TechProGuild held an online chat on Oct. 5, 2000, in which Trent Cook discussed networking in Windows 2000. Here's the edited transcript from that chat.
Note: TechProGuild edits Guild Meeting transcripts for clarity.
MODERATOR: Welcome to tonight's Guild Meeting, everyone. As the vice presidential candidates debate politics, we debate networking in Windows 2000, specifically how you get network cards to work properly with Windows 2000. Our guest speaker is Trent Cook.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Hi everyone, how are you all tonight?
JCARLISLE: Doing fine Trent!
MIKKILUSA: Good, and you?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: I’m doing great as well. Nice to see some familiar names out there as well. :)
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Tonight, as mentioned, Windows 2K is the topic. I’m guessing most of us have had a chance to play with Windows 2000 a bit?
JCARLISLE: We've got Server in test and are deploying Pro.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Nice Jcarlisle. Did anyone read my article, Where’s the NIC?
MIKKILUSA: Everyday on Pro and have a test server.
JCARLISLE: I did. Great article.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Here is a little rundown on my article, in case some of you missed it.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Thanks JC!
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Windows 2000 has some great advancements, such as dynamic IP changes (fewer reboots), increased stability and support for more hardware, to name a few. We rolled out 11 Win 2000 advance servers all at once at the release back in Feb.
JCARLISLE: Very brave, or foolish. One of the two. :o)
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Everything seemed to run great. I could swap hardware, and Windows 2000 would install it "on the fly."
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Good call JC, it was my employer’s decision, so I didn’t have much choice. Also if anyone wants to interject at any time, feel free.
JCARLISLE: What's the biggest problem you've encountered with such a large rollout of Win2K?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: One day I was in the server room and my boss walks in, throws an Intel ether express 100 on my desk and says, "You have 5 minutes to upgrade the card in the primary Web server."
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: JC, I actually haven’t had any HUGE troubles, knock on wood, but I have found little quirks, like this NIC issue we are talking about tonight, and a few with DNS we can discuss if time permits as well.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: So as you Win 2000 users know, changing a NIC shouldn’t take long at all with this current up to date OS. :)
JCARLISLE: As long as you have the drivers.
MIKKILUSA: I hope we can discuss DNS. I have tried to boot to my server using the 2000 boot disk and get Cannot Find DNS Server, yet [it] is enabled?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Without much time I 1)shut down the server and took out the old card, 2) inserted the new one and powered up, [and] 3) let Windows install the driver.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: I am sure we will have time to talk a bit about DNS. I can pass on a tip or two I have passed by as well. :)
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: So now I had the system all up and running and time to bind the IP to the NIC. Well Windows came up with a message box saying that the IP was bound to my old
NIC. Mind you, it took to the new card, but in a production environment where the WWW server is up 24/7, there is NO room for error.
MODERATOR: Let's finish up the NIC discussion first and then we'll get back to the DNS errors.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: From here I had 4 options: 1) Put the old card back in (no go, boss wouldn’t like that), 2) Leave the IP bound to the new card [and] hope no future problems arise (nope, Win2K is new, untrustworthy, and the server MUST be online), 3) Use a Diff IP (can’t again as the DNS and all other records for that server point to that IP and Computer name), [or] 4) Find where in the world that card is hiding and remove it.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Can anyone guess where my first stop was?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: I first went to Control Panel-System-Hardware Tab-Device Manager.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: HAHAHA good calls boys, 4 is right, and TR is always a good resource, but with 5 minutes to do this, I went looking on my own. :) In the device manager, there was no sign of the old NIC, even with the "Show Hidden Devices" checked under the view menu nothing came up. This was beginning to worry me a bit. I then went to the System-Hardware Tab-Add/Remove Hardware Wizard. This was my second choice as I am not a big fan of wizards. :) I tend to like to go about things the LONG way and figure them out on my own.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: But in the uninstall devices window, I noticed the Show Hidden Devices tab again, gave it a check, and VOILA there was my hidden friend.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: This allowed me to remove the device, and in turn not worry about any possible conflicts which might arise. And when your pager is hooked right into the server, you don’t want to hear any beeping at 3 A.M. :) Most of this little dilemma was due to my own haste as the correct procedure is to uninstall the device, reboot, and take the card out, whereas I just took it out and installed the new one. But when the boss says jump, you have to say how high, right???
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Does anyone have any comments, or questions, or stories they would like to share about similar quirks, etc?
The trouble with DNS
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: No one has anything to add or ask? Mikkilusa, you say you are having DNS troubles?
MIKKILUSA: One thing to add is it seems if you add as400 and change a NIC, it registers the mac address and if not deleted from the as400, it cannot connect with another id controller till it is.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Mikkilusa, that is VERY interesting.
MIKKILUSA: Well I was trying to use the files from remote install and ...
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Another case where you should never rush anything and should follow procedures to a T.
TREP2075: I am using NT4 currently. Do you think that it is ready for the public?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Trep, do I think Windows 2000 is ready for the public?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: I think that Windows 2000, now that the first service pack is out, is a great OS. It is as stable as anyone could ever hope for in a Windows operating system :). It has great hardware support and its use of IRQ handling is amazing. My NIC is IRQ 18. :)
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: I am using NT4 at home and at work, but I also use Win 2000 and feel that it is definitely the superior OS. Does anyone disagree/agree?
JCARLISLE: IRQ18? How is that when there aren’t any IRQs available above IRQ 15? Does it do virtual IRQs or what?
HAROLD966: Do you install Win2K in a clean disk? Or upgrade from NT4?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Exactly JCarlisle. What Windows 2000 does is it uses virtual IRQs. There are still the standard 0-15, but Win2000 has great ability to share current resources for full potential.
JCARLISLE: How high will it go? And how does it trick the hardware to support something higher than standard?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Harold, you’re asking a very biased person. I try to NEVER upgrade, as I always feel that there is room for error. But you can upgrade from NT4 if you like, and there probably would not be much problem. Perform the upgrade first and then if you have errors, clean install. Just remember to back up files.
HAROLD966: Okay, but you say that your server have to be 24 hours on.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: As far as how high, to be honest I’m not sure the limit. One server has 2 NICs that are IRQ 17 and 18. Basically it works on this principle. Two devices can share an IRQ as long as they NEVER access the interrupt at the same time, then you have a conflict. Windows 2000 uses this method, but the software masks any errors of concurrent use so, in theory, they have opened up many more resources.
JCARLISLE: When upgrading Win2K Pro from Win9x, do you have to reinstall applications the same way you had to do when you upgraded a workstation from 9x to NT Workstation? I remember there used to be a problem with Registry differences that forced to you reinstall the application.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: We had WinNT4. We bought 12 NEW servers, so I installed Win2K on them, copied the WWW files and all other data over the network, took the old box offline and there you have it. Change from NT to 2000 with 0 down time. It was time for a hardware upgrade anyways.
JCARLISLE: Wow. Sounds like virtual IRQs would really cause a hit on the CPU. I mean, if the OS is creating virtual interrupts that it has to juggle with conflicting multiple REAL IRQs, that a server could quickly bog down if you did too much of it.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: JCarlisle, according to MS, there are some apps that would not have to be reinstalled but definitely not all, I believe MS has a list but couldn’t tell you where. I read that off a news site months ago. Sorry I don’t have the URL.
JCARLISLE: That’s okay. Thx!
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: JC, you make a good point, but MS has really done it well. I didn’t read a thing about it, then I just checked my resources and there was IRQ 17 and 18. Really threw me for a loop. :)
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Mikkilusa, did you finish your quest on DNS?
Win2K tricks and treats
JCARLISLE: Have you noticed any other neat new tricks in Win2K, other than the virtual IRQing?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: JC, what I meant was that the first time that I noticed the IRQ 17 and 18, I didn’t expect it, so it really impressed me.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: I personally have to give MS 2 thumbs up for their DNS implementation. The DNS server in NT4 was very buggy and only worked when it wanted to, or so it seemed.
JCARLISLE: DDNS doesn’t really follow the standard though, does it?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: In Windows 2000, I have 350 clients hammering the server all day long and I have NEVER had trouble with the DNS. This is because with Active Directory, MS had to have a stable DNS as it is the backbone behind it all.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: JC, you are right. DDNS or dynamic DNS is a great new advancement. Is everyone familiar with WINS?
HAROLD966: Have small idea.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: WINS resolves computer names to IP addresses. It does this "on the fly" without static configuration.
JCARLISLE: WINS doesn’t go away with Win2K Server, does it? You still need to deploy it, so I’ve heard.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Now DNS maps computer names to IPs as well but [they] are statically mapped, so if an IP changes, you have to manually change the DNS entry as well. DDNS uses DHCP so that it acts like a WINS server.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: There were rumors WINS was going to be gone with W2K, but it’s still there. :) There is a lil quirk with DNS I found, much like the NIC incident. Interested?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Let’s say you named your W2K server NS1.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: And you want it to be a DNS server, so you start the DNS manager and add all your entries. For example, www points to whatever IP. Now if you go to DNS properties-monitoring-test, the test will fail. This is because it is trying to find its way back to the DNS server from the full name. For example, NS1.yourdomain.com not just NS1.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: This is standard, but to fix it you will have to right-click on My Computer-Properties-Network Configuration-hit the More button. There you will see a suffix box. Place "yourdomain.com" in the box so your computer will be known as ns1.yourdomain.com instead of just NS1.
MODERATOR: 10 minute warning everyone!
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Now comes the little quirk. After a reboot, you expect everything to be fine, right??? WRONG! Doing the same test queries in DNS manager will still fail. Why you ask?
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Because you will have to re-add your computer to the list of DNS servers you want to administer, then delete the old one. All entries you made will remain though so you won’t have to re-enter them all. Now if you do a test, the DNS will recursively come back to your server from .com.yourdomain.ns1 and all will work out great!
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Just a little tidbit as in many newsgroups I see people adding the suffix name for their server but they still want to know why the queries fail on their DNS. It’s a simple solution to delete the old server and reconnect, but many people overlook it, is all. And until you do, as stated, your recursive tests will fail. :(That isn’t good because the MS DNS server with Windows 2000 is VERY stable and reliable, so if you are ever looking for a cheap (0$) DNS implementation and you’re running Windows 2000 I recommend using it by all means.)
Where the sidewalk ends
MODERATOR: Of course, if Jack Wallen were here, he'd say there was a cheaper way. :o)
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: TechRepublic just had an article on speeding up your Web access by implementing your own DNS. It was BIND for Linux, but using the Windows 2000 DNS will give the same benefits.
MODERATOR: Like $0 for the DNS *and* $0 for the OS.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: HAHAHAHAHA, oh yes and I do agree, Linux is a great OS and I am using it more and more as well.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Anyone have any last questions or comments?
MODERATOR: Okay gang, it's the top of the hour. Any last questions, comments or complaints?
JCARLISLE: Thanks Trent! Great info!
HAROLD966: Thank you.
TREP2075: None here. Thanks for the answers!!
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Thanks JCarlisle, great feedback, I really appreciated it!!!!
MODERATOR: Thanks to Trent Cook for the great information. And thanks to everyone for their participation.
MODERATOR: Guild Meeting adjourned.
SPEAKER_TRENTCOOK: Thanks harold and trep and of course the Moderator :)