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Get details of DNS records when transferring domains - e.g. website

Posted on 2011-09-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi Guys

will be transferring couple of domains to a new provider but do not have access to current DNS control panel, I've done a MX lookup so I know where to repoint MX to at our new provider, what is the best way to find out all the other A records etc?

Mainly I want to make sure e-mail still works (I already checked MX so that part is ok) and also the website, not sure how to make a note of website related DNS entries though..

Advice appreciated!
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Question by:Corp_Jones
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by:WilsonsITDept
ID: 36813967
You shouldn't have to manually update the global DNS servers. They should do it automatically once the providers have made the changes.

If your website's address is hard coded as an IP address on any of your other systems, you could ping the site after the change has been made, but that might not work if your provider has some kind of load balancing in place.  


Are you in full control of your DNS entires or is this through a hosting and domain registration company?

Thanks

Tom
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Author Comment

by:Corp_Jones
ID: 36814107
its thru a domain registration company however we cant see the zone file so need to do some detective work before seizing the domain.
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by:WilsonsITDept
ID: 36814118
If all you're doing is tranfrerring a domain between prioviders, they should update any DNS entries for you. They might ask for the public IP address of your mail server, if that's the kind of setup you've got, but otherwise it should be done for you as part of the move.


Tom
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Author Comment

by:Corp_Jones
ID: 36814233
it will be new nameservers so how will it get transferred? i dont think thats correct

The current provider is being difficult so they wont give any details
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by:yo_bee
ID: 36814276
What services are you concerned with that are public?
(i.e.  Website, FTP, Email, Citrix/TS,....ETC)

If you are going to a new Provider they will issue you a new ip address/ set of ip-addresses.  Once that is confirm you might need to supply the services you want to have public to the new provider.
At that time they will add these entries to the public records and allow for replication.
Once  replicated (Which I have seen happen in less than 20 mins sometimes) the new requestion will see the new route and connect to the service.

There really is nothing you need from the old provider accept what services were added to the public records.
If you know this you are pretty much set.

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Author Comment

by:Corp_Jones
ID: 36815099
I thought the website will stop working because the domain will have new name servers with a blank zonefile, we will recreate the MX record but i'm guessing i'll just have to find out the WWW A record and i'll be set for the website too
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by:yo_bee
ID: 36815311
You can ping that now and get a result
ping www.website.com or whatever it is.
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Author Comment

by:Corp_Jones
ID: 36815412
I did that and got the IP, if you type in www.x.x.x.x.co.uk it doesnt work, is that normal?
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by:WilsonsITDept
ID: 36815435
Yes. That's normal.

What about the domain name on its own?Or the IP adress without the .co.uk?

And exactly what did you ping? The address with the .co.uk?


Tom
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Author Comment

by:Corp_Jones
ID: 36815515
tried all combinations but cannot get to the website by the IP address which is why i'm worried if i move over and re-crate a WWW A record pointing to that IP it may not work
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Expert Comment

by:WilsonsITDept
ID: 36815530
How are you going to recreate the A record?

If we're talking about the global DNS servers here, then only a registered ISP or web hosting company etc can make changes.

If you tell your hosting company you're changing to a competitor, they should handle all the required changes and updates to get you  switched over.


Tom
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Papertrip earned 500 total points
ID: 36815885
I thought the website will stop working because the domain will have new name servers with a blank zonefile, we will recreate the MX record but i'm guessing i'll just have to find out the WWW A record and i'll be set for the website too

If the new registrar modifies the NS (glue) records when you transfer the domain to them, then yes you are correct the zonefile will be "blank", or possibly parked and pointing to some default webpage at the registrar.

Instead of ping, use dig to find out all the IP's that your www RRSET point to.  You can do the same for any hostname you currently use, like mx.domain.com, owa.domain.com, etc.  You can also verify your MX records at that link I posted, in fact you can verify all your records there.

Another thing you could do if you know the IP range you have for your servers, and you happen to have PTR records setup, is just query those.  All that might do is help you remember an A record you forgot about, but is not an end-all solution since an IP can have multiple A records... just something that might help since it seems you are unsure what other A records you may have.


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by:yo_bee
ID: 36815887
I did that and got the IP, if you type in www.x.x.x.x.co.uk it doesnt work, is that normal?

You do not put the www. before the IP.
All you enter is http://x.x.x.x
That is it.  DNS does the resolution to the www.domain.co.uk
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by:Papertrip
ID: 36815938
tried all combinations but cannot get to the website by the IP address which is why i'm worried if i move over and re-crate a WWW A record pointing to that IP it may not work

That's potentially not a valid test.  If for example you are using name based vhosts, that will not work, the webserver requires a hostname to be used.
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by:yo_bee
ID: 36816079
Can you get to it via the name?
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Author Comment

by:Corp_Jones
ID: 36890649
Thanks Papertrip I think you understand my issue.

The website only works via the hostname, to clarify if I re-create the WWW A record in the new zone file at the new registrar should the website work again?
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Author Comment

by:Corp_Jones
ID: 36890655
The nameservers will be changed to the new registrar so we have control over DNS so it will be a blank zone file, I dont see how existing records will get transferred without me actually doing MX lookups etc first, mail is fine i know about MX records, its the website i'm worried about as not sure how to find settings without access to current zone file.

Other A records I can re-create if users complain and tell me what address does not work.
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Expert Comment

by:Papertrip
ID: 36890668
As long as the IP is the same, you should be ok.
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by:Papertrip
ID: 36890674
Correct the records wont automatically transfer, you will need to add them.
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Author Comment

by:Corp_Jones
ID: 36890711
Thanks, one last question before I close the question, is there any chance you can explain how the website works when you do it via the domain name but not the IP address, you said something about vhosts? just want to understand it :)
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Expert Comment

by:Papertrip
ID: 36890740
Depends on which web server software you are running.  In Apache it's virtual hosts, specifically name based virtual hosts.  Not sure what it is for IIS, just Google for IIS virtual hosts, I'm on my phone right now or I would post links.
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