Local DNS/WINS : can't ping other LAN machines by hostname

I have a "rogue" server running Windows Server 2003.  This machine cannot be a DHCP server.  I can make it a DNS server, I can make it a WINS server, I can configure all of my workgroup's machines to point to any DNS/WINS server in the universe but the absolute, non-negotiable, no consideration possible.

The building's DHCP server assigns the following:

MASK : 255.255.255.0
GW    : 192.168.1.249
DHCP : 192.168.1.253
DNS   : 192.168.1.253
WINS  : 192.168.1.253
NetBIOS over TCP/IP : Enabled

In my workgroup I have various machines with common names:

BILLING-1
BILLING-2
PRINTER-1
ADMIN-1
ADMIN-2

and so on

Plus my Windows 2003 server (which has a static IP)
MYSERVER

The problem is that I can't ping the machines by their local hostnames.

What I want to be able to do is to ping the other machines by local hostname - ping billing-1, ping admin-1, ping server and so on.

What happens is that I get

pinging billing-1.<some domain registered via the DHCP server> [public ip]
Request timed out.

When I ping by IP address I'm connecting just fine.

When I ping -a the ip address I get the machine's hostname just fine.

When I browse the network neighborhood the various machines and devices show up.

But the absolutely critical issue (because of one of the printers, actually) is that I have to be able to connect from  every device to every other device by hostname (without a suffix) alone.

There is no working with the building admin, he will not let me make any changes (or suggestions) to his DHCP server or anything else.

LVL 4
minganoAsked:
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minganoConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
Solution was to install a new DNS server using "work.local" as the domain, then manually configure all machines to explicitly use that DNS server and no others.
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argcyberCommented:
Hi Mingano,

Have you check for Firewall or Antivirus in your server and computers?

Argcyber.
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Todd GerbertIT ConsultantCommented:
I kinda sorta get what you're trying to accomplish, but not sure why (which has some impact on your answer)?
Are your computers members of a domain? Is the DNS server the DHCP offering an Active Directory authorized DNS server (i.e. does the DNS server allow your clients to register automatically)?
Are you able to use static IP addresses?
Do the printers get DHCP addresses, and is the necessary communication just from computer -> printer, or does it also need to be computer -> computer?
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minganoAuthor Commented:
firewall and antivirus have been checked and are not the issue.
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BobintheNocCommented:
Sounds like the dhcp server is providing the connection name, which is being POSTPENDED to the hostname when you ping.

Example, from DHCP, the connection specific suffix is "mybuildingadmin.com", so when you try to resolve billing-1, you're really attempting to resolve billing-1.mybuildingadmin.com.

Since it sounds like you're NOT an active directory structure, you may have to use a period at the end of the hostname to get it to resolve absolutely.

Ping billing-1.

 
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minganoAuthor Commented:
I have a static IP address for my Windows server but that is the only one I am guaranteed (network admin won't carve out a block of of the DHCP scope for my printers).

The computers are not members of a domain.  There are no AD considerations.

The biggest thing is to be able to go from printer (printer/scanner actually) --> computer, but being able to ping from computer to computer is a great help when doing normal network diagnostics (such as checking to see if the computer is online).
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BobintheNocCommented:
You could also configure the PCs to NOT postpend a domain name, in the TCP/IP configuration, Advanced...DNS, try setting the option for "Append these DNS suffixes (in order):" without adding any suffix, or maybe adding . as a suffix.
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minganoAuthor Commented:
Pinging billing-1.  DOES work as expected.  Is there any way we can make it not need the period just in case the network hardware doesn't like doing that?
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minganoAuthor Commented:
(Also, when I enter \\printer1 or \\printer1. in the URL bar of my browser I can't get to the machine but I can by entering in the IP address - if this means anything).
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BobintheNocCommented:
In regard to the printers--sounds like you've only got a few devices, why not statically configure the IP on the printers and bypass DHCP altogether--just as long as the range of DHCP'able addresses can possibly be adjusted to exclude a few?
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Todd GerbertIT ConsultantCommented:
Keep in mind you're talking about going from device->computer, so keep in mind even if you change your computers such that you can ping other computers with just a host name, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to also do so from device->computer.
You might need to run a WINS server in order for the devices to resolve names correctly (honestly, I'm a little foggy on how NetBios name resolution works, will have to do a little light reading and get back to ya).
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BobintheNocCommented:
Overall though, have you considered running an Active Directory?  Sounds like you've got enough workstations and needs that Small Business Server would address nicely and still be pretty inexpensive.
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BobintheNocCommented:
Try adding the "." as a suffix in the TCP/IP/DNS/Advanced.. section.
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minganoAuthor Commented:
I can't use static IPs - not my DHCP scope.  I'm happy (and lucky) to have the one for my file server.

Can't use Active Directory because I can't use static IPs and don't control the DHCP.  The other guy in the building uses Active Directory for his people, and since it is his building I don't have the option.

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Todd GerbertIT ConsultantCommented:
You could use a router, assign the one statip IP you have to the outside interface of the router, then use your own addressing scheme for your devices.
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minganoAuthor Commented:
Thought about spending the money on the router, the problem is that this is a commercial building and all jacks concentrate to the building-wide switches which are kept in a locked server closet to which I have no access.  I would have to get in there, install my own switch/hub and physically isolate my side of the building or the two DHCP servers would not be playing nicely with each other.
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minganoAuthor Commented:
If it helps, here is the network configuration page from the printer.  This is the critical machine that needs to be able to scan to a hostname since the computers on DHCP can't be trusted to retain the same IP.

MFC8480-000002.pdf
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minganoAuthor Commented:
The computers are all happy enough to ping the other computers (and even the printer) with hostname. but the printer will not ping any of the computers via hostname. (or by hostname without the . - the printer will ping and therefore connect to machines by IP address only within the LAN, no way to check if it can handle hostnames at all but it is supposed to be able to handle that).
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minganoAuthor Commented:
To make things even more confusing, when I ping -a my own IP address I get the following:

Pinging admin2.{local domain}.com [192.168.1.113] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 192.168.1.113: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.1.113: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.1.113: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.1.113: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

Ping statistics for 192.168.1.113:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

But when I ping admin2.{local domain}.com the request times out.

When I ping admin2. I get

Reply from fe80::5efe:192.168.1.113%12: time<1ms
Reply from fe80::5efe:192.168.1.113%12: time<1ms
Reply from fe80::5efe:192.168.1.113%12: time<1ms
Reply from fe80::5efe:192.168.1.113%12: time<1ms

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james1001Commented:
Can you configure wins on the printer? If so you could try removing the dns entries that the printer uses for lookup, that way once the printer is restarted, it should only use the keyhole name, which won't have the dns suffix appended. Not ideal but it may work. You may need to remove the printer ip address from dns during a test an flush the local end resolver using ipconfig /flushdns.
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BobintheNocCommented:
Do you have IPV6 installed and bound?
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minganoAuthor Commented:
Had to install a new DNS serer
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