DNS is going to be the death of me

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Check this out for an error:

The DNS server machine currently has no DNS domain name. Its DNS name is a single label hostname with no domain (example: "host" rather than "host.microsoft.com").

You might have forgotten to configure a primary DNS domain for the server computer. For more information, see either "DNS server log reference" or "To configure the primary DNS suffix for a client computer" in the online Help.

While the DNS server has only a single label name, all zones created will have default records (SOA and NS) created using only this single label name for the server's hostname. This can lead to incorrect and failed referrals when clients and other DNS servers use these records to locate this server by name.

To correct this problem:
1) open ControlPanel
2) open System applet
3) select NetworkIdentification tab
4) click the "Properties" button and enter a domain name or workgroup name; this name will be used as your DNS domain name
5) reboot to initialize with new domain name

After reboot, the DNS server will attempt to fix up default records, substituting new DNS name of this server, for old single label name. However, you should review to make sure zone's SOA and NS records now properly use correct domain name of this server.

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That took about 5 hours to find, and made a job that should have take two hours take over 8 hours. But lets start from the beginning shall we?

This morning was our big print and dhcp server swapover. Two new servers that needed to brought up to replace two aging ones. As much as I can figure, everything went absolutely smoothly, and we were all done within two hours. A chunk of that time was just spent waiting for a server name to be removed from the domain.

So, being all said and done by 10am, I went over and gave John a hand with his active directory upgrade on their domain. I was really just going along to watch, but things started going wrong, and somehow or another I ended up troubleshooting for them. Three reinstallations of 2003 later and we were still no closer to figuring out why DNS wouldn't work. We kept getting a DNS error during the active directory upgrade wizard, complaining there was a DNS server error. Then, quite by accident, I noticed the above error (event ID 414 for anyone doing a google search). Turns out that under My Computer, Properties, the machine had only been configured with a short host name, and didn't have the full dns suffix. Hence the above error on machine startup. Once we fixed that up, everything else fell into place. Talk about a massive waste of time. Every single time I've had problems with active directory, it's been DNS related. So the moral of this story is, if it's broken, check DNS. Then check it again. And check it once more just be safe.

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Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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