Windows 2000 Professional includes several useful—but often overlooked—features. Today we'll take a look at the nslookup tool.
Nslookup is a DNS lookup and troubleshooting command-line tool. With nslookup you can query DNS servers for specific host records, list all records in a domain, and accomplish related tasks. Nslookup can be a great resource for troubleshooting DNS problems and testing lookups with specific servers.
By default, nslookup uses the primary DNS server, which is defined in the local computer's TCP/IP settings. However, in many situations you will want to query against a different server. For example, a query against your primary server might be failing and you want to test against a different server without changing your TCP/IP settings. Or, perhaps you want to view all records of a specific type from a specifically named server.
To perform a lookup of a host against your primary DNS server, simply type nslookup to start the nslookup shell. Then, at the prompt, type the host name, such as www.techrepublic.com. Nslookup will respond with the address of the specified host.
You can also specify which DNS server to use by using the server argument server ns2.cnet.com. This will execute subsequent commands against the specified server.
Nslookup is a fairly complex tool. Fortunately, it does provide syntax and usage help. After you enter the nslookup shell, simply type HELP to view syntax and available arguments.
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