DNS, WINS NetBIOS & the Client Side Resolver, Browser Service, Disabling NetBIOS, Do I Need WINS? Direct Hosted SMB (DirectSMB), If One DC is Down Does a Client logon to Another DC, and DNS Forwarders Algorithm

Ace Fekay again!!!!

Compiled 8/13/2018

I know everyone always has trouble with this topic, as in why doesn’t DNS failover on the client, especially that I set four or five DNS addresses on it??? Why!!!

Because it doesn’t work that way! And NO, it’s not a “Microsoft” client thing or server thing, it’s based on the client side resolver service defined as an industry standard that all manufacturer’s (Microsoft, Apple, Unix flavors, Android, etc) operating systems follow, including your phone.

Topics Covered

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1. DNS & WINS Resolution Process

Keep in mind, Win2000 and newer machines uses the DNS (hostname) process FIRST before the NetBIOS resolution process. If it does not get resolved using the DNS process, then it uses the NetBIOS process. Legacy pre-Windows 2000 clients, such as Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 95, Windows 3.1, DOS, etc, use the NetBIOS process FIRST if the queried name is less than 15 characters, and if not, it uses hostname (DNS) resolution. If is is shorter than 15, then it will use NetBIOS, but if it doesn’t get resolved using NetBIOS, only then will it use the DNS hostname resolution process.
 
If you are using an NBNS (NetBIOS Nameserver, such as WINS), that changes it a bit, and it also depends on what Node it’s in. H-Node is default, but the order can be changed with a registry change. There are four NetBIOS Nodes:

B-Node – Broadcast ONLY
P-Node – NBNS (Netbios Nameserver) or WINS ONLY
M-Node- Mixed NBNS and Broadcast, but uses Broadcast FIRST.
H-Node – Mixed NBNS and Broadcast, but uses WINS FIRST.

Windows 2000 and newer, hostname (DNS or hosts file) resolution is used first before NetBIOS (WINS enabled)

  1. Checks it’s own name.
  2. Local hostname (DNS client side resolver) cache
  3. HOSTS file
  4. DNS (this is where the search suffix comes in play if a single name query)
  5. NetBIOS name cache
  6. WINS
  7. Broadcast
  8. LMHOSTS

Windows 2000 and newer – If not using WINS:

  1. Checks it’s own name.
  2. Local hostname (DNS client side resolver) cache
  3. HOSTS file
  4. DNS (this is where the search suffix comes in play if a single name query)
  5. NetBIOS name cache
  6. Broadcast
  7. LMHOSTS

Prior to Windows 2000 (ME, 95, DOS, 3.1, etc), NetBIOS was tried first, essentially if using WINS:

  1. Is name longer than 15 characters? If so, perform Hostname (DNS) resolution process. If not, continue…
  2. Checks it’s own name.
  3. NetBIOS name cache
  4. WINS
  5. Broadcast
  6. LMHOSTS files
  7. Local hostname (DNS client side resolver) cache
  8. HOSTS file
  9. DNS (this is where the search suffix comes in play if a single name query)

If NetBIOS is disabled, which only disabled the NBT transport and interface, TCP will still use DirectSMB (also called Direct Hosted SMB) in Windows 2000 or newer. If both the direct hosted and NBT interfaces are enabled, both methods are tried at the same time and the first to respond is used. This allows Windows to function properly with operating systems that do not support direct hosting of SMB traffic.

Regarding DirectSMB,

Quoted from Aiden Cao, MIcrosoft, 2/6/2012 in thread:
TechNet Thread question: “Netbios Session Service and SMB” 2/5/2012
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverNIS/thread/e03e2d52-0761-451a-91e8-40955172f460/

“Previous to Windows2000, Microsoft OS could only use SMB over a NetBIOS session. This means that all SMB traffic will start after NetBIOS session is established. It’s relies on TCP port 139. If we disabled the NetBIOS over TCP/IP, the SMB connectivity was interrupted.

At Windows 2000 and higher version, the OS support both NetBIOS sessions and Direct Hosting. And Direct Hosting of SMB over TCP uses TCP port 445. Since Direct Hosting is not reliant on NetBIOS, NetBIOS over TCP/IP can be disabled and connectivity to resources via SMB is still possible to other machines, with the only caveat with legacy apps that rely on NetBIOS.”

Direct hosting of SMB over TCP/IPRemoving WINS and NetBIOS broadcast as a means of name resolution. DirectSMB uses TCP 445… Direct-hosted SMB’s cannot be disabled in Windows without disabling additional features…
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/204279

More on the client side resolver:

How DNS works, March 28, 2003
Client side process order, etc.
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772774(WS.10).aspx#w2k3tr_dns_how_gaxc

How NetBIOS name resolution really works, By Robert L. Bogue, March 11, 2003
http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-netbios-name-resolution-really-works/5034239

DNS Hostname Resolution Flowchart:

The following information was quoted from:
Chapter 7: Host Name Resolution
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb727005.aspx
(Image 1): http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/Bb727005.chp7hn01_big(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Second two images from this link:
Configuring IP Addressing and Name Resolution
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457118.aspx
(Image 2): http://i.technet.microsoft.com/Cc940063.CNBC05(en-us,TechNet.10).gif
(Image 3) http://i.technet.microsoft.com/Cc940063.CNBC05B(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Image1:

Image 2 & Image 3:

NetBIOS Name Resolution Process:

The following two images are quoted from:

Configuring IP Addressing and Name Resolution
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457118.aspx

Resolution Process Related Links:

Hostname Resolution – Describes DNS domain name resolution
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc958812.aspx

NetBIOS and Hostname resolution for Microsoft Client and LAN Manager 2.2c Client:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/169141/EN-US/

Name Resolution Process in detail:
http://www.comptechdoc.org/os/windows/wintcp/wtcpname.html

(This was Updated 1/2012 to reflect Windows 7 & Windows 2008 R2 changes)

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2. Browser service without WINS across subnets

It appears to say that if all machines are Windows 2000 and newer, (nothing older), AD provides NetBIOS resolution for all clients. But it doesn’t say how it goes about doing that. It goes on saying that the backup browsers and master browsers for each segment over a WAN communicate to the PDC, which is the browse master for a domain, over UDP 138, means that AD has a role in this, but is not specific. What appears to be happening is an AD client uses DirectSMB over 445, but I’m not sure. I cannot find anything on the mechanism. I’m one to want to know and learn of the background functions of anything. This is not necessarily so with non-AD clients.

Description of the Microsoft Computer Browser Service
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188001

Common causes and solutions of browser Event ID 8021 and Event ID 8032 on domain master browsers
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/135404

Troubleshooting the Microsoft Computer Browser Service
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188305

New Networking Features in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista (Scroll down and read the “Computer Browse Service” section and its mention that the Computer Browser needs to be running on the PDC Emulator of a domain)::
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb726965.aspx

Windows 2008 – Appendix C – Computer Browser Service
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb726989.aspx

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3. Do I need WINS?

That’s an extremely good question. The answer is it depends. It depends on what apps and services currently running that require NetBIOS name resolution support.

For example, unless it’s been recently changed, Symantec Backup Exec needs it to ‘browse’ for the agent in the network browse list. Therefore, Backup Exec currently uses NetBIOS to assemble a list of all machines on a network to allow you to backup up remote computers whether the agent is installed or not, and giving you the option to install the backup agent.

So it depends on what YOU have running.

For example, Some AV solutions, such as McAfee Enterprise, Symantec, and CA uses NetBIOS to “find” all machines on the network to allow you to rollout installations and administer.

Therefore, you must inventory your infrastructure for applications and sevices that use NetBIOS. If I may suggest, make sure there are no applications running that rely on NetBIOS, such as SQL, Exchange, Netgwork Neighborhood browsing, printer browsing, etc, before pulling WINS out.

And yes, keep in mind Exchange 2000/2003  and Outlook communications require WINS for certain functions, such as Calendaring. This was removed from Exchange 2007 and 2010, and uses a different mechanism.

Here are some relevant links:

Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server require NetBIOS name resolution for full functionality
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/837391

Eileen Brown’s WebLog: Exchange 2003 and WINS
http://blogs.technet.com/eileen_brown/archive/2006/01/26/exchange-wins.aspx

WINS dependencies in Exchange 2003 Server
Summary of Microsoft’s implimentation of WINS Windows Internet Name Service. How even Exchange 2003 makes NetBIOS calls. Implications for a routed network.
http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/w2k3/services/WINS_exchange.htm

If you need WINS and want to learn how to install and configure it, please see the following:

WINS – What Is It, How To Install It, and how to Configure DHCP Scopes For WINS Client DHCP Distribution
http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2010/10/27/wins-what-is-it-how-to-install-it-and-how-to-configure-dhcp-scopes-for-wins-client-distribution.aspx

How To Install a WINS server:
http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/e4d3c3d8-a846-49b9-aac6-e04f2907aac51033.mspx

WINS Best Practices (Use ONLY itself in ip properties):
http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/ed9beba0-f998-47d2-8137-a2fc52886ed71033.mspx

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4. Disabling the Browser service, NetBIOS

Just be careful on what you disable. The effects of disabling certain services depend on the operating system version and its role. Disabling a necessary service may disable certain necessary functions on a machine. See section 3 above regarding apps that may be using or need NetBIOS support.

1. You can disable this service on a machine in a domain environment. It dictates whether it participates with becoming an eligible master browser on a subnet. To understand what that means, requires some reading.

Description of the Microsoft Computer Browser Service
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188001

What’s the Microsoft Computer Browser Service?
Disable NetBIOS in W2K/XP/2003 · Hide a Server from the Microsoft Computer Browser … Malicious User Can Shut Down Computer Browser Service:
www.petri.co.il/whats_the_microsoft_computer_browser_service.htm

Computer Browser Service
http://www.theeldergeek.com/computer_browser.htm

2. Leave that running. You need it. It works for all versions of NTLM.

NTLM Security Support Provider.
NTLM SSP is based on Microsoft Windows NT® LAN Manager challenge/response and NTLM version 2 authentication …
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms925943.aspx

3. If you disable the TCP NetBIOS Helper, you will not be able to map any drives or printers using NetBIOS names or FQDN.

“Network Location Cannot be Reached” Error Message When You Try to … To resolve this issue, start the TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service, and then join the domain.

To start the NetBIOS Helper Service, follow these steps:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/329866

4. One big advise – do not disable the DHCP Client service on any server, whether the machine is a DHCP client or statically configured. Somewhat of a misnomer, this service performs Dynamic DNS registration and is tied in with the client resolver service. If disabled on a DC, you’ll get a slew of errors, and no DNS queries will get resolved.

No DNS Name Resolution If DHCP Client Service Is Not Running. When you try to resolve a host name using Domain Name Service (DNS), the attempt is unsuccessful. Communication by Internet Protocol (IP) address (even to …
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/268674

Windows Vista/2008 and newer, the DNS Client service is now responsible for Dynamic Updates

This has changed in WIndows Vista, Windows 2008, Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 – It no longer uses the DHCP Client Services. It now uses the DNS Client Service.

 For Windows 2000/2003/XP, the DHCP Client Service is what performs the Dynamic DNS Update process. For Windows 2008/Vista/2008 R2/Windows 7 and all newer operating systems, it is now the DNS Client Service.

Specific details can be found in the following link:

Understanding Dynamic Update, Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 (and changes to the DNS Update process from previous operating systems)
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771255.aspx

Quoted from above article:

“The DNS Client service and the DNS Server service support the use of dynamic updates, as described in Request for Comments (RFC) 2136, “Dynamic Updates in the Domain Name System.” 
The documentation after that indicates the DHCP CLient service, but please ignore that. There are a few of us in touch with the dev group about the documentation, and it wil be cleared up.
The point is the DHCP CLient service is no longer responsible for updates.

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) Basics
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/169289

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5. DNS Client side Resolver service Query Process

The Client Side Resolver Service algorithm on all Windows 2000 and newer machines:

To summarize:

If the first entry responds but doesn’t have an answer, which is what we call an NXDOMAIN response (when the DNS server doesn’t have an answer but it responded), it won’t go to the second entry, because it got an answer, even though it is not the answer we wanted.

If the DNS server does not respond, which we call a NULL response (when the DNS is down and doesn’t respond), it will go to subsequent entries in the order entered after a time out period, or TTL, which can last 15 seconds or more as it keeps trying the first one, at which then it REMOVES the first entry from the “eligible resolvers” list, until the list is reset after 15 minutes, and either restart the DHCP Client Service (on 2000/2003/XP), (ipconfig /flushdns), restart the DNS Client Service (on 2008/Vista and all newer), or restart the machine.

.

For specifics, the Microsoft DNS Whitepapers is a good start. Here’s more:

DNS Client side resolver service
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc779517.aspx

The DNS Client Service Does Not Revert to Using the First Server in the List in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320760

Technet Thread: “problem with secondary dns”
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverNIS/thread/8fc4597c-d64e-4a87-9cfe-5fe159df5735/

.

Other references:

How to Disable Client-Side DNS Caching in Windows XP and Windows …Oct 12, 2007 …
To disable the DNS cache permanently in Windows, use the Service Controller tool or the Services tool to set the DNS Client service startup …
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318803

How DNS Works: DNS Resolution, Client Side Resolver (Time out period, devolution, and much more)
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772774.aspx#w2k3tr_dns_how_gaxc

Best practices for DNS client settings in Windows 2000 Server and in Windows Server 2003 (Read the part about the client side resolver algorithm and the client side resolver service timeout when querying multiple DNS entries)
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;825036

W2k DNS White Paper- search thru for Fully-Qualified Query and Disabling the Caching Resolver:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/howitworks/communications/nameadrmgmt/w2kdns.asp

How DNS query works Domain Name System(DNS):
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windowsserver2003/library/ServerHelp/0bcd97e6-b75d-48ce-83ca-bf470573ebdc.mspx

DNS Resolver Cache Service [incvluding NetFailureCacheTime and NegativeCacheTime reg entries]:
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/2000/server/reskit/en-us/cnet/cnbc_imp_qxht.asp

286834 – DNS Client Service Doesn’t Revert to Using First Server in List [explained in the DNS white papers] reg to alter it too:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;286834

261968 – Explanation of the Server List Management Feature in the Domain Name Resolver Client:
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=261968

SP4 Changes DNS Name Resolution – Actual Query Timeout settings the resolver uses – (XP too):
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;198550

Linux and Unix client resolver works pretty much the same:

That is correct, this behavior ALSO applies to Non-Microsoft operating system client side resolver, such as the Linux/Unix Client Side Resolver

Thread: Re: Complex DNS Resolver Question – DNS
http://fixunix.com/dns/220126-re-complex-dns-resolver-question.html

Quoted from the above link:
If the hostname is not found, then you want to query
a local nameserver to locate the information. That is not how DNS
operates. If a queried nameserver is unaccessible, then DNS will query
another nameserver, providing that there is a second nameserver
configured. But if the first nameserver returns NXDOMAIN (the record
you requested is not in DNS), then the result returned to the client is
NXDOMAIN. The DNS protocol is not set up to look elsewhere for the
record, especially if the first nameserver returns NXDOMAIN
authoritatively.

Client Side Options If a DC goes down:

Run the following command line to fix this problem on your Active Directory clients by emptying the DC Locator cache (Replace “DomainName” with the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) of your Active Directory domain:
nltest /dsgetdc:DomainName /force

More on this:

Domain Controller Stickiness Prevention
http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/sanderberkouwer/archive/2008/06/24/domain-controller-stickiness-prevention.aspx

AD Clients Not Authenticating to its Local Site
http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/paulbergson/archive/2010/04/19/ad-clients-not-authenticating-to-its-local-site.aspx

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6. DNS Forwarder Resolution and the Time Out Process

Information on how a DNS Forwarder time-out works with using multiple Forwarder:

Keep in mind, if you have too many forwarders listed, and only one is recommended (I believe 6 is the most it will use), the client side resolver may time out waiting for the 4th forwarder to get queried and will go to the next DNS server listed in the client’s IP properties.

Configure a DNS server to use forwarders (you can change the time-out period)
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773370.aspx

Good post by Kevin Goodnecht explaining the forwarders time out and scenarios with too many Forwarders listed.
http://help.lockergnome.com/windows2/Strange-forwarding-issues-ftopict482618.html

Quoted from above link:

“Actually, the DNS service will stick to the Forwarder that provides an answer, no matter where it is in the list, if one forwarder times out (no answer) it will move to the next forwarder in the list, if the next forwarder provides an answer it uses it until it times out. The problem for you is, that it may not get back around to the first forwarder, before the Forwarding timeout expires, and it starts using recursion itself and goes to the root hints.

Now, if you check the box “Do not use recursion” the DNS server will use only its forwarders, and will not use root hints. But this cannot guarantee that one of the other servers being used as a forwarder answer the query.

I recommend that if there is a domain that cannot be reached through the internet root, that you add a secondary zone for that domain on the Win2k DNS server.”

Comment on Forwarders:

DNS acts as a resolving client when it uses a Forwarder because as the explanation indicated, it is sending the request elsewhere, essentially offloading the request so it doesn’t have to hit the Roots to devolve the query. If there are multiple Forwarders, DNS will hit each Forwarder. If it runs out of Forwarders, only then will it use the Roots, unless the checkbox to disable recursion is set under the Forwarders tab (not the Advanced tab). But then that all takes time. Keep in mind there is a time out that a client will wait, so if the original client request that sent it to your DNS server is waiting beyond the time out period, and the DNS server is waiting on it’s resolution request from a Forwarder, and the time out period is reached and no response is received, the client will assume that the DNS address that it used is no good and will remove it from the ‘eligible resolvers list’ and then query the second one.

If a DNS server that is set as a Forwarder is no longer functioning, or if whomever owns the server decides to disable Recursion, which will make it not respond to queries to zones it does not host (effectively making it a content only server), or is controlling it by “views” ( a BIND feature to control what subnets it responds to for queries), then the DNS service will follow a time-out (TTL or Time to Live) algorithm when it sends the query to the first Forwarder in the list. If there is no response (NULL response) after the TTL, then it eliminate that Forwarder for this query only, and it will then send the query to the next Forwarder in the list. If none of the Forwarders respond, the DNS service will then send the query to the Root Hints to devolve the query.

Now – and this is an important “now,” if there are many DNS servers listed in the Forwarders list, such as 3 or 4, the time out value for the number of Forwarders listed may exceed the timeout (TTL) the client side resolver service is set to by default (on the client machine making the request), therefore receiving that familiar ‘HTTP 404 not found’ in the browser.

For practical purposes understanding the TTLs, I would suggest to never set more than two Forwarders.

To find out if a DNS server will respond to queries and be eligible to use as a Forwarder, you can test it by using the nslookup utility (use set -d2 option and look for ‘recursion available’ or ‘recursion not available’

So for all practical purposes, I never set more than two Forwarders, otherwise what’s the use? If the first two can’t resolve it, it probably is not resolvable anyway.

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7. If one DC or DNS server goes down, why can’t I logon to the other DC or not use the second DNS address to find another DC?

Which begs the eternal philosophical question:
If a Domain goes down in a forest, and there’s nobody there, did it crash?

Keep in mind that if any of the DCs are multihomed (more than one NIC and/or
IP), you are using your ISP’s DNS, or the domain is a single label name
(‘domain’ versus the recommended minimum of ‘domain.com,’ domain.local,’ etc),
  other problems will occur, and you will get unexpected and undesireable
results whether there is one DC down or not.

As for the second DC responding, this all depends on the DNS settings on the
client side, as well as if the previous logon server and record was cached.

It will use the second address, but only after a timeout period the client is waiting for a response from the server. You need to understand how the client side resolver works. As stated above in section #5:

  • If the first entry responds but doesn’t have an answer, which is what we call an NXDOMAIN response (when the DNS server doesn’t have an answer but it STILL responded), it won’t go to the second entry, because it got an answer, even though it is not the answer we wanted.
  • If the DNS server does not respond, which we call a NULL response (when the DNS is down and doesn’t respond), it will go to subsequent entries in the order entered after a time out period, or TTL, which can last 15 seconds or more as it keeps trying the first one, at which then it REMOVES the first entry from the “eligible resolvers” list, until the list is reset after 15 minutes, or after you clear the client side cache (ipconfig /flushdns), or restart the DHCP Client Service (on 2000/2003/XP), restart the DNS Client Service (on 2008/Vista and all newer), or restart the machine.

.

To put it another way:

If the query sent to the first entry in the DNS list responds with an NXDOMAIN response, meaning it is an actual response, but there is no record from the server it asked, then it will look no further because it is a response. however if it receives a NULL response, meaning the DNS server is down and there is no response, it will remove the first entry from the ‘eligible resolvers list’ for a certain amount of time (depending on the OS version and SP level), then send the query to the second one. However, if the record is already cached, it won’ even ask the first entry. Hence why the possibility that the client machine is asking a DC that is down.

Summary:

As I mentioned, this is ALL based on the client side resolver, not the DNS server. This time out period can be perceived as by someone sitting there waiting as ‘it’s not working’ because it appears to be taking so long. Also,
if it is already cached locally by the client side service, it will not ask and will send the connection request to the cached record, which if it is the server that is down, then it can’t connect anyway, and no response, but you may be sitting there expecting it to go to the other DC that is up. The way to reset the list is to restart the DHCP Client service (not the DHCP server) on the workstation, and the way to delete the cache on the client is to run ipconfig /flushdns, or simply restart the machine.

Or simply disable the DNS Client Side caching mechanism. It’s not suggested to do this due to performance and especially if you have many machines in the infrastructure. However for testing, you can give it a shot:

How to Disable Client-Side DNS Caching in Windows XP and Windows …Oct 12, 2007 …
To disable the DNS cache permanently in Windows, use the Service Controller tool or the Services tool to set the DNS Client service startup …
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318803

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8. What happens with Exchange and Outlook when when DNS goes down?

Exchange uses its Own fault tolerent serivice DSaccess that is responsible for providing directory information to exchagne servers. DsAccess fires every 15 minutes will change the server it relies on on its own DC DSAccess location process. For more info on its process, see:

Directory service server detection and DSAccess usage
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/250570

But in addition, this goes back to the depending on on the client side resolver as well, which I covered above under the, “If one DC is down, why does it not logon to the other DC? Or If first DNS
is down, will it use the second DNS to find another DC to logon?”

Also with Exchange involved, it becomes a little trickier. Keep in mind,  when Outlook 2002 and newer first connects, it is provided a DsProxy value for the GC that Exchange is using. Outlook will now cache it. If the GC goes down, even if there are other GCs up, Outlook will not ‘look’ for another GC. You have to literally restart Outlook. As for Exchange, Exchange will lock onto that GC as well, and if it goes down, it will indicate so in the event logs with numerous DSAccess errors until the GC is back up. The only way to circumvent that is to go into Exchange and manually change the DC/GCs
it was discovered with the automatic discovery process and changing it to manual and remove the downed GC. But the Outlook clients will still need to be restarted. However if you have multiple Exchange servers, it needs to be done on each one. If you have ISA, it needs to be restarted. Otherwise, it’s best to get the GC back up, and Exchange errors will disappear, however Outlook will still have a problem.

I’ve seen this while working in a 5000 user system with 20 Exchange servers. It was due to the AD group running Windows updates on the DCs. We talked them into doing it after hours. It was a pain. If you have BES servers, they need to be restarted after the GC is back up, too.

Keep in mind as well, that other Exchange related applications that rely on MAPI just as Outlook, such as BES servers (Blackberry Enterprise Server), need to be restarted for them to reinitialize.

Keep in mind too, that in a single domain scenario, all DCs should be Global Catalogs. If there are more than one domain in the forest (child domains), then the IM role cannot be on a GC. If Exchange is involved, access to Exchange may be affected by the GCs and DCs it’s been configured to use, and whether they are down or not. This would not be a DNS function, rather it is the DSAccess and DSProxy function on  Exchange.

I hope that makes sense.

Also I am providing some links on it, however, sorry about all the links, however they will give you a better understanding of it and how it applies. They all give little but in some cases not the whole picture. The DNS Whitepaper is pretty good to start with.

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9. Client side DNS Devolution on Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2

Devolution is when the parent suffix is derived when there are child suffixes. For example, if in a machine is joined to a child domain “sales.test.com,” then  “test.com” is devolved from “sales.test.com.”
 
Therefore, if “fileserver1” is not resolved in “sales.test.com” the client side resolver service on a client (keep in mind, DCs are DNS clients, too), will attempt to resend the query with the parent suffix.
 
It is best to design your forest infrastructure with unique hostnames so if “fileserver1” doesn’t exist in a child, it doesn’t exist anywhere else. Having a computername called “fileserver1” in a child domain and another domain, is not a good practice, nor is it a best practice. Uniqueness is the key across a forest.

DNS Devolution
Published: October 21, 2009, Updated: July 7, 2010, Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee683928(WS.10).aspx

Quoted:
Devolution is not enabled in Active Directory domains when the following conditions are true:
  1. A global suffix search list is configured using Group Policy.
  2.The Append parent suffixes of the primary DNS suffix check box is not selected on the DNS tab in the Advanced TCP/IP Settings for IPv4 or IPv6 Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties of a client computer’s network connection. Parent suffixes are obtained by devolution.

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10. How does resolution work in a multi-domain forest (with child domains)?

If you have a hostname record, for example, called “Computer,” in both the parent domain and child domains, nslookup will resolve the IP address of hostname.domain.local without query or using the child domain suffix. This is part of the devolution process that starts with the higher level domain and works down.

Further, if you have a hostname record, for example, called “Computer,” in both the parent domain and child domains, nslookup will resolve the IP address of hostname.domain.local without query or using the child domain suffix. This is part of the devolution process that starts with the higher level domain and works down. The devolution to the upper hierarchal levels is limited to the forest root domain level in the forest.

For example, if you have a forest root of ad.domain.local, and you have a child domain called child.ad.domain.local, the client side resolver will limit devolution of it’s joined domain and to the forest root domain, and will not go any higher, and will not devolve or populate domain.local as a Search Suffix, since that domain name does not exist in the forest.

Therefore, if you have a DNS suffix search list, the resolver adds those DNS suffixes in order and does not try any other domain names. In this case, if you submit the unqualified name ‘Computer,’ the resolver queries in order for the following FQDNs:

  • hostname.domain.local
  • hostname.child.domain.local

Based on the example, below shows that such a client in this scenario will only devolve the following two, and not “domain.local,” as was previous to Vist/2008.

  • child.ad.domain.local
  • ad.domain.local

More info on this behavior:

Host Name Resolution Order
  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/172218/en-us  
 
  Configuring Query Settings:
  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc959339.aspx 

DNS client name resolution behavior in windows vista VS Windows XP
  http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2009/04/16/dns-client-name-resolution-behavior-in-windows-vista-vs-windows-xp.aspx 
 
 

If you have a hostname record, for example, called “Computer,” in both the parent domain and child domains, nslookup will resolve the IP address of hostname.domain.local without query or using the child domain suffix. This is part of the devolution process that starts with the higher level domain and works down.


 

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11. Troubleshooting the Browser Service

Keep in mind, each subnet has it’s own master browser, and they work together with the WINS service using WINS, to enumerate an infrastructure wide browse list. If not using WINS, it uses broadcasts, but if you are in a multi-subnetted environment, and you want full browsing capabilities, it’s suggested to use WINS.

We have to keep in mind with troubleshooting the browser service, there is a time period you have to wait for the list to fully enumerate and become available on the master.

Good example is when a server is shut off on a segment, and the workstations kick in, or the server is rebooted, wins the election, and begins a new cycle to enumerate the browse list from WINS and/or broadcasts. This can take a minimal of 12 minutes, upwards to the 48-minute full propogation cycle in a multiple-segment domain environment.

And the default settings out-of-the-box, works fine, otherwise you’ll find yourself trying to change reg entries on multiple servers.

If you find workstations are becoming masters, are there any server operating systems on their subnets? If not, then a workstation will win as a master. If there is a server OS, and it’s not multihomed, especially if a DC on the subnet and it’s not multihomed (multihoming a DC is a really bad idea), then it should win, unless there’s a problem with the machine itself, such as some sort of security setting in your antivirus blocking traffic, or firewall blocking traffic on it.

Some basic things to look for and use:

  1. Make sure the Computer Browser service is Started.
  2. Make sure NetBIOS is enabled on everything.
  3. On Windows 2003 and 2000, install the Support Tools (from the Windows CDROM) in order to have the “browstat” utility available. In Windows 2008 and newer, the utility is already installed as part of the operating system files.

Multihomed DC?

Note: A multihomed DC is a major cause of browser problems. Multhoming DCs is not recommended for multiple reasons, including a “Multihomed Browser” scenario. More info regarding multihoming and why not to do it:

Multihomed DCs (with more than one unteamed NIC or multiple IPs) with DNS, RRAS, iSCSI, and/or PPPoE adapters – A multihomed DC is not a recommended configuration, however there are ways to configure such a DC to work properly.
http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/08/17/multihomed-dcs-with-dns-rras-and-or-pppoe-adapters.aspx

Browser Troubleshooting Steps

If there are any antivirus software, it could block browser traffic. This of course is all assuming that the Computer browser service is running.
 
Run a browstat status to see who the browse master is for the segment. If it’s not the PDC Emulator, and some other device won the election, that can cause a problem.

To check current status of the browse service on the domain, run:

 browstat status

You should get a response similar to:

Browsing is active on domain.
  Master browser name is: <serverName>

Note, the machine that is the current master browser will either be, depending if the machine type exists on the segment: the PDC Emulator, a replica DC on the segment, a member server, joined workstation, or workgroup member, Unix or Linux with SAMBA, etc. If you find a device is winning the election, then we need to disable that ability in the device. If there are no features for that, contact their support department, or put the device behind it’s own subnet or VLAN to prevent it from winning the election on the production network.

To find the current browse master on a segment, you’ll have to find the TransportID:

First run:

 browstat getmaster \device\netbt_el59x1 <domainname>

It will error out because the “netbt_el59x1” probably doesn’t exist, and will respond with the transports currently bound to the browser. Copy and paste  the transport that does show up into your next command:

browstat getmaster \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{C2055954-4F86-446F-ACBA-E00BE731C3FB} <domainname>

Force an election by running:

 browstat elect \device\netbt_ieepro1 <domainname>

Then check the event logs to see which machine won the election. If it’s a device, such as I’ve found that Linux/Unix with SAMBA, or devices such as a Seagate NAS, may win the election and cause browsing havoc within an environment and get that familiar, but unwanting “Access Denied” when trying to browse.

Troubleshooting the Microsoft Browser Services:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188305

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Related Links

DNS Client side resolver service
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc779517.aspx 

The DNS Client Service Does Not Revert to Using the First Server in the List in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320760

ForwardingTimeout (registry settings)
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc940784.aspx

Appendix C: Windows Sockets and DNS Registry Parameters
For Resolver time out, see DNSQueryTimeouts
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc781532(WS.10).aspx

Change description of following to show its for NT4
SP4 Changes DNS Name Resolution – Actual Query Timeout settings the resolver uses – (XP too):
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;198550

How DNS Works: DNS Resolution, Client Side Resolver (Time out period, devolution, and much more)
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772774.aspx#w2k3tr_dns_how_gaxc

DNSQueryTimeouts  – How to control the client side resolver time out value in the registry)
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc977482.aspx

W2k DNS White Paper- search thru for Fully-Qualified Query and Disabling the Caching Resolver:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/howitworks/communications/nameadrmgmt/w2kdns.asp

DNS Resolver Cache Service [incvluding NetFailureCacheTime and NegativeCacheTime reg entries]:
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/2000/server/reskit/en-us/cnet/cnbc_imp_qxht.asp

DNS Client Service Doesn’t Revert to Using First Server in List [explained in the DNS white papers] reg to alter it too:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;286834

261968 – Explanation of the Server List Management Feature in the Domain Name Resolver Client:
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=261968

SP4 Changes DNS Name Resolution – Actual Query Timeout settings the resolver uses – (XP too):
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;198550

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Summary

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, and I’m sure you do, please feel free to reach out to me.

Major revision – Published 3/20/2018

Ace Fekay
MVP, MCT, MCSE 2012, MCITP EA & MCTS Windows 2012|R2, 2008|R2, Exchange 2013|2010EA|2007, MCSE & MCSA 2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
Microsoft Certified Trainer
Microsoft MVP – Mobility

As many know, I work with Active Directory, Exchange server, and Office 365 engineer/architect, and an MVP in Active Directory and Identity Management, and I’m an MCT as well. I try to strive to perform my job with the best of my ability and efficiency, even when presented with a challenge, and then help others with my findings in case a similar issue arises to help ease their jobs. Share the knowledge, is what I’ve always learned.

I’ve found there are many qualified and very informative websites that provide how-to blogs, and I’m glad they exists and give due credit to the pros that put them together. In some cases when I must research an issue, I just needed something or specific that I couldn’t find or had to piece together from more than one site, such as a simple one-liner or a simple multiline script to perform day to day stuff.

I hope you’ve found this blog post helpful, along with my future scripts blog posts, especially with AD, Exchange, and Office 365.

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Complete List of Technical Blogs
https://blogs.msmvps.com/acefekay/

This posting is provided AS-IS with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

What DNS Zone type should I use, a Stub, Conditional Forwarder, a Forwarder, or a Secondary Zone?? What’s the Difference??

By Ace Fekay
Originally Published 2012
Updated 3/20/2018

Intro

Ace again. DNS is a basic, yet important requirement that many still having problems wrapping their head around it.

Besides design, a huge part of DNS is understanding the differences between the zone types. Many have asked, when do I use a Stub zone, a Conditional Forwarder, or a Forwarder? Or better, what’s the difference?

I thought to put this simple comparison together compiled from past posts in the TechNet Forum.

Partner Organization DNS Resolution: What should I use, a Stub, Conditional Forwarder or Forwarder?

Secondary Zone

Secondary zones are read only copies “copied,” or “zone transferred” from a Master zone. This makes the zone data available locally (as read only, of course), instead of querying a DNS server across a WAN link. However, in many cases Secondaries are not used due to many limitations and security concerns, such as exposing all DNS zone data that a partner may not want to divulge.

In addition, Secondaries can’t be AD integrated, and the zone data is stored in a text file. So you would have to manually create a copy on all of your DNS servers.

Stub Zone

Organizations own their own AD zones. When business partners need to resolve data at a partner’s organization, there are a few options to support this requirement. Years ago, prior to Stub or Conditional Forwarders, there weren’t many options to handle this other than to use Secondary Zones and keep copies of each others zones via zone transfers.  While the solution worked well in regards to name resolution, it was not the best security-wise, due to trust level between partners, because zone data is fully exposed at the partner. This became a security concern because the partner is able to see all of their business partner’s records. When the zone was transferred to partners, who knows what they were doing with the information. If the information was made public, attackers would have a field day with all of the IPs for the networked devices.

When stub zones were made available, it became a solution to overcome this security issue. What is also beneficial about Stubs, is you can AD integrate them instead of manually creating a Stub on each individual DC. This way the zone will be available domain or forest-wide, depending on replication scope.

However, some may say due to the fact that the SOA records are included in the zone file, it may be a concern that the SOA and NS data is exposed. In such high security concerns, the better solution would be to use a Conditional forwarder.

Conditional Forwarder

This option is heavily used, and many look at them as the best regarding security concerns with zone data exposure, because no data is exposed. This option has worked very well in many environments.

With Conditional Forwarders, no information is being transerred and shared. The only thing you would need to know is one or more of your business partner’s DNS server IPs to configure it, and they don’t have to be the SOA, rather any DNS server that hosts the zone or that has a reference to the zone.

However, it does require open communication and let each other know when their DNS server IPs may change, because you must manually set them.

Windows 2003 introduced Conditional Forwarders, but it did not have the option to make it AD Integrated. If you have 10 DNS servers, you must create the Conditional Forwarder on each server manually. The AD integrated option was added to Windows 2008 or newer DNS servers, so you don’t have to manually create them on each DNS server. THis way the Conditional Forwarder will be available domain or forest-wide.

Parent-Child DNS Zone Delegation

Delegation can be used in a situation where a child domain host their own DNS zone.  Therefore in the forest root domain, you would create a delegation zone with the IPs of the DNS servers in the child domain.  This is normally performed when the child zone have their own administrators. It’s also useful they do not have access to “see” all of the forest root DNS records.

Summary

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, and I’m sure you do, please feel free to reach out to me.

Major revision – Published 3/20/2018

Ace Fekay
MVP, MCT, MCSE 2012, MCITP EA & MCTS Windows 2012|R2, 2008|R2, Exchange 2013|2010EA|2007, MCSE & MCSA 2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
Microsoft Certified Trainer
Microsoft MVP – Mobility

As many know, I work with Active Directory, Exchange server, and Office 365 engineer/architect, and an MVP in Active Directory and Identity Management, and I’m an MCT as well. I try to strive to perform my job with the best of my ability and efficiency, even when presented with a challenge, and then help others with my findings in case a similar issue arises to help ease their jobs. Share the knowledge, is what I’ve always learned.

I’ve found there are many qualified and very informative websites that provide how-to blogs, and I’m glad they exists and give due credit to the pros that put them together. In some cases when I must research an issue, I just needed something or specific that I couldn’t find or had to piece together from more than one site, such as a simple one-liner or a simple multiline script to perform day to day stuff.

I hope you’ve found this blog post helpful, along with my future scripts blog posts, especially with AD, Exchange, and Office 365.

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Complete List of Technical Blogs
https://blogs.msmvps.com/acefekay/

This posting is provided AS-IS with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.


 

Active Directory DNS Single Label Names

Intro

Hey everyone, Ace again. Let’s discuss this issue. I hardly see this issue any more, because it was a previously prevalent when Active Directory was introduced, since there were some confusion about AD domain naming, and many IT admins used NT4’s domain naming guidelines. Man of us are now familiar with AD’s naming convention, and have more than likely renamed or rebuilt their AD domains. However, there are still some installations with this issue. 

How did it happen? Many reasons, such as lack of research on AD’s DNS requirements, assumptions, or a simple typo when originally upgrading from NT4 or promoting your new AD domain. It doesn’t matter now, because you were brought here to find out what to do with it.

I hope you find this blog informative on this issue and what to do about it.

First, let’s discuss a little background on the necessary components at play…

FQDN

First, let’s discuss the FQDN. What is an FQDN? It stands for “Fully Qualified Domain Name.” It is multi-level, or hierarchal, such as:

domain.com
domain.net
domain.local
childdomainname.domain.local
etc

What is a Single Label DNS Domain name?
The name is reminiscent of the legacy style NT4 domain NetBIOS domain names, such as:

DOMAIN
CORP
COMPANYNAME
etc

Unfortunately, since this does not work with DNS, and Active Directory relies on DNS, therefore, it does not work with Active Directory. Stay with me. I’ll explain…

DNS

DNS is a hierarchal database. Some call it a “tree” with a root (the ‘com’ or ‘net’, etc, name), then the trunk (the ‘domain’ portion of it), and the branches (such as www, servername, etc). The Root domain name, such as com, edu, net, etc, is also known as the TLD (Tope Level Domain name).

Basically you can look at a DNS domain name as having multiple levels separated by periods. The minimal requirment for an FQDN domain name, such as microsoft.com, is two levels. Then of course are your resource names, such as www, servername, or even child domain names under it.

Notice with a single label name there is only one name for the domain, or one level? Don’t get this confused with the NetBIOS domain name, that we were familiar with in the NT4 days. AD supports the NetBIOS domain name as well, but only as a NetBIOS domain name. It’s one of the domain names chosen when a machine is promoted into a domain controller for a brand new domain in a brand new forest. NT4 wasn’t reliant nor did it use DNS for NT4 domains. However, AD is reliant, therefore it must follow DNS naming rules.

Unfortunately the old NT4 style names are not hierarchal because there is only one level.
 
Since AD requires and relies on DNS, and DNS is a hierarchal database, a single label name does not follow any sort of hierarchy. DNS fails with single label names. Windows 2008, Windows 2003, XP and Vista have problems resolving single label names because it does not follow the proper format for a DNS domain name, such as domain.com, etc.

Also, Windows 2000 SP4 and all newer machines have problems querying single label names. It’s explained below by Alan Woods. Because clients query DNS for AD resources (domain controller locations and other services), they may have difficulty finding resources.

How did it happen? As I said earlier, it doesn’t matter now, because you were brought here to find out what to do with it.

Common Mistakes When Upgrading a Windows 2000 Domain To a Windows 2003 Domain (or any AD upgrade or installation):
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555040

Single Label Name Explanation

Another variation of the Single Label Name explanation that I had provided in a response to a post in the DNS and/or AD newsgroups at one time:

The issue is the single label name. Locally at HQ, it’s using NetBIOS to join, however remotely, it’s relying on DNS. DNS queries do not work properly with single label names on Windows 2000 SP4 and all newer machines.

Period. Why? good question. It’s based on the fact DNS is hierarchal. Hierarchal meaning it must have multi levels, a minimum of two levels.

The TLD (top level domain) is the root name, such as the com, net, etc., names. The client side resolver service algorithm (which is governed by the DHCP Client service which must be running on all machines, static or not),
relies on that name for the basis to find the second level name (the name “domain” in domain.com, etc.). If the name is a single label name, it thinks THAT name is the TLD.

Therefore it then hits the Internet Root servers to find how owns and is authoritative for that TLD.Such as when looking up Microsoft.com. It queries for the COM portion, which the roots return the nameservers responsible for the COM servers, then it queries for the servers responsible for Microsoft.com zone.

If it’s a single label, the query ends there, and it won’t go further. However what is funny (sic) is that even though the single label name is being hosted locally in DNS, it will NOT query locally first, because it believes it is a TLD, therefore goes through the normal resolution (recursion and devolution) process, which causes excessive query traffic to the internet Root servers.

How to fix it? Good question. Glad you’ve asked.

  1. The preferred “fix” (in a one line summary), is to install a fresh new domain properly named and use ADMT to migrate user, group and computer accounts into the new domain from the current domain.
  2. An alternative is to perform a domain rename, (difficulty depends on the operating system and which version of Exchange is installed).
  3. As a temporary resort, you can use the patch or band aid registry fix to force resolution and registration that is mentioned in the following link. This must be applied to every machine. Unfortunately it must be done on every machine in the domain, including the DCs, member servers, workstations and laptops.

Information About Configuring Windows 2000 for Domains with Single-Label DNS Names:
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=300684

Single Label Names and being a better Internet Neighbor

The following was posted by Microsoft’s Alan Woods in 2004:

Single label names, from Alan Woods, [MSFT], posted:

—– Original Message —–
From: “Alan Wood” [MSFT]
Newsgroups: microsoft.public.win2000.dns
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 1:25 PM
Subject: Re: Single label DNS

Hi Roger,

We really would prefer to use FQDN over Single labled. There are
alot of other issues that you can run into when using a Single labeled
domain name with other AD integrated products. Exchange would be a great
example. Also note that the DNR (DNS RESOLVER) was and is designed to
Devolve DNS requests to the LAST 2 names.

Example: Single Labeled domain .domainA
then, you add additional domains on the forest.
child1.domainA
Child2.child1.domainA

If a client in the domain Child2 wants to resolve a name in domainA
Example. Host.DomainA and uses the following to connect to a share
\\host then it is not going to resolve. WHY, because the resolver is
first going to query for first for Host.Child2.child1.domainA, then it
next try HOST.Child1.domainA at that point the Devolution process is
DONE. We only go to the LAST 2 Domain Names.

Also note that if you have a single labeled domain name it causes excess
DNS traffic on the ROOT HINTS servers and being all Good Internet Community
users we definitely do not want to do that.   NOTE that in Windows 2003,
you get a big Pop UP Error Message when trying to create a single labeled
name telling you DON’T DO IT.  It will still allow you to do it, but you
will still be required to make the registry changes, which is really not
fun.

Microsoft is seriously asking you to NOT do this.  We will support you but
it the end results could be limiting as an end results depending on the
services you are using.

Thank you,

Alan Wood[MSFT]

 

Related Articles – Even though they seem old, they STILL APPLY!!!

Common Mistakes When Upgrading a Windows 2000 Domain To a Windows 2003 Domain
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555040

Best practices for DNS client settings in Windows 2000 Server and in Windows Server 2003:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/825036

DNS and AD (Windows 2000 & 2003) FAQ:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291382

Naming conventions in Active Directory for computers, domains, sites, and OUs (Good article on DNS and other names)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/909264

============================================================

Summary

I hope this helps!

Published 10/15/2016

Ace Fekay
MVP, MCT, MCSE 2012, MCITP EA & MCTS Windows 2008/R2, Exchange 2013, 2010 EA & 2007, MCSE & MCSA 2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
Microsoft Certified Trainer
Microsoft MVP – Directory Services

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Complete List of Technical Blogs: http://www.delawarecountycomputerconsulting.com/technicalblogs.php

This posting is provided AS-IS with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

Active Directory’s Reliance on DNS – Why not to use your ISP’s DNS

Intro

Ace again. Time to re-hash why DNS is important, or actually, NEEDED for Active Directory, and Azure AD .

Consider this….

You wake up and get ready for work. You sit down and have a bowl of cereal. You crack open a full gallon of milk. Now there’s a little less in the gallon, but you know you have plenty of milk for the next couple of days. You walk out of your house and drive off to work. Upon returning, you find the milk is missing. You know you had some milk left over when you left for work in morning. You walk out front and see your neighbor just happens to be outside. You walk over to him and ask him, “Do you know what happen to my milk?” He just stares at you not knowing what you’re talking about.

Can your neighbor, an outside entity to your internal household, respond to that? The same thing is occurring when you use an outside DNS server in your NIC properties (whether on the DC, member servers and/or client machines). If  the machines are set to use an outside DNS address, then your machines are literally asking an outside entity, “What’s the IP address of my domain controller?” The outside DNS servers do NOT have that answer.

Using an ISP’s DNS

What will happen if you use an ISP’s DNS address, or a router as a DNS address on a DC or client machine, is the machine (whether a DC or client), will ask the ISP’s DNS, “What is my DC’s IP address? I need to know because I would like to send a logon request.” The ISP’s DNS doesn’t have that answer. Their DNS servers do not host the your internal AD zone name therefore, they have no information about your internal AD network. It’s like me asking that guy down the street that I’ve never met, “Hey you, where did all the beer or milk go in my refrigerator?” He won’t have that answer either. 🙂

I’ve read and responded to numerous newsgroup and forums posts requesting assistance, as well as new customers I’ve been called upon to fix issues, with such complaints as taking a long time to login, can’t access printers or mapped drives, Outlook fails to find the Exchange servers, among other issues.

I’ve also seen other errors such as GPOs not working, can’t find the domain, RPC issues, Exchange profusely failing and its services not wanting to start, users complaining they can’t get their emails, etc, when the ISP’s DNS servers are listed on a client, DCs and/or member servers, or with  DCs.

After a short investigation, I’ve come to find that the domain controllers network properties have included either an ISP’s DNS address, the ISP’s router’s IP address, or some other external DNS server as an IP address in the NIC’s properties. I’ve also observed that using a non-internal DNS addresses were also found on internal company desktops and laptops, whether the IP configuration was set by a static entry, or from DHCP (DHCP Option 006).

This type of configuration can and will lead to numerous issues with a Active Directory, from authentication issues, replication issues, to much more.

I hope this explanation provides a greater understanding on how it all works and exemplifies to not ONLY use the internal DNS server for all internal machines, but as well as in the VPN’s DHCP service for VPN clients. Keep in mind, a client machine plugged in at home, using an air card, or say sitting at Starbucks, will probably be configured with an ISP’s anyway if outside the network. That is fine. If using a VPN connected to the office, the VPN client will use that DNS to find the VPN server for your network. But once the VPN authenticates and connects, the VPN will be configured with your company’s internal DNS servers on its interface, and because the VPN interface by default is the first in the binding order, therefore the first interface it will use, will be able to logon to the domain and authenticate to the domain in order to access internal resources, which is what you want it to do.

The Usual Suspects That Can Cause Issues with AD Communications, long logon times, etc

Here is a summarized list of possible causes, but NOT limited to:

  1. Single label name Active Directory DNS domain name (extremely problematic).
  2. SRV records missing. This can be due to DNS or network interface card (NIC) mis-configuration.
  3. Disjointed namespace.- AD domain name doesn’t match the Primary DNS Suffix and/or the zone name.
  4. Using an ISP’s or some other DNS server that is not hosting the AD zone or that doesn’t have a reference to it, in IP properties of the DCs and clients.
  5. DHCP Client service disabled on the DCs (a required service even if statically configured)
  6. DCs are possibly multihomed. A multihomed DC has more than one unteamed NIC, more than one IP and/or RRAS installed such as for VPN purposes, which makes it problematic if not configured properly (more info on this below).
  7. A third party firewall or security application is installed blocking traffic.
  8. Antivirus software blocking functionality
  9. Antispyware blocking functionality

AD & DNS Configuration

When I’ve visited a customer site to fix issues and noticing the DNS entries are incorrect on the DC(s), upon interviewing the parties involved that had configured the machines, simply stated they were not aware of this requirement.

Usually it simply comes down to a simple misunderstanding of AD and how DNS works, as well as the Client Side Resolver Service.  Some ISPs will tell their customers that they need to use the router as a DNS address, or that they need to use their DNS servers out on the internet, or they warn them that they will not resolve internet names. The ISP customer service reps are not well versed with how AD and DNS works, and frankly provide misguided advise.

Keep in mind, if a DC goes down for whatever reason, or simply not be available because the clients can’t “find” the DC,, so will your Exchange server, AD domain functions, mapped drive access, printer access, etc. If the DC actually went down, such as hardware failure, this is a worst case scenario and wouldn’t matter to config your machines with the ISP’s DNS. If you need, you can configure your own workstation to the ISP’s during such a crisis in case you need outside communication to research the problem, but you must change it back to your internal DNS once you’re done researching the issue and/or you’ve fixed the problem.

FYI about AD, DNS, authentication, finding the domain, GPOs, RPC issues,ISP’s DNS servers, etc

Active Directory stores it’s resources and service locations in DNS in the form of SRV records (those folder names with the underscores in them). These records are used for a multitude of things, such as finding the domain when a client logons, domain replication from one DC to another, authentication, and more.

If the ISP’s DNS is configured in the any of the internal AD member machines’ IP properties, (including all client machines and DCs), the machines will be asking the ISP’s DNS ‘where is the domain controller for my domain?”, whenever it needs to perform a function, (such as a logon request, replication request, querying and applying GPOs, etc). Unfortunately, the ISP’s DNS does not have that info and they reply with an “I dunno know”, and things just fail. Unfortunately, the ISP’s DNS doesn’t have information or records about your internal private AD domain, and they shouldn’t have that sort of information.

Therefore, with an AD infrastructure, all domain members (DCs, clients and servers), must only use the internal DNS server(s).

If for instance a user wanted to log on, part of the logon process involves the machine to find where the DCs are. The machine will ask DNS, “Where is my domain controller?” If the machine is properly set to use only the internal DNS servers, it will be able to respond with an answer, thus the user can logon.

If the machine asks the 4.2.2.2 DNS server, “Where is my domain controller?”, will it have that answer? No, unfortunately not.

Also, it is highly recommended to not use your firewall or router as a DNS or DHCP server. If you are using your NT4 as a DNS server in your AD domain, change it over to Win2003 DNS. Same with DHCP. NT4 DNS cannot support AD’s SRV requirements and dynamic updates. Windows DHCP service supports additional features for DNS Dynamic updates, as well as other features, that a router or firewall’s DHCP server does not support.

 

Do not configure the DNS client settings on the domain controllers to point to your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) DNS servers or any other DNS other than the DNS hosting the AD zone, otherwise…
http://smtp25.blogspot.com/2007/05/do-not-configure-dns-client-settings-on_818.html

Common Mistakes When Upgrading a Windows 2000 Domain To a Windows 2003 Domain (whether it was upgraded or not, this is full of useful information relating to AD and DNS, among other info):
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=555040

The DNS Client Side Resolver Service

Another question that has come up is, “Why can’t I use the ISP’s address as the second entry?” This will cause problems as well, due to the way the client side resolver works, which is the resolver service that runs on all machines – DC or workstation – that queries DNS and what to do with the answer. Yes, the domain controller, too, after all the domain controlleris also a DNS client, because it will query DNS to “find” itself.

The Client Side Resolver will query the first DNS server listed in the NIC’s properties. If that server doesn’t respond, it will remove it from the ‘eligible resolver list” for 15 “minutes and go on to the next one in the list. So say if the client happens to try to authenticate to AD in order to access a printer, and it’s stuck on the ISP’s, it will fail to connect until the 15 minute time out period expires and the list resets.

To summarize, if there are multiple DNS entries on a machine (whether a DC, member server or client), it will ask the first entry first. If it doesn’t have the answer, it will go to the second entry after a time out period, or TTL, which can last 15 seconds or more as it keeps trying the first one, at which then it REMOVES the first entry from the eligible resolvers list, and won’t go back to it for another 15 minutes at which time the list is reset back to the original order. This can cause issues within AD when accessing a resource such as a printer, folder, getting GPOs to function, etc. Now if the ISP’s is the first one, obviously it will be knocked out when a client is trying to login. This can be noticed by a really really logon time period the client will experience before it goes to the second one, your internal DNS. Therefore, the first one is knocked out for 15 minutes. Then let’s say the client decides to go to an internet site. It will be querying the internal DNS at this point. As long as the internal DNS is configured with forwarders to an outside DNS, or using it’s Root Hints, it will resolve both internal and external internet addresses.

In summary, based on the way the client side resolver service algorithm works, you simply can’t mix an ISP or some other DNS server that doesn’t host the AD zone name or have some sort of reference to it, whether using a conditional forwarder, stub, secondary or general forwarder, or expect problems. Read the following for more detail and understanding of the client side resolver service algorithm.

DNS Client side resolver service
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc779517.aspx

The DNS Client Service Does Not Revert to Using the First Server in the List in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320760

Then if I don’t use the ISP’s DNS address in my machines, how will it resolve internet names?

For Internet resolution, the Root Hints will be used by default, unless a root zone exists. The root zone actually looks like a period that you normally type at the end of a sentence, such as a  dot “.” zone. If a root zone exists, delete it, and restart the DNS server service.

Therefore, the recommended “best practice” to insure full AD and client functionality is to point all machines ONLY to the internal server(s), and configure a forwarder to your ISP’s DNS server properties (rt-click DNS servername, properties, Forwarders tab). This way all machines query your DNS and if it doesn’t have the answer, it asks outside. If the forwarding option is grayed out, delete the Root zone (that dot zone). If not sure how to perform these two tasks, please follow one of the articles listed below, depending on your operating system, for step by step.

300202 – HOW TO Configure DNS for Internet Access in Windows Server 2000 (Configure Forwarding) :
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=300202

323380 – HOW TO Configure DNS for Internet Access in Windows Server 2003 (Configure Forwarding) :
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=323380

How to Configure Conditional Forwarders in Windows Server 2008
http://msmvps.com/blogs/ad/archive/2008/09/05/how-to-configure-conditional-forwarders-in-windows-server-2008.aspx

Configure a DNS Server to Use Forwarders – Windows 2008 and 2008 R2
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754941.aspx

DNS Conditional Forwarding in Windows Server 2003
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/DNS_Conditional_Forwarding_in_Windows_Server_2003.html

825036 – Best practices for DNS client settings in Windows 2000 Server and in Windows Server 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=825036

 

Multihomed Domain Controllers

Another issue I’ve encountered is when a non-SBS domain controller has been configured with mutiple NICs, IP addresses, and/or RRAS. This is another problematic configuration that is dubbed as a “multihomed domain controller.” Multihomed DCs are extremely problematic if not configured correctly, however to configure one correctly involves a multitude of steps including registry changes to alter DNS registration. However, this blog is not intended to discuss multihomed DCs, rather to discuss using an ISP’s DNS address in your network. For more information on multihomed DCs, please read the following link to my blog on it, and how to configure it.

Multihomed DCs with DNS, RRAS, and/or PPPoE adapters:
http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/08/03/multihomed-dcs-with-dns-rras-and-or-pppoe-adapters.aspx

 

Summary

If you have your ISP’s DNS addresses in your IP configuration (all DCs, member servers and clients), they need to be REMOVED and ONLY use the internal DNS server(s). This will cause numerous problems with AD.

 

Related Links

291382 – Frequently asked questions about Windows 2000 DNS and Windows Server 2003 DNS
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=291382

Common Mistakes When Upgrading a Windows 2000 Domain To a Windows 2003 Domain (whether it was upgraded or not, this is full of useful information relating to AD and DNS, among other info):
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=555040

Domain Controller’s Domain Name System Suffix Does Not Match Domain Name:
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=257623

Clients cannot dynamically register DNS records in a single-label forward lookup zone:
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=826743

300684 – Information About Configuring Windows 2000 for Domains with Single-Label DNS Names
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=300684

828263 – DNS query responses do not travel through a firewall in Windows Server 2003:
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=828263

============================================================

Summary

I hope this provided a good understanding of DNS!!!

Ace Fekay
MVP, MCT, MCSE 2012, MCITP EA & MCTS Windows 2008/R2, Exchange 2013, 2010 EA & 2007, MCSE & MCSA 2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
Microsoft Certified Trainer
Microsoft MVP – Directory Services

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Complete List of Technical Blogs: http://www.delawarecountycomputerconsulting.com/technicalblogs.php

This posting is provided AS-IS with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

DNS Client side Resolver Service and DNS Forwarders Query Algorithm

As many of you that follow my blogs, I had originally blogged about the client side resolver a few years ago. That can be found here:

http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/11/29/dns-wins-netbios-amp-the-client-side-resolver-browser-service-disabling-netbios-direct-hosted-smb-directsmb-if-one-dc-is-down-does-a-client-logon-to-another-dc-and-dns-forwarders-algorithm.aspx

I think that many readers may have missed this portion because of the size of the blog, since after all it’s buried in one of the sections. Therefore, I thought to just specifically blog about it and get right to the point.

Background:

An internal DNS infrastructure is usually designed to support internal host name resolution fir internal hosts only. This is the goal whether it’s for any AD infrastructure or non-AD infrastructure, otherwise, why bother with DNS internally?

This is of course, especially true with AD. AD uses DNS. DNS stores AD’s resource and service locations in the form of SRV records, hence how everything that is part of the domain will find resources in the domain.

If the ISP’s DNS is configured in the any of the internal AD member machines’ IP properties, (including all client machines and DCs), the machines will be asking the ISP’s DNS ‘where is the domain controller for my domain?” whenever it needs to perform a function, such as for a logon request, DC to DC replication communications requests, querying and applying GPOs, and more. Unfortunately, the ISP’s DNS does not have that info and they reply with an, “I dunno know” response, and things just fail.

Using an ISP’s DNS, or the router as a DNS address, is analogous to asking the first passerby on the street, “Hey, where’s that case of beer that was in my refrigerator last night?” He’ll either not have an answer, or he’ll tell you his friends took it, which is the wrong answer anyway.

The Client Side Resolver Service algorithm on all Windows 2000 and newer machines:

If you mix the internal DNS and an external DNS, such as the DC as the first DNS entry, and the ISP’s DNS, or even using your router’s IP address as the second entry, will do the same thing. This because of the way the client side resolver service works on all machines (DCs and clients). The following should help better understand the client side service algorithm when attempting to resolve DNS names.

To summarize:

If a DNS query has already occurred and the client had already received a response, then the response is cached in the local resolver cache for the TTL of the DNS host record.  You can run “ipconfig /displaydns” to show what’s in cache and the remaining TTL of the host record. YOu can repeatedly repeat the command to see the TTL count down to 0, at which point it will disappear from the cache.

If there was no prior query and it’s not cached or the TTL has expired, and if there are multiple DNS entries on a machine’s NIC (whether a DC, member server or client), it will ask the first entry first.

  • If it receives a response, but say if the DNS server does not have the zone data (such as if you were to use your ISP’s DNS or your router as a DNS address, and expect that to work with AD), then it will be an NXDOMAIN or NACK response, meaning it got a response, even though it was wrong, and it will not go to the next DNS entry in the NIC’s list.
  • If it doesn’t respond, which is evident of a NULL response (no response, such as if the DNS server is down), it will go to the second entry after a time out period, which can last 15 seconds or more as it keeps trying the first one, at which then it REMOVES the first entry from the eligible resolvers list, and won’t go back to it for another 15 minutes (or forcing it by restarting the DNS Client service). This can also happen when a DC/DNS is down, or taken offline purposely for some reason, such as performing DC maintenance during production hours, it may cause issues within AD when accessing a resource such as a printer, folder, getting GPOs to function, etc. You can also reset the eligible resolvers list by:
  • If using Windows 2008/Vista and newer, restart the DNS Client Service
  • If using Windows 2000, 2003 or XP, restart the DHCP Client Service
  • Configure a registry entry to force the TTL to reset the list after each query.
  • Run an ipconfig /flushdns
  • Restart the machine.

If the ISP’s is the first one in the list in the NIC’s properties, obviously it will be knocked out when a client is trying to login.

This will be be noticed by a significantly long logon time period the client will experience before it goes to the second one, your internal DNS. So now the first one is knocked out for 15 minutes. Then say the client decides to go to an internet site. It will be querying the internal DNS at this point. As long as the internal DNS is configured with forwarders to an outside DNS, or use it’s Roots, it will resolve it.

Specifics on the resolver process:

Understanding the DNS Client Service and how Name Resolution works
http://networkadminkb.com/KB/a118/understanding-dns-client-service-how-name-resolution-works.aspx

Don’t Use your ISP’s DNS or your Router as a DNS Address on any Machine

So why even bother with an ISP in the client? This is another good reason to ONLY use the internal DNS server in the VPN’s DHCP service for VPN clients. Keep in mind, the client will probably be configured with an ISP’s anyway if outside the network. Fine, otherwise it can’t find the VPN server on the internet anyway. But once the VPN authenticates and is connected, the VPN interface will be the first on the binding order, which now you WANT to only have the internal DNS servers in that interface.

DNS Client side resolver service
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc779517.aspx

The DNS Client Service Does Not Revert to Using the First Server in the List in Windows XP (applies to Vista and newer, too)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320760

Therefore, the ISP’s DNS, some other external DNS server, or using the router as a DNS address, should not be used in any internal AD client or any other machine that is part of the AD infrastructure that must find a domain controller in order to function.

Ipconfig examples:

  • BAD EXAMPLE

In this BAD example, there are mixture of internal and external DNS servers. On top of that, there are just way too many DNS servers, which the client side resolver time out will never see beyond the third one, if lucky.

C:\>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

   Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : Computer1
   Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . : contoso.com
   Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
   IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : contoso.com

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : contoso.com
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) Centrino(R) Advanced-N 6250 AGN
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 64-80-98-11-5C-24
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
   Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::81ba:f421:cced:8826%11(Preferred)
   IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 10.10.100.58(Preferred)
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Monday, March 24, 2014 10:07:18 AM
   Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Saturday, April 05, 2014 10:45:58 PM
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 10.10.100.1
   DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 10.10.100.20
   DHCPv6 IAID . . . . . . . . . . . : 308576409
   DHCPv6 Client DUID. . . . . . . . : 00-01-00-E1-F4-6D-04-11-22-67-01-15-21
  DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 10.10.100.20
                                               208.67.222.222
                                              208.248.240.23
                                             4.2.2.2
                                             4.3.4.4

                                             10.10.100.30
   NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled

  • GOOD EXAMPLE – You can see only the internal DNS servers are specified.

C:\>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

   Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : Computer1
   Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . : contoso.com
   Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
   IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : contoso.com

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : contoso.com
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) Centrino(R) Advanced-N 6250 AGN
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 64-80-98-11-5C-24
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
   Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::81ba:f421:cced:8826%11(Preferred)
   IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 10.10.100.58(Preferred)
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Monday, March 24, 2014 10:07:18 AM
   Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Saturday, April 05, 2014 10:45:58 PM
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 10.10.100.1
   DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 10.10.100.20
   DHCPv6 IAID . . . . . . . . . . . : 308576409
   DHCPv6 Client DUID. . . . . . . . : 00-01-00-E1-F4-6D-04-11-22-67-01-15-21
  DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 10.10.100.20
                                               10.10.100.30

   NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled

Configure a Forwarder Using your ISP’s DNS

That’s your best bet. It’s easy.

  • Open the DNS console
  • Right-click the DNS server name
  • Choose Properties
  • Click the Forwarder tab.
  • Enter the ISP’s DNS address in the Forwarders list.

And also, keep in mind, that if you have more than two or three Forwarders, the third one will probably never get checked because of the time-out of the client side resolver service *waiting* for a response to a query.

Router’s IP as a DNS Service

Don’t do it! Your router is NOT a DNS server. If you do, what the router will do is it will proxy the query request to its outside interface, which it will more than likely be using the ISP’s DNS. So that won’t work. Remove it from any machines as a DNS address.

Summary

I hope that helps understand why not to use an ISP’s DNS in your internal network.

Ace Fekay
MVP, MCT, MCSE 2012, MCITP EA & MCTS Windows 2008/R2, Exchange 2013, 2010 EA & 2007, MCSE & MCSA 2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
Microsoft Certified Trainer
Microsoft MVP – Directory Services
Complete List of Technical Blogs: http://www.delawarecountycomputerconsulting.com/technicalblogs.php

This posting is provided AS-IS with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

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How to Create a Delegated Subnet Reverse Zone

You really, really want to host your public DNS records? If you do, you may also want to host your public IP range, instead of having to call your ISP every time you need a reverse (PTR) entry created or updated.

The key thing is setting the NS records in your zone file to the nameservers that are authorative for the zone based on ARIN and remove all iterations of your own nameservers.

Follow the syntax to create the delegated subnetted zone by using the syntax for “Child subnetted reverse lookup zone file” in the following article. But you must keep in mind, this MUST be done using a Standard Primary zone, so if it’s an AD Integrated zone, you must revert it to a Standard Primary zone so you can work on the zone files. Once you’re done you can change it back to AD Integrated, if you so desire.

How to configure a subnetted reverse lookup zone on Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows Server 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/174419

Let’s try this example:

IP Subnet example: 192.168.10.160/27 (or 255.255.255.224)
IP Subnet Range:   192.168.10.160 to 192.168.10.191

If you take a look at that KB article I posted, it shows the exact steps needed to create it. That’s how I did it!

Let’s see if I can do it for your subnet range. I am not guaranteeing it will work, because it’s also reliant on how your ISP has it delegated.

Your IP subnet,  192.168.10.173 /255.255.255.224, indicates it is part of a range starting with 192.168.10.160 to 192.168.10.191, which give you 32 addresses in the range, 30 usable, assuming one is of course the router (gateway), which makes it 29 usable IPs.

Therefore, if this range was delegated to you, then the key IP to look at, which actually “Describes” the network block, as 192.168.10.160/27 or 192.168.10.160/255.255.255.224.

Based on the above:

Let’s run through the steps…

  1. Ask the ISP to delegate the subnetted zone, 192.168.10.160/27 to your hostname servers (you need two of them).
  2. Then to create the zone name, we must base it on your subnet starting IP and the subnet bit count.
  3. The IP subnet is  192.168.10.160/27
              The starting IP of this subnet = 192.168.10.160
              The bit count of this subnet = 27
    Therefore the syntax will be:
              <SubnetStartIP>-<SubnetBits>.10.168.192-in-addr.arpa
               OR
              160-27.10.168.192.in-addr.arpa.dns zone
  4. Based on that, create an ARPA (reverse) zone called 160-27.10.168.192.in-addr.arpa.dns zone.
  5. Then save it as a Standard Primary Zone (not an AD Integrated zone).
  6. Stop the DNS Server Service – In the DNS console, right click the server name, choose Stop.
  7. Then go into the file (system32\dns folder), and change all NS iterations from your server.InternalDomainName.com to the ISP’s. such as ns.ISP’sAuthorativeServer.com.
    (Please read the KB article for more information on how the zone file should be configured.)
  8. Save the file.
  9. Then Start the DNS Service – In the DNS console, right click the server name, choose Start.
  10. Then right-click the zone, choose Reload.
  11. Then right-click the zone, properties, Nameserver tab, remove your own server as an NS record only keeping the authorative server.
  12. Create a PTR record, such as for 192.168.10.173, under the zone, and call it whatever you want, such as ace.WhateveYourZoneNameIs.com.

Test it

Run nslookup or DIG to test a query to 192.168.10.173 internally and trying it using an external public nameserver.

If it doesn’t work, go through the above steps again. Follow the syntax EXACTLY.
If it does work, pour yourself a cold one.

 

References:

Technet Thread: “How to setup a Reverse lookup zone on windows 2008 server with IP address 65.19.134.173 and subnetmask 255.255.255.224.”
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverNIS/thread/7c81a129-efa2-4b88-80bb-591c4119beb4/

Thread title: “Reverse DNS smaller than /24 (v4)”
 http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverNIS/thread/4147e8fe-43d8-4eff-a890-a0e1e31a96ea/#bd664835-05b3-4d53-9b08-d845b177d9d2

 

By Ace Fekay

Comments are welcomed.

Ace Fekay, MCT, MVP, MCSE 2012/Cloud, MCITP EA, MCTS Windows 2008/R2, Exchange 2007 & 2010, Exchange 2010 Enterprise Administrator, MCSE 2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
   Microsoft Certified Trainer
   Microsoft MVP: Directory Services
   Active Directory, Exchange and Windows Infrastructure Engineer and Janitor
   www.delcocomputerconsulting.com

DNS Dynamic Updates in a Workgroup

==================================================================
==================================================================
Ace Fekay, MCT, MVP, MCSE 2012/Cloud, MCITP EA, MCTS Windows 2008/R2, Exchange 2007 & 2010, Exchange 2010 Enterprise Administrator, MCSE 2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
   Microsoft Certified Trainer
   Microsoft MVP: Directory Services
   Active Directory, Exchange and Windows Infrastructure Engineer and Janitor

www.delcocomputerconsulting.com

Prelude

So the machines and devices you want to register into DNS are not in an Active Directory. Therefore, that means none of your Windows computers have been configured with a Primary DNS Suffix. When you join a computer to a domain, one of the many things that occur on the computer is that the Primary DNS Suffix is automatically configured, which matches the name of the AD DNS domain name, which should also be identical to the DNS zone name.

And further, as we already know, that’s what a computer needs to register into a zone with the same name. If you weren’t aware of this basic requirement, you can catch up on how Dynamic DNS registration works by reading my other blog:

AD & Dynamic DNS Updates Registration Rules of engagement
https://blogs.msmvps.com/acefekay/2012/11/19/ad-dynamic-dns-updates-registration-rules-of-engagement

Primary DNS Suffix

However, workgroup computers normally do not have a Primary DNS Suffix, unless you’ve already manually configured all of them. Neither do other devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and other non-Microsoft products.

No fret. We can make this work without a Primary DNS Suffix. After all, non-Windows devices, such as phones and tables, do not have such a setting to configure.

There are actually a number of ways to get this to work. One way is to force the Primary DNS Suffix on your Windows workgroup computers by using a registry script (outlined later below). However, that will only be good for your Windows computers. What about those non-Windows devices?

To register your Windows computers and non-Windows devices, an easier way to go about it is to use Windows Server DHCP to register all leases into the DNS zone. We can do this by using the DHCP service on a non-AD joined Windows Server configured with DHCP credentials, DHCP Option 015, and configured to force all leases to register into the zone whether the device has the ability to register on its own or not.

The credentials allows DHCP to own the record, so in case the device leaves and returns at a later date and gets a new IP, the DHCP service can update the old host record in DNS with the new IP. Without credentials, the device will update, but it may not be able to update its old record, which then you may wind up with duplicate host entries in the zone. Of course, we wouldn’t want that.

Use Windows DHCP to Force Register All Leases

The first thing we need is a Windows Server with the DHCP and DNS services installed and running. To provide a 30,000’ view of what’s involved, we start by creating a regular, non-Administrator, local user account on the server that will be used to configure the DHCP scope to use as credentials for registration. And to stress what I just said, it does NOT have to, nor should it be, an Administrator account. It should just be a plain-Jane user account, but give it a really strong password. In an AD domain environment, the credentials would be a plain-old AD Domain User account. But in this case, it’s a local User account. Then configure DHCP to force update all records, whether the entity can register or not.

Zone’s NS & SOA Entries

For the DNS service to properly work, the DNS server itself must have its own host (A) record reregistered into the zone, as well as registered its record as an NS record in the zone’s properties. This means that the Windows server DNS is installed on, must be configured with a Primary DNS Suffix matching one of the zones that DNS will be authoritative for (meaning that DNS is hosting the zone). We usually pick the main zone for the company environment. Once configured, then this part will automatically occur. If it doesn’t have a Primary DNS Suffix, then this automatic part will not happen.

You can easily tell if any Windows computer has a Primary DNS Suffix by a simple ipconfig /all, however I’m sure you already know if your server has one configured one or not, since this must be manually done on a workgroup computer. As stated, an AD joined computer (server or workstations) will automatically configure itself with a Primary DNS Suffix that matches the AD DNS domain name,

Detailed Steps:

  1. First, assuming you haven’t already installed DNS and created a zone in DNS, let’s go ahead and install and create your zone.
  1. You can install the DNS service Role (yes, it’s a Role, not a Feature), using Server Manager in Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, and newer.
    Install a DNS Server
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc725925.aspx
  2. Once installed, create your zone, such as adatum.com. Also in the zone properties, make sure you allow Updates. And note, with DNS on a non-DC, the only option you have is either “None,” or “Nonsecure and secure.” You have no choice other than “Nonsecure and secure.”
    (Click image to see a larger version of the image in a new window)
  • Obviously it’s important that the DNS & DHCP server is set to a static IP configuration. Pick an IP, and stick to it. Then make sure that the server itself is ONLY using its own IP for DNS entry in its NIC. No others must be in here, otherwise you’ll get unexpected and possibly undesired results.
    (Click image to see a larger version of the image in a new window)
    1. I need to stress that this is extremely important.
    2. If you have any computers in the environment that have a static IP address configured (not getting an IP from DHCP), you must also make sure they are configured with only your own Windows DNS server’s IP.
    3. If you’ve configured it with your ISP’s DNS, because you thought that’s what you need for internet resolution, then that’s wrong, and more importantly, that computer will not register nor be able to resolve internal hosts. 
    4. Same thing using your router (either ISP provided, or something you bought from a retail store such as a Linksys, Dlink, etc). Do not use your router as a DNS address. They are not DNS servers, and they only proxy to an external DNS, which is useless if you are running DNS internally.
    5. And no, you CAN’T mix internal and external DNS entries. It doesn’t work that way. It’s not a DNS server thing, rather it’s based on a DNS client, specifically it’s based on how the client side resolver algorithm works. For a technical explanation for the technically curious, please read my blog explaining it:
    6. http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/11/29/dns-wins-netbios-amp-the-client-side-resolver-browser-service-disabling-netbios-direct-hosted-smb-directsmb-if-one-dc-is-down-does-a-client-logon-to-another-dc-and-dns-forwarders-algorithm.aspx

    7. The DNS server can use Root Hints to resolve internet names. Or you can configure a Forwarder:
    8. Configure a DNS Server to Use Forwarders – Windows 2008 and 2008 R2 (Includes info on how to create a forwarder)
      http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754941.aspx
      (Click image to see a larger version of the image in a new window)

  • Configure a Primary DNS Suffix on your Windows Servers that’s hosting DNS. To do that:
    Go to Start
    Right-click Computer, properties
    In the computer name tab click change settings
    Then click change
    Then click More
    Type your domain name here.
    Click Ok a few of times, and restart the server.
    (Click image to see a larger version of the image in a new window)

  • After the restart, make sure it registered into the your zone, for example, contoso.com. You can simple check by running an ipconfig /all. Look for the Primary DNS Suffix name.
    (Click image to see a larger version of the image in a new window)

    For more information on all the info that an ipconfig /all provides, please read the following:
  • Why do we ask for an ipconfig /all, when we try to help diagnose AD issues and other issues?
    https://blogs.msmvps.com/acefekay/2013/03/02/why-do-we-ask-for-an-ipconfig-all-when-we-try-to-help-diagnose-ad-issues/

  • In the contoso.com zone properties, Nameserver tab. Make sure it registered itself. If not, manually add it by clicking Add, then type in the server’s FQDN, and click Resolve. If all things are configured correctly, then it should resolve it. Click OK.
    (Click image to see a larger version of the image in a new window)
  • On the “Start of Authority (SOA)” tab click “Browse…” next to the Primary server field and browse for the server’s A record in the contoso.com zone. Click OK.
    (Click image to see a larger version of the image in a new window)
  • Repeat step 4 for the reverse zone, and any other zones you’ve created in DNS.
  • DHCP Options
    1. DHCP Option 015 must be set to your zone, such as adatum.com. This provides a way to work for the interface to use that zone for registration, as well as for the DHCP server to use it to register into the zone.
    2. DHCP Option 006 must be set to only your internal DNS servers. Do not use your router as a DNS address (it’s really not a DNS server anyway), or your ISP’s DNS servers.
      (Click image to see a larger version of the image in a new window)
  • Configure scavenging. The scavenging NoRefresh and Refresh values combined should add up to or greater than the lease length. For example, if the DHCP lease length is 8 days, then the NoRefresh value should be 4, and the Refresh value should be 4.
    More info:
  • Good article by Sean Ivey, MSFT:
    How DNS Scavenging and the DHCP Lease Duration Relate
    (Make the NoRefresh and Refresh each half the lease, so combined, they are equal or greater than the lease).
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfe/archive/2011/06/03/how-dns-scavenging-and-the-dhcp-lease-duration-relate.aspx

  • In DHCP properties, DNS tab (note -this tab is actually DHCP Option 081, even though it doesn’t say it), choose to force DHCP to update all records whether a DHCP client asks or not. And configure it to register records for machines that can’t.
    (Click image to see a larger version of the image in a new window)
  • Configure a user account to be used for DHCP Credentials (as I said above), then go into DHCP, IPv4, properties, Advanced, Credentials, and enter the credentials.
    (Click image to see a larger version of the image in a new window)
  • Restart the DHCP service.
  • It should now work.
  •  

    Example of what you should see after it’s configured and working:

    (Click image to see a larger version of the image in a new window)

    Other notes and references:

    There are a number of ways to get this to work. Read the following discussion for more info:

    Technet thread: “Server 2008 R2: DNS records not dynamically registering in workgroup situation” 12/31/2010
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverNIS/thread/2380872f-2e71-49eb-8fbb-87f980920fc7/

    Registry summarized:

    Not that this will work for your non-Windows devices, but I’m providing this information if you want to only configure your Windows computers.

    You can create and remotely run a registry script for the interface on the workgroup machines using a tool called PSEXEC (free download from Microsoft). Of course you must have the local admin account credentials on all your computers to run this remotely, and the remote Registry service started, and possibly antivirus software and Windows firewall configured to allow this.

    You’ll want to target and populate the following two registry entries with your zone name, such as adatum.com:

    • HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\TCPIP\Parameters\domain
    • HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\TCPIP\Parameters\NV domain

    Using the above two keys, try this VB script:
    SET WSHShell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
    WSHShell.RegWrite “HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\TCPIP\Parameters\NV domain”, “adatum.com“, “REG_SZ”
    WSHShell.RegWrite “HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\TCPIP\Parameters\domain”, “adatum.com“, “REG_SZ”

    If you are in an AD Environment

    Oh, and if you’re curious how DHCP should be configured in an AD environment to force updates, etc, read my blog on it, please:

    DHCP Service Configuration, Dynamic DNS Updates, Scavenging, Static Entries, Timestamps, DnsUpdateProxy Group, DHCP Credentials, prevent duplicate DNS records, DHCP has a “pen” icon, and more…
    Published by Ace Fekay, MCT, MVP DS on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:36 AM  3758  2 
    http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/08/20/dhcp-dynamic-dns-updates-scavenging-static-entries-amp-timestamps-and-the-dnsproxyupdate-group.aspx  

    Good summary:
    How Dynamic DNS behaves with multiple DHCP servers on the same Domain?
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverNIS/thread/e9d13327-ee75-4622-a3c7-459554319a27

    Summary

    I hope you’ve found this helpful. Any suggestions, errors, comments, etc., are all welcomed!

    Ace Fekay

    DNS Zone Types Explained, and their Significance in Active Directory

    ==================================================================
    ==================================================================
    Ace Fekay, MCT, MVP, MCSE 2012/Cloud, MCITP EA, MCTS Windows 2008/R2, Exchange 2007 & 2010, Exchange 2010 Enterprise Administrator, MCSE 2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
       Microsoft Certified Trainer
       Microsoft MVP: Directory Services
       Active Directory, Exchange and Windows Infrastructure Engineer and Janitor

    Revisions

    Original publication 4/30/2013

    Prelude

    Ace here again. I thought to touch base on DNS zones, and more so, focus on what AD integrated zones are and how they work. This blog almost mimics my class lecture on this topic. Check back for updates periodically, which I will notate with a timestamp above with whatever I’ve added or modified.

    This topic was also briefly discussed in the following Microsoft Technet forum thread:
    Technet thread: “Secondary Zones?”
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverNIS/thread/c1b0f3ac-c8af-4f4e-a5bc-23d034c85400

     

    AD Integrated Zones AD Database Storage Locations

    First up is a background on the various parts of the Active Directory database and what gets stored in them. This will help understand where DNS data is stored as I discuss it later in this blog.

    The Active Directory Data Store (the AD database):

    There are three possible storage locations for DNS zone storage in the Active Directory database:

    • DomainNC – This was the only available location with Windows 2000. This replicates to all DCs only in a specific domain.
    • DomainDnsZones partition – Introduced in Windows 2003 and used in all newer operating systems. This replicates to all DCs only in a specific domain in the forest.
    • ForestDnsZones partition. This replicates to all DCs in the forest.

    You can see how not all partitions are replicated forest wide. It depends on the partition:

     

    Ok, Now the DNS Basics:

    • A Secondary is a read-only copy
    • A Secondary zone stores it’s data in a text file (by default in the system32\dns folder)
    • A Secondary gets a copy of the zone data from the Primary
    • A Primary is the writeable copy
    • A Primary stores it’s zone data in a text file (by default in the system32\dns folder)
    • There can only be one Primary, but as many Secondary zones as you want.
    • You must allow zone transfer capabilities from the Primary zone if you want to create a Secondary.
    • AD integrated zones do NOT need zone transfers to be allowed (see below for specifics)

    Active directory Integrated Zones changes this a bit:

    AD Integrated zones are similar to Primary zones, however their data is stored as binary data in the actual AD database and not as a text file. The specific place in the AD database depends on the DC’s operating system version and replication scope, which means what “logical” part of the physical AD database it’s stored in, which will affect which DCs in the forest it will replicate to.

    • The “only one Primary Zone” rule is changed by introducing the Multi-Master Primary feature. This is because the data is not stored as a text file, rather it is stored in the actual, physical AD database (in one of 3 difference logical locations or what we call the Replication Scope), and any DC that has DNS installed (based on the replication scope) will be a writeable copy.
    • The zone data is replicated to other DCs in the replication scope where the data is stored (based on one of the 3 logical locations)
    • Each DC in the replication scope that has DNS installed, will automatically make available the zone data in DNS
    • Each DC that hosts the zone can “write” to the zone, and the changes get replicated to other DCs in the replication scope of the zone/
    • The DC that makes a change becomes the SOA at that point in time, until another DC makes a change to the zone, then it becomes the SOA
    • An AD Integrated zone can be configured to allow zone transfers to a Secondary, but the Secondary CANNOT be a DC in the same replication scope as the zone you are trying to create as a Secondary, otherwise the DC you are attempting to create the Secondary on will automatically change it to AD integrated, since it “sees” it in the AD database. In some cases, if this is forced or done incorrectly, it can lead to duplicate or conflicting zones in the AD database, which is problematic until fixed.

    And if you install DNS on another DC, the zone data will *automatically* appear because DNS will recognize the data in the AD database. AD integrated zones can also act as a Primary zone for secondary zones, whether they are on Windows machines, BIND (on Unix) or any other name brand.

    Remember, AD integrated zones still follow the RFCs, but have more features.

     

    Duplicate or Conflicting zones?

    Since I touched based on duplicate and conflicting zones, you may want to check if they exist in your AD database. You have to check each partition, and if you have more than one domain, you have to check the DomainDnsZones and DomainNC of each domain. You may even have to check it on multiple DCs in various AD Sites to see if they all “see” the same copy or different copies. You would be surprised what I’ve seen with AD replication problems and seeing different DCs “seeing” something different in its own database. This issue also manifests as a symptom in more than just a DNS problem, where you create a user on one DC and it never replicates to another DC.

    Using ADSI Edit to Resolve Conflicting or Duplicate AD Integrated DNS zones
    http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/09/02/using-adsi-edit-to-resolve-conflicting-or-duplicate-ad-integrated-dns-zones.aspx

     

    Primary Standard Zone, Secondary Standard Zones & Zone Transfers

    Zone transfers allow you to create a read only copy (a Secondary zone) on another DNS server, that will pull a copy (transfers) from the read/writable zone (the Primary zone).

    Primary and Secondary zones store their data as text files.

    On a Windows machine, the zone files can be found in the \system32\dns folder with a file name such as “domain.com.dns”. You can have numerous read only copies, but there can only be one read/write of that zone.

    Please keep in mind, the authoritative DNS server listed in the registrar for a public domain name (zone) does not have to be a Primary, it’s just the host nameserver listed as authoritative. It can get it’s data from a Primary that is not listed, hence the writable copy is actually hidden and protected from public access.

    Do I need Zone transfers Allowed for AD Integrated Zones if I do not have Secondaries Zones?

    The short answer: NOPE.

    The reason is that the term “AD Integrated” means the zone is stored in the AD database, and the zone will replicate to other domain controllers within the same replication scope (domain-wide or forest-wide) automatically as part of the AD replication process.

    By default, AD integrated zones are configured to not allow zone transfers.

    Allowing zone transfers is an option provided to support non-DC DNS servers, BIND or any other name brand DNS server that you want to allow zone transfers to a secondary on those servers.

    Rotating SOA

    Additional security options of AD integrated zones, is one of the feature of AD integrated zones, as well as the fact that there can be more than one Primary zone copy of it. This is because all DNS servers that host the zone in a domain or forest has the ability to be a writable copies and becomes the actual “start of authority” (SOA) of that zone when a specific DC/DNS accepts a write operation, such as a client machine registering, or the DC itself updating its SRV records.

    For example, if a DC updates it’s SRV and other records at the default 60 minute interval (all other machines register every 24 hours), it will update its data into the DNS server listed as the first DNS address in the network card. This server now writes it into DNS and NOW becomes the SOA of the zone. That data is replicated to other DC/DNS servers with default AD replication. Now all other DC/DNS servers will see the change.

    To further explain, since the zone is AD integrated, each and every DC in the replication scope of the zone, can accept changes, due to an AD integrated zone’s Multi-Master Primary Zone features. Based on the definition of what an SOA is, that is being the DNS server that’s authoritative to accept writes, therefore, whichever DC/DNS accepted a change to the zone, that specific DC/DNS will become the SOA for that moment in time. Then when the next DC/DNS that accepts a change, it will now become the new SOA. The SOA constantly changing in an AD environment is accepted, and default behavior.

    That is why you can watch the SOA name on AD integrated zones change. The data is replicated automatically as part of the AD replication process because it is stored in the AD database.

    Active Directory-integrated DNS zone serial number behavior (SOA default behavior) 
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/282826 

     

    References

    Configure AD Integrated Zones
    (When converting to AD integrated zones)
    Quoted: “Only primary zones can be stored in the directory. If a zone is configured on other domain controllers as a secondary zone, these zones will be converted to primary zones when you convert the zone to AD integrated. This is because the multimaster replication model of Active Directory removes the need for secondary zones when a zone is stored in Active Directory. Conversion of the zone from secondary to primary will occur when AD DS is restarted.”
     http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee649181(v=ws.10)

    Understanding DNS Zones
    http://www.tech-faq.com/understanding-dns-zones.html

    Understanding stub zones: Domain Name System(DNS)
    Jan 21, 2005 – The master servers for a stub zone are one or more DNS servers authoritative for the child zone, usually the DNS server hosting the primary …
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc779197(v=ws.10).aspx

    AD & Dynamic DNS Updates Registration Rules of engagement

    Keep in mind, for the most part it automatically works “out of the box” without much administrative overhead.

    Original Compilation: 11/19/2012
    Updated: 9/5/2013

    Prologue

    What I’ve tried to do is accumulate all pertinent information about configuring dynamic DNS registration in an AD environment. I hope I haven’t missed anything, and that I’ve explained each numbered bullet point well enough and removed all ambiguity, to fully understand each point.

    And yes, this blog is regarding an AD environment. If you have a non-AD environment with a Windows DNS server that you want your computers to register, please read the following blog:

    DNS Dynamic Updates in a Workgroup
    https://blogs.msmvps.com/acefekay/2013/06/12/dns-dynamic-updates-in-a-workgroup/

     

    ===

    Summary

    1. The machine’s DNS entries in the NIC, must be ONLY configured to use the internal DNS servers that host the zone. No others.
          a. DHCP Option 006 MUST only be the internal DNS server(s) you want to use, otherwise if using an ISP’s DNS or your router, expect undesired results.
    2. The Primary DNS Suffix on the machine MUST match the zone name in DNS.
      1. For joined machines, this is default. 
      2. For non-joined machines, the Primary DNS Suffix must be manually configured or scripted.
    3. If using DHCP Option 015 (Connection Specific Suffix), it must match the zone name and have “Use This Connection’s DNS Suffix in DNS Registration” along with “Register This Connection’s Addresses in DNS” checked in the NIC’s IPv4, Advanced, DNS tab.
      1. For additional information on how to configure updates in a workgroup:
        DNS Dynamic Updates in a Workgroup
        https://blogs.msmvps.com/acefekay/2013/06/12/dns-dynamic-updates-in-a-workgroup/
    4. The Zone must be configured to allow updates.
    5. For AD Integrated Zones where you have it configured for “Secure and Unsecure Updates:
      1. If the machine’s network card DNS address entries have been statically configured:
              – They must only point to the internal DNS servers that host the AD zone or to servers that have a reference to the zone (such as stubs, secondary zones, conditional forwarders, or forwarders)
              – It must be joined to the domain in order to authenticate using Kerberos to update.
      2. If statically configured and not joined to the domain, the client can’t update its record if the zone is set to Secure Only. 
      3. For non-joined domain DHCP clients, you can configure DHCP to update in lieu of the client updating into a Secure Only zone.
    6. For any non-Windows statically configured machine, it must support the DNS Dynamic Updates feature and the zone configured to allow Secure and Unsecure updates.
    7. If the DNS server is multihomed and not configured properly to work with multihoming, it may cause problems with Dynamic Updates.
      1. Read the following for more info:
        Multihomed DCs (with more than one unteamed NIC or multiple IPs) with DNS, RRAS, iSCSI, Clustering interfaces, management interfaces, backup interfaces, and/or PPPoE adapters – A multihomed DC is not a recommended configuration, however there are ways to configure a DC with registry mods:
        http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/08/17/multihomed-dcs-with-dns-rras-and-or-pppoe-adapters.aspx
    8. If the zone is single label name, such as ‘domain’ instead of the proper minimal format of ‘domain.com,’ ‘domain.net,’ etc., it will NOT update.
    9. The client will “look” for the SOA of the zone when it attempts registration. If the SOA is not available or resolvable, it won’t register. Keep in mind with AD integrated zones the SOA rotates among the DCs because of the multimaster feature. This is default and expected behavior, but if there are any DCs that have any problems, and the client resolved the SOA to that DC, it may not accept the update.
    10. The zone in DNS must NOT be a single lable name, such as “DOMAIN” instead of the required minimum of two hierarchal levels such as domain.com, domain.local, domain.me, domain.you, etc. Single label name zones are problematic, do not conform to the DNS RFC, and causes excessive internet traffic to the Root Servers when DNS tries to resolve a single label name query, such as querying for computername.domain – in such a query, the domain name is actually treated as a TLD. ISC has made a note of the excessive traffic generated by Microsoft DNS servers configured with a single label name in 2004 with Microsoft, which in turn disabled the ability for Microsoft DNS in Windows 2000 SP4 and newer to resolve single label names without a registry band aid. More info on this:
      1. Active Directory DNS Domain Name Single Label Names – Problematic
        Published by Ace Fekay, MCT, MVP DS on Nov 12, 2009 at 6:25 PM  641  0
        http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/11/12/active-directory-dns-domain-name-single-label-names.aspx
    11. For Windows 2008 and all newer operating systems, IPv6 must not be disabled. If disabled, it will cause other problems:
      The Cable Guy – Support for IPv6 in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, by Joseph Davies, Microsoft, Inc.
      Quoted by Joseph Davies, MSFT:
      “IPv6 is a mandatory part of the Windows operating system and it is enabled and included in standard Windows service and application testing during the operating system development process. Because Windows was designed specifically with IPv6 present, Microsoft does not perform any testing to determine the effects of disabling IPv6. If IPv6 is disabled on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or later versions, some components will not function. “Moreover, applications that you might not think are using IPv6—such as Remote Assistance, HomeGroup, DirectAccess, and Windows Mail—could be.”
      http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2009.07.cableguy.aspx
      1. Arguments against disabling IPv6
        Demoire, [MSFT], 24 Nov 2010 12:37 AM
        http://blogs.technet.com/b/netro/archive/2010/11/24/arguments-against-disabling-ipv6.aspx
      2. IPv6 for Microsoft Windows: Frequently Asked Questions
        (Basically Microsoft is saying in this KB article to not disable IPv6)
        http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/network/cc987595.aspx

     

    Full explanation:

    1. Active Directory’s DNS Domain Name is NOT a single label name (“DOMAIN” vs. the minimal requirement of “domain.com.” “domain.local,” etc).
    2. The Primary DNS Suffix MUST matches the zone name that is allowing updates. Otherwise the client doesn’t know what zone name to register in. You can also have a different Connection Specific Suffix in addition to the Primary DNS Suffix to register into that zone as well.
    3. AD/DNS zone MUST be configured to allow dynamic updates, whether Secure or Secure and Non-Secure. For client machines, if a client is not joined to the domain, and the zone is set to Secure, it will not register either.
    4. You must ONLY use the DNS servers that host a copy of the AD zone name or have a reference to get to them.
      1. Do not use your ISP’s, an external DNS address, your router as a DNS address
      2. Do not use any DNS that does not have a copy of the AD zone.
      3. Internet resolution for your machines will be accomplished by the Root servers (Root Hints), however it’s recommended to configure a forwarder for efficient Internet resolution.
    5. The domain controller is multihomed (which means it has more than one unteamed, active NIC, more than one IP address, and/or RRAS is installed on the DC).
    6. The DNS addresses configured in the client’s IP properties must ONLY reference the DNS server(s) hosting the AD zone you want to update in.
      1. This means that you must NOT use an external DNS in any machine’s IP property in an AD environment.
      2. You can’t mix internal and external DNS server. This is because of the way the DNS Client side resolver service works. Even if you mix up internal DNS and ISP’s DNS addresses, the resolver algorithm may still pick the incorrect DNS to query. Based on how the algorithm works, it will ask the first one first. If it doesn’t get a response, it removes the first one from the eligible resolvers list and goes to the next in the list. It will not go back to the first one unless you restart the machine, restart the DNS Client service, or set a registry entry to cut the query TTL to 0. The rule is to ONLY use your internal DNS server(s) and configure a forwarder to your ISP’s DNS for efficient Internet resolution.
      3. There is a registry entry to cut the query to 0 TTL (normally this is not necessary, but I’m posting it as a reference).
        1. The DNS Client service does not revert to using the first server …The Windows 2000 Domain Name System (DNS) Client service (Dnscache) follows a certain algorithm when it decides the order in which to use the DNS servers …
          http://support.microsoft.com/kb/286834
      4. The DNS Client Service Does Not Revert to Using the First Server in the List in Windows XP (applies to all Operating Systems, too)
         http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320760
      5. For more info, please read the following on the client side resolver service:
        DNS, WINS NetBIOS & the Client Side Resolver, Browser Service, Disabling NetBIOS, Direct Hosted SMB (DirectSMB), If One DC is Down Does a Client logon to Another DC, and DNS Forwarders Algorithm if you have multiple forwarders.
        http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/11/29/dns-wins-netbios-amp-the-client-side-resolver-browser-service-disabling-netbios-direct-hosted-smb-directsmb-if-one-dc-is-down-does-a-client-logon-to-another-dc-and-dns-forwarders-algorithm.aspx
    7. For DHCP clients, DHCP Option 006 for the clients are set to the same DNS server.
    8. If using DHCP, DHCP server must only be referencing the same exact DNS
      server(s) in it’s own IP properties in order for it to ‘force’ (if you set
      that setting) registration into DNS. Otherwise, how would it know which DNS
      to send the DNS registration request data to?
    9. If the AD DNS Domain name is a single label name, such as “EXAMPLE”, and not the proper format of “example.com” and/or any child of that format, such as “child1.example.com”, then we have a real big problem. DNS will not allow registration into a single label domain name.
      This is for two reasons:
      1. It’s not the proper hierarchal format. DNS is
                   hierarchal, but a single label name has no hierarchy.
                   It’s just a single name
      2. Registration attempts causes major Internet queries
                   to the Root servers. Why? Because it thinks the
                   single label name, such as “EXAMPLE”, is a TLD
                  (Top Level Domain), such as “com”, “net”, etc. It
                  will now try to find what Root name server out there
                  handles that TLD. In the end it comes back to itself
                 and then attempts to register. Unfortunately it doe NOT
                 ask itself first for the mere reason it thinks it’s a TLD.
      3. Quoted from Alan Woods, Microsoft, 2004:
        “Due to this excessive Root query traffic, which ISC found from a study that discovered Microsoft DNS servers are causing excessive traffic because of single label names, Microsoft, being an internet friendly neighbor and wanting to stop this problem for their neighbors, stopped the ability to register into DNS with Windows 2000 SP4, XP SP1, (especially XP,which cause lookup problems too), and Windows 2003. After all, DNS is hierarchal, so therefore why even allow single label DNS domain names?”
      4. The above also *especially* applies to Windows Vista, Windows 7, &, 2008, 2008 R2, Windows 2012, and newer.
    10. ‘Register this connection’s address” on the client is not enabled under the NIC’s IP properties, DNS tab.
    11. Maybe there’s a GPO set to force Secure updates and the machine isn’t a joined member of the domain.
    12. With Windows 2000, 2003 and XP, the “DHCP client” Service is not running.  In Windows 2008, Windows Vista and all newer operating systems, it’s now the DNS Client Service.
      1. This is a requirement for DNS registration and DNS resolution even if the client is not actually using DHCP.
      2. Dynamic DNS Updates Do Not Work if the DHCP Client Service Stops (2000/2003/XP only)
        http://support.microsoft.com/?id=264539
    13. You can also configure DHCP to force register clients for you, as well as keep the DNS zone clean of old or duplicate entries. The following has more information on how to do that:
      1. DHCP, Dynamic DNS Updates, Scavenging, static entries & timestamps, and the DnsProxyUpdate Group (How to remove and prevent future duplicate DNS host records)
        Published by acefekay on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:36 AM  3758  2 
        http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/08/20/dhcp-dynamic-dns-updates-scavenging-static-entries-amp-timestamps-and-the-dnsproxyupdate-group.aspx

     

    What will stop AD SRV registration:

    1. Any DNS server referenced in TCP/IP properties that does not host the AD zone name, or does not have a reference to the internal AD zones name.
      1. External DNS servers do not host or have a reference, therefore must NOT be used.
      2. AD Domain machines must never be pointed at an external (ISP) DNS server or even use an ISP DNS server as an “Alternate DNS server” because they do not host the internal AD zone, or have a reference to it.
        1. Only use internal DNS servers when part of an Active Directory domain. Active Directory’s Reliance on DNS, and why you should never use an ISP’s DNS address or your router as a DNS address, or any other DNS server that does not host the AD zone name
          http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/08/17/ad-and-its-reliance-on-dns.aspx
    2. Are any services disabled such as the DHCP Client service or the DNS Client Service? They are required services, whether the machine is static or DHCP.
      1. No DNS registration functions if DHCP Client Service Is Not Running (2000/2003/XP only)
        http://support.microsoft.com/?id=268674
      2. Dynamic DNS Updates Do Not Work if the DHCP Client Service Stops (2000/2003/XP only)
        http://support.microsoft.com/?id=264539
      3. For all Windows 2008, Windows Vista and all newer operating systems, it’s the DNS Client Service.
    3. The AD/DNS zone not configured to allow dynamic updates.
    4. Make sure ‘Register this connection’s address” in DNS is enabled under TCP/IP properties.
    5. Missing or incorrect “Primary DNS suffix” or “Connection-specific DNS suffix” of the domain to which the machine belongs. 
      1. I one of these are incorrect, the client side service cannot find the correct zone to register into. If missing or incorrect, it is called a Disjointed Domain Namespace.
    6. Is the firewall service enabled? (disable it).
    7. Were the default C: drive permissions altered and was a hotfix installed a recently?
      1. “Systems that have changed the default Access Control List permissions on the %windir%\registration directory may experience various problems after you install the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-051 for COM+ and MS DTC”
        http://support.microsoft.com/kb/909444
      2. For more info about this issue, see:
        http://blogs.technet.com/steriley/archive/2005/11/08/414002.aspx
    8. If the zone is set to Secure Updates Only, the computer may not have authenticated to the domain (which can be due to DNS misconfiguration or DNS server problem), which of course causes more problems than just DNS  registration.
    9. Is the File and Print services enabled?
      1. It must be enabled.
    10. Microsoft Client Services enabled?
      1. If not,  it must be enabled.
    11. Is DNS service listening on the private LAN interface?
      1. Check under the Interfaces tab under DNS server properties in the DNS console.
    12. More than one NIC on a client?
      1. The wrong one may be registering.
    13. Updates allowed on the zone?
      1. This is an obvious one.
    14. Primary DNS suffix matches the zone name in DNS and the AD domain name?
      1. If not, then it won’t register into the zone.
    15. Was Zone Alarm ever installed on these machines?
      1. If so, ZA leaves SYS files and other remnants that continue to block traffic.
    16. Any Event log errors?
    17. Was a Registry entry configured to stop registration?
      1. 246804 – How to Enable-Disable Windows 2000 Dynamic DNS Registrations (per NIC too):
        http://support.microsoft.com/?id=246804
    18. Spyware or something else such as DotNetDns installed on it?
      1. Download the free tool at www.malwarebytes.com and run a malware scan.
      2. Download the free Malicious Software Scanner from Microsoft and run a scan
      3. Download TrendMicro HouseCall free scan tool and run it.
    19. Single Label Domain Name?
      1. Active Directory DNS Domain Name Single Label Names – Problematic – And this applies to any DNS zone name, not just AD.
        Published by Ace Fekay, MCT, MVP DS on Nov 12, 2009 at 6:25 PM  641  0
        http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/11/12/active-directory-dns-domain-name-single-label-names.aspx
    20. Netlogon and DFS services must be started.
    21. Malware or virus altering network services preventing it from registering.
      1. Some sort of firewall in place, whether the Windows firewall disabling File and Print Services, or a 3rd party firewall, which many AV programs now have built in and must be adjusted to allow this sort of traffic and exclude the NTDS and SYSVOL folders.
      2. If Windows Firewall, run the following to see what settings are enabled:
        netsh firewall show config
    22. Is IPv6 disabled? That will stop registration.
      1. Enable it.
    23. Do any duplicate AD integrated zones exist in the AD database?
      1. This will cause major problems. Any duplicates found must be deleted. The cause must also be determined to eliminate it from occurring again.
      2. Using ADSI Edit to Resolve Conflicting or Duplicate AD Integrated DNS zones
        Published by acefekay on Sep 2, 2009 at 2:34 PM  7748  2
        http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/09/02/using-adsi-edit-to-resolve-conflicting-or-duplicate-ad-integrated-dns-zones.aspx
    24. Were imaged machines cloned without the image being Sysprepped first? 
      1. If not, duplicate SIDs will cause machines to fail authentication to register into the zone.

     

    Suggestions, Comments, Corrections are welcomed.

    Ace Fekay, MCT, MVP, MCSE 2012/Cloud, MCITP EA, MCTS Windows 2008/R2, Exchange 2007 & 2010, Exchange 2010 Enterprise Administrator, MCSE 2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
       Microsoft Certified Trainer
       Microsoft MVP: Directory Services
       Active Directory, Exchange and Windows Infrastructure Engineer and Janitor
       www.delcocomputerconsulting.com

    Event ID 1054

    Original publication: 8/12/2010
    Edited: 8/30/2014

     

    Prologue

    Ace here again. This was an older blog that I’ve revamped. I’ve been going through my blogs to clean them up, syntax, accuracy, etc. If anyone sees any discrepancies, please let me know.

    There are a number of reasons this event may occur, no matter which Source Name its related to. One of the main reasons this behavior may occur is if the address for the configured preferred DNS server unreachable. One of the first things to do is check www.eventID.net’s link to see if it applies to your scenario:
    http://eventid.net/display.asp?eventid=1054

    Summary of possibilities:

    1. Using a DNS address that doesn’t have the AD zone data. Make sure the only DNS addresses on the NIC are the internal DC/DNS servers. Remove the ISP’s or the router’s as a DNS address. They do not have AD’s zone data that is required for AD to function properly.

    Active Directory’s Reliance on DNS, and why you should never use an ISP’s DNS address or your router as a DNS address
    Published by acefekay on Aug 17, 2009 at 7:35 PM
    http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/08/17/ad-and-its-reliance-on-dns.aspx

    2. Multihomed DCs. If the DC is multihomed, numerous issues can result, too long to list. See the following for more info:

    Multihomed DCs with DNS, RRAS, and/or PPPoE adapters
    Published by acefekay on Aug 17, 2009 at 9:29 PM
    http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/08/17/multihomed-dcs-with-dns-rras-and-or-pppoe-adapters.aspx

    3. AD DNS Domain Name is a Single Label Name. The name has no TLD, such as “domain” rather than domain.net, domain.local, etc. This can cause numerous problems, too lengthy to list. It also causes Windows XP SP3 and newer operating systems to fail the ability to resolve DNS names properly. See the following link for more information.

    Active Directory DNS Domain Name Single Label Names
    Published by acefekay on Nov 12, 2009 at 6:25 PM
    http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/11/12/active-directory-dns-domain-name-single-label-names.aspx

    4. There are unknown LdapIpAddress entries. This is the “same as parent” name under the zone. There should only be one for each DC in the domain. If there are others, it will cause numerous issues with AD, GPOs, DFS, and other AD functions.

    5. Multiple A records for the DC. Make sure there is only one IP address for each DC. If not, it falls under the multihomed DC issue in #2.

    6. Multiple GcIpAddresses. Check the _gc_msdsc.yourDomain.local record to make sure there is only one entry for each GC. If there are multiples for one GC, that will cause problems, and falls under the multihomed DC issue in #2.

    7. Unknown NS names in the zone. Go into each zone properties (yourDomain.local and _msdcs.yourDomain.local), Nameservers tab, and make sure only your DC/DNS servers show up.  If there are others, please remove them. This tab indicates which NS and SOA is for the zones, and if any unkown servers are listed, the client machine may be trying to query for them during resolution and registration, and will cause problems.

    8. AMD Opeteron CPUs are known to cause issues. One poster in the Microsoft forums reported EventID 1054 issue on a Dell T105 (circa 2010) with Dual Core Opterons. It was found the AMD Opeteron processor has timing issue. From previous reports, Microsoft supposedly fixed it in Windows 2003 SP2, but something may have changed in recent AMD core releases causing it again. One key test was to ping the server’s own IP. If you receive negative ping times, timing is skewed. A reboot fixes it for a while but then it drifts and EventID 1054 resume.

    There are AMD processor patches that you can find at AMD’s website. Another workaround is to add the “/usepmtimer” switch to boot.ini. KB895980 provides more specifics about this issue.

    Programs that use the QueryPerformanceCounter function may perform poorly in Windows Server 2000, in Windows Server 2003, and in Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/?id=895980

    9. Make sure time is configured properly. You never know, this is one that many do not think about that can cause many issues, which may or may not possibly cause EventID 1054 errors, but it would not hurt to make sure the time service is operating properly. See the following link for more information:

    Configuring the Windows Time Service for Windows Server
    Published by acefekay on Sep 18, 2009 at 8:14 PM
    http://msmvps.com/blogs/acefekay/archive/2009/09/18/configuring-the-windows-time-service-for-windows-server.aspx

     

    Steps to help narrow down this issue:

    Let’s start by using nslookup to see if you get the proper resonse when querying for LDAP SRV records.

    1. Type nslookup, and then press ENTER.
    2. Type set q=all, and then press ENTER.
    3. Type _ldap._tcp.dc._msdcs.domain.com and then press ENTER.

    You will be looking for the domain controllers to respond to this query. If they do not, then we need to look at your SRV records as well as whether any of the above summarized causes are contributing to the non-DC responses, such as using an ISP’s DNS, the router, multihomed DCs, single label name, etc.

    More possible causes:

    In addition, These errors may occur because link status fluctuates as the network adapter (also known as the network interface card, or NIC) driver initializes and as the network adapter hardware negotiates a link with the network infrastructure. The Group Policy application stack executes before the negotiation process is completed and can fail because of the absence of a valid link.

    *

    Possible Resolutions:

    Resolution 1:

    To resolve problem related to link status fluctuation use the steps in 239924 –
    “How to disable Media Sensing for TCP/IP in Windows” at
    http://support.microsoft.com/?id=239924 .

    To prevent your network adapter from detecting the link state:

    1. Open Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
    2. Go to the following key in the registry:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters
    3. Add the following registry value:
      Value Name: DisableDHCPMediaSense
      Data Type: REG_DWORD -Boolean
      Value Data Range: 0, 1 (False, True) Default: 0 (False)

    Resolution 2:

    Contact the vendor of the network card or visit their web site to obtain updated
    drivers for the Gigabit NIC.

    Examples of NICs known to exhibit this issue:
    – Broadcom Gigabit Adapter
    – Intel Gigabit Ethernet PRO Adapter, Intel Pro/1000
    – Intel 82544EI-based XT Gigabit Adapter (82540EM chipse)
    – Compaq/HP NIC dual interface 10/100/1000 doing teaming (HP NC7170)
    – Dell Inspiron laptops using an on-board Broadcom BCM4401 NIC

    Resolution 3:

    A sever may have a Dual Port NIC or multiple NIC’s with one port or NIC set to
    Disabled. The disabled port or NIC should not be at the top of the binding order
    in the Network Advance Properties.

    1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click “Network and Dial-up
      Connection”.
    2. On the Advanced menu, click “Advanced Settings”.
    3. On the “Adapters and Bindings” tab, in the connections list, select the NIC that
      the clients use to connect to the server and move it to the top of the list.

    Resolution 4:

    Disabling spanning tree on the switches (Cisco Catalyst)

    Note: STP=Spanning Tree Protocol. Turning off STP can cause issues in your network
    if a loop ever develops. If you are running a Cisco Series switch or any other
    switch that runs Spanning Tree, it is best to leave spanning tree turned on, but
    enable PORTFAST on all the ports except uplink and fiber trunks. (I.E any ports
    that aren’t connected to a workstation directly should not have it enabled, ports
    that do go directly to a workstation or computer should have it turned on.)
    PORTFAST eliminates the 50 second waiting period that STP has, but allows you to
    keep the functionality of STP.
     

    *

    References:

    326152 PRB: Cannot Connect to Domain Controller and Cannot Apply Group Policy
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326152

    298656 Event ID 1054 Is Logged in the Application Event Log
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324174/en-us

    239924 How to Disable Media Sense for TCP/IP in Windows
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/239924

    *

    Summary

    I hope this helps to track down the cause of an Event ID 1054.

    Ace Fekay
    MVP, MCT, MCSE 2012, MCITP EA & MCTS Windows 2008/R2, Exchange 2013, 2010 EA & 2007, MCSE & MCSA 2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
    Microsoft Certified Trainer
    Microsoft MVP – Directory Services
    Complete List of Technical Blogs: http://www.delawarecountycomputerconsulting.com/technicalblogs.php

    This blog is provided AS-IS with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.