of it will not make any changes to the configuration.

The clients are able to join the domain and logon/off without the DNS changes, although running gpupdate /force does take a long time.

This group policy seems to be the solution to my problem, but why have it there if you need DNS for it to work?

Cheers,
Jeff
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Accepted Solution

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Paka earned 500 total points
ID: 22690781
DNS is needed for the clients to logon to the domain and locate domain services.  Here's a good article on pushing DNS settings through GP; however it is pretty tough to do.

The DHCP admins won't take direction from you on the DNS setting?
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Author Comment

by:jeffeld
ID: 22700963
Hi Paka,

Thanks for your responses. Did you forget the link to the article?

I've started a conversation with the help desk about getting this changed, but the service is provided by a third party and they are generally uncooperative to these sorts of requests. I'd like to pursue the group policy solution is parallel.

I'll report back here with any progress made.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Author Comment

by:jeffeld
ID: 22720372
I've since come up with a Plan B which I think will give a better outcome.

My solution is to take the current (3rd party) internet gateway/dns/dhcp server off the network backbone. My w2k8 server will then be configured to provide dhcp (it already provides DNS) and it will route all internet requests to the 3rd party gateway (connected via a seperate network card and switch).
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Author Closing Comment

by:jeffeld
ID: 31504983
The answer didn't solve my problem (altough to be fair it did answer the question IYSWIM) but it did spur me on to find my final solution. Thanks!
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