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tcampbell_nc

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MS Exchange 2007 / AD 2008 / DNS problem

Background:
Windows XP SP3 Workstations with Outlook 2007
Windows 2008 Server environment
Server02 is DNS Server
Server01 is Exchange Server

A couple of workstations will periodically login to the domain, and attempt to launch Outlook.  They receive an error that "Microsoft Exchange is Unavailable."  The users have resolved this by rebooting between 2 and 7 times before they can connect to Exchange.

It happened while I was on-site today.  I attempted to diagnose the problem and found something very interesting.

Using NSLOOKUP, I noticed that the offending machine was using the alternate DNS server instead of the primary.  The TCPIP settings on the workstations are static, and they have the DNS server (Server02) as the primary, and an outside DNS Server listed as the alternate.  The logic behind this was that if the Server02 was down, they would still have use of the internet.  Maybe I am wrong.

So, my question is....

Why would a workstation be picking up the Alternate DNS server instead of the Primary?

By the way, while the PC was still unable to locate the Exchange server, I reconfigured the IP settings by removing the alternate DNS address, and immediately, Outlook could locate and connect to Exchange.

Thanks
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Alex Appleton
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