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Strange issue with web page loading and exchange not picking up email

Posted on 2013-06-10
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Last Modified: 2013-07-01
We have an issue on an SBS2003 domain whereby web pages intermittently have loading issues. Sometimes we get a DNS error in the browser, sometimes the web page doesn't load fully in particular images are missing, other times pages load fine, albeit a little slow. This affects all PC's on the network on all browsers. There is no problem with accessing files/shares etc on the server.

Also, we are having seemingly intermittent issues with exchange not receiving external email, sending seems fine and receiving internal email too.

The issue has stemmed from what we thought was a problem with the ISP DSL connection, with the initial fault being dropping connections. They tried some sort of 'reset' on the line which didn't cure the issue but improved the drop-outs. I noticed on the router that the ethernet connection light kept going off so I replaced the dedicated network card, this seemed to help a little but the ISP sent a replacement router anyway and we copied the config from the old router to the new one (ports/rules etc) and now we have a stable connection but are left with the web page issues not loading properly/intermittently.

I've checked the event viewer on the server and there was a DNS issue a few weeks back, but I think this was before we started having troubles. I've also tried opening DMZ on the router which makes no difference. I've also stopped all local software a/v and firewalls too, again, no difference.

My next step is to plug directly in to the router and bypass the SBS/domain - But my gut feeling is that there is something DNS related on the server which is causing this anyway, the question is, what can this be?

I've reported back to the ISP and they have washed their hands of the problem as they can see a stable connection and data transfer. The issue doesn't affect other web services such as logmein/dropbox etc.

advices very welcome!
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Question by:MadPC
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by:Seaton007
ID: 39235390
It sounds like ISP connectivity issues to me, especially due to the intermittent nature of it.
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by:MadPC
ID: 39235418
We have had one or two phone line problems recently so you might be right, trouble is to get an engineer involved will cost if they can prove the issue is nothing to do with them they hit you with a hefty bill.

I'll give the network bypass a try for now, and if that proves the issue I'll give them a holla back :/
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39240856
I would run the SBS BPA against the server and see what that flags.
Are you using forwarders for DNS or root hints? If the latter, try switching to the former and use either the router as the forwarder or something like Google Public DNS.

Simon.
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by:MadPC
ID: 39244306
SBS BPA didn't find anything untoward, We're not using root hints

I have proved the problem to be with the SBS as bypassing the server works no problem.
So we have a secondary NIC which manages the router connection, I'm going to plug directly in to the switch from the router and change the gateway manually on clients for now to give us a workaround - I can't see why this won't become a permanent feature so long as the server and router are on the same subnet (they currently aren't)
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Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
ID: 39244559
You have dual NICs? That causes all sorts of problems (and in later versions of SBS isn't supported). Do you also have ISA server? If not then I would flatten the network and use a single NIC configuration instead.

Simon.
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by:MadPC
ID: 39244663
Yes, dual NIC's:

192.168.0.1 is the server to the switch
192.168.1.2 is the server to the router
192.168.1.254 is the router i.p

Everything has been working fine on this box since 2006 :) - I'll try what you suggest and report back!
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39245000
I have found that dual NICs in SBS is unreliable, plus Windows 2003 is a very poor router.

Simon.
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by:MadPC
ID: 39280925
Hi guys,

I'm still struggling to sort this.

I've disabled the secondary NIC and reconfigured the main NIC as follows:

I.P 192.168.1.1
Sub: 255.255.255.0
Gateway 192.168.1.254 router

I can't get any connection if I set the primary DNS to 192.168.1.1 so for now I've pointed it to the router 192.168.1.254, everything is working fine, obviously except the DNS isn't right and is likely affecting external VPN access?

The old local address for the server was 192.168.0.1 so I've switched the sub range to be inline with the router.

Any suggestions how to sort?
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39280943
If you are having problems with DNS resolution, you should configure a forwarder in the DNS applet on the SBS server. The network card itself shouldn't be using an external non-AD aware DNS server (like the router or your ISP) as that will cause problems with Active Directory.

Simon.
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by:MadPC
ID: 39281018
Thanks Simon,

I've attached a file which I think will sort it, I'd be very grateful if you could have a quick scan over it to see if it's correct, presumably I'll need to change the NIC DNS I.P?

With the current settings I changed above (without the forwader applied) we can send email but not receive, would this be why?
Untitled-1.jpg
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Author Comment

by:MadPC
ID: 39281023
edit, I tried applying the change and I get an error telling me the I.P address is invalid?
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by:MadPC
ID: 39281029
sorry, edit again, I found the the DNS in interfaces and the test has passed, I'll check it now and report back

thanks again
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by:MadPC
ID: 39281144
Nope, that hasn't sorted it, email still not receiving since the change, error message in the event viewer, also all PC's are taking an age to logoff/on since the change?



"The DNS server encountered a packet addressed to itself on IP address 192.168.1.1. The packet is for the DNS name "xxxxxxx.reflexion.net.". The packet will be discarded. This condition usually indicates a configuration error.
 
Check the following areas for possible self-send configuration errors:
  1) Forwarders list. (DNS servers should not forward to themselves).
  2) Master lists of secondary zones.
  3) Notify lists of primary zones.
  4) Delegations of subzones.  Must not contain NS record for this DNS server unless subzone is also on this server.
  5) Root hints.
 
Example of self-delegation:
  -> This DNS server dns1.example.microsoft.com is the primary for the zone example.microsoft.com.
  -> The example.microsoft.com zone contains a delegation of bar.example.microsoft.com to dns1.example.microsoft.com,
  (bar.example.microsoft.com NS dns1.example.microsoft.com)
  -> BUT the bar.example.microsoft.com zone is NOT on this server.
 
Note, you should make this delegation check (with nslookup or DNS manager) both on this DNS server and on the server(s) you delegated the subzone to. It is possible that the delegation was done correctly, but that the primary DNS for the subzone, has any incorrect NS record pointing back at this server. If this incorrect NS record is cached at this server, then the self-send could result.  If found, the subzone DNS server admin should remove the offending NS record.
 
You can use the DNS server debug logging facility to track down the cause of this problem.
"

I'm unsure if it makes any difference but as you can see in the error there is a mention of xxxx.reflexion.net - This is a 3rd party mail provider who routes our email as a pre-spam check.
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by:MadPC
ID: 39289477
It turns out that for some reason the router had been reset (this was after we checked it) - A simple fix really once we new where to look.

Server is now running one NIC and everything is working as normal!

thanks!
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