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Website not accessible to some people

Posted on 2011-03-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I resell hosting through hostgator, I've got one site that seems to be having issues being accessible to some people, I'm trying to track down where the issue lies...is it with the host, the ISP, the name registrar, somewhere else?

At this moment, I cannot bring up the site on an ATT&T device using 3G, I get server cannot be found, I tried using the free Ping app and it returns Unable to DNS lookup host address.

Can anyone shed some light on where to start looking for the problem? I've put in a ticket with HostGator, but before that I had several chat sessions with them, and since they can't replicate the problem they feel all is well on their end.
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Question by:musickmann
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Expert Comment

by:John Gates
ID: 35121553
What is the URL?
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Author Comment

by:musickmann
ID: 35121629
Duh. That would help sorry.
Cfcommunitychoir.com
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Expert Comment

by:John Gates
ID: 35121697
I can tell you that your domain is set up correctly.  I can browse your website from my AT&T Uverse DSL here in IL.  If you set up the DNS recently it may take some time to completely propagate.  I do not think anything is wrong maybe just wait it out a bit.  If you still think it is an issue I would do the following from the machine that cannot reach your site:

go to a command prompt.

Type nslookup

at the prompt type:

set q=NS

then type:

Cfcommunitychoir.com


it should respond with:

Non-authoritative answer:
Cfcommunitychoir.com    nameserver = ns769.websitewelcome.com
Cfcommunitychoir.com    nameserver = ns770.websitewelcome.com

If it does not then I would like to know what ISP it is and what the nameservers are set to:

exit the command prompt and open a new one.

type ipconfig /all

copy just the client DNS server information and post it here.  Do not post the IP address as this would not be advised.

Hope this helps!
-D-
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Author Comment

by:musickmann
ID: 35121764
Thanks. That does help very much to confirm I didn't screw up the settings.

I've been trying to get a trace route from a machine that can't access it. Te problem appears to be wi Brighthouse and ATT customers in central Florida. I attempted a trace route from my iPhone when I couldn't access the site, but the ping app returned a dns lookup failure.

Thank you so much for the information. Of course the client is all in a tizzy and freaking out cause they can't sell tickets. Of all the 30 plus sites I'm hosting this is the only one reporting problems of course.
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Expert Comment

by:John Gates
ID: 35121778
Try to ping it by IP :  174.132.150.8 from the devices that won't connect.  If this responds put the ip in the browser.  If this method works then the ISP with the resolution issues need to do a purge and reload on that domain.

-D-
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Author Comment

by:musickmann
ID: 35123176
The mobile devices that weren't able to access the site were able to access the site via the direct address of 174.132.150.8/~cfcommun
I reset the TTL numbers lower to try to re=propagate DNS entries (as suggested by someone else)

On my personal mobile devices, I can access the site one minute and not say 10 minutes later (I haven't really timed it, but its up and down), I've tried doing some traceroutes when it's down, but I can't really traceroute to the address since the name isn't being resolved, so I tracedroute to the IP of the server. Not sure that information is helpful really.

I and the sites owner are working off of Macs, I use a public DNS servers becuase I've never been happy with the ones provided by Brighhouse Networks down here I use (4.2.2.2, 8.8.8.8, and 8.8.4.4)


The DNS servers of the major ISP here that people are reporting problems from is:
65.32.1.65, and 65.32.1.70

As for the DNS servers from the mobile carrier AT&T, that I don't know, and don't know if I can find out somehow.

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Accepted Solution

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John Gates earned 500 total points
ID: 35124236
You have an SOA expire problem on your DNS record I would adjust it to:

1209600    ; ex = expiry = 2w

I got this information from http://www.intodns.com/cfcommunitychoir.com

This is a great site for troubleshooting DNS problems.  

Output from the site which I gave the suggested setting above:
Warn       SOA EXPIRE       Your SOA EXPIRE number is: 3600000. That is NOT OK


After you change this setting and allow propegation time if people are still having issues you should direct them to put in a trouble ticket with their ISP because you have no other issues with your DNS record.

Hope this helps!
-D-
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Author Comment

by:musickmann
ID: 35124455
Thanks, I  did see those entries in the intodns site earlier. As I'm a hosting reseller, I have access tot he SOA records for my sites. I set the TTL on the site to 14400 this mroning, but didn't adjust the other settings (refresh, expiry, minimum, or retry) my goal was to try to get the information pushed to the ISPs sooner (not sure if that's right, but it was on the advice of a colleague.)

Your answers and time have been incredibly helpful and most appreciated. I have a ticket in with Host Gator, so I will change the expiry setting to your suggestion after finishing with them, don't want to make changes like that while they are looking at things.
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Author Closing Comment

by:musickmann
ID: 35124459
Absolutely awesome. Great explanations and information that really helped me understand and diagnose the problems.

Can't thank you enough!
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