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DNS issues on SBS 2008 fresh install; clients can't access web.

By rudyard ·
Hi

We are a small non-profit running a Dell Poweredge T110 (4GB memory, 2.53GHz) with Win Server Standard FE SP2, SBS 2008. We were running a n older serve with SBS 2003 that had been maintained by various people with various ideas about a network. We chose not to migrate but start fresh. We were careful to follow setup, during which we realized we bought a bulldozer to do a shovel's job. All we need is a spot to share files, add users, add computers (14 currently) and have each worker access their client machine remotely. We use google apps for email.

I've researched the problems we're having and no clear answer has come forth. Here's what's happening. We have a linksys router, at 192~.1 DHCP turned off, ports 443, 987, 3389 (we didn't install Exchange) forwarded to our SBS server at 192~.2. The router is in gateway mode and it's set for a static IP address.

To get the clients to connect to the new domain we had to add (ourdomain).local to the dns in the TCP/IP properties and they connected no problem. None of the clients were able to get internet access until we added the router address 192~.1 to their list of DNS servers in the TCP/IP properties. There are times when the interenet zooms along, other times pages time out and won't load. One worker brought in her laptop and it connects just fine.

Also, the clients lose their connection to the shared folder. I've also noticed when I log into the server using Remote Desktop, each 30 minute session the connection drops at least once if not twice but only for a few seconds.

I suspect we have DNS issues at hand. Should the client DNS servers in the TCP/IP properties only point to the server at 192~.2? When I do that I can ping the server, and the router, but not the web. What about the server TCP/IP properties? We've done nothing to config DHCP other than to turn it on. The DNS properties tab is... difficult to understand. We did try to add OpenDNS server to the Name Servers window using resolver1.opendns.com. I'm also reading an article on linking DNS and DHCP, and somehow, WINS (whew!).

I can't figure out what we are missing. Some websites go over this but I find the jargon impenetrable.

Also, if someone can throw me some links on setting up staff to access their client desktops remotely that would be incredible. Using Remote Desktop is fine. We're not worried about security as far as someone intercepting our event flyers. The accounting machine is a stand alone.

Thanks for even reading this.

cheers

-Rudy

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All Answers

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Forwarders.

by seanferd In reply to DNS issues on SBS 2008 fr ...

You have to configure the external DNS server(s) in the DNS server forwarders.

". We did try to add OpenDNS server to the Name Servers window using resolver1.opendns.com"

Completely wrong. You have to use an IP address, for one. You cannot point to a DNS server by domain name - do you see the difficulty there? 208.67.220.220 208.67.222.222 for OpenDNS.

Follow the instructions at OpenDNS if you want to use that service. Aside from showing you how to set up your DNS, there are other critical factors when using a DNS service with extended functionality like filtering. (e.g., an account and an updater are required)

Use your ISP DNS, Level3, Google, or another recursive DNS provider if you don't want to muck about with updaters and settings right now, although it is a good service. Better to have your network squared away first. But again, the setup instructions would probably be helpful for you.
https://store.opendns.com/setup/operatingsystem/windows-2008s

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Reponse To Answer

by rudyard In reply to Forwarders.

Thanks Sean. I tried to enter just the DNS and it didn't like it. I'll be more specific when I log in later. It seemed to want a url AND an IP. In playing around, stripping down the TCP/IP properties, I have found if I don't add the router address in the gateway properties, the client is going nowhere on the web. Gateway properties has to contain server and router IPs.
R

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Reponse To Answer

by rudyard In reply to Forwarders.

Good link. thanks. We were putting the DNS info in the SOA, wrong place. I was able to put the DNSs in the correct place, flaush the DNS cache on the server and client, and we are back to square one. Server can get on internet, clients can't (but you can get to the shared files on the server) unless I add the router IP to TCP/IP property's gateways. So it can get DNS resolution from the router but not the server. (scratching head)

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A router is not a DNS server

by CG IT In reply to DNS issues on SBS 2008 fr ...

You said : " None of the clients were able to get internet access until we added the router address 192~.1 to their list of DNS servers in the TCP/IP properties."

the router is NOT a DNS server. The router is your gateway.

there is ample documentation on how to configure your SBS box including having to run the connect to the internet wizard [a must] .if you have not gone through the "Things to do list" on the home of of the SBS 2008 console, I suggest you do. For more information see: http://technet.microsoft.com

btw: how did you not install Exchange ? Exchange gets installed during the SBS installation, whether you like it or not. you have to manually uninstall it. sooo. just curious....

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Reponse To Answer

by rudyard In reply to A router is not a DNS ser ...

Thanks CG. thanks, yes, I got crazy, see above reply to Sean. We were trying everything, including going over the THings to Do and CTIW has been used, about 950 times.

Can't remember, didn't really pay attention as we're not using it. Could it have asked? Maybe it is there just not configured. At this point it's way at the bottom of the list.
R

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one NIC or 2?

by CG IT In reply to DNS issues on SBS 2008 fr ...

single network card, workstations are configured with the SBS box as the first DNS server and your ISP's DNS server as second and third. The gateway address is your perimeter router LAN address.

you "May", have to include your SBS box DNS suffix in the "append this DNS suffix" settings in the advanced settings of the workstation's DNS settings of their network cards. You "Might" have to also check the box, "register this connection in DNS" and "use this connection's DNS suffix to register in DNS".

When you run the CTIW wizard, always include your router LAN address as the default gateway and always use your ISP's DNS servers. Don't put in the SBS box in as DNS in this wizard.

Your SBS box won't connect to the internet until you run the CTIW "... also you should run the setup your Internet Name wizard if your going to host any of the web services such as RWW.

If you use 2 NICs, uncheck the box my computer uses 1 network card. The wizard will then setup the SBS box's routing and remote access features. But, then all traffic on the LAN will go through the SBS box. If it crashes or goes offline, no internet access. Best to use the single NIC configuration.

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Reponse To Answer

by rudyard In reply to one NIC or 2?

Thanks CG, I will try all that and the variations this weekend. There's only one NIC, fwiw. I don't recall having DNS choices during the CTIW, only router (which it always finds at 192~1) and server (192~2).

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Reponse To Answer

by rudyard In reply to one NIC or 2?

Looking at this more carefully, this contradicts other advice. So on the client tcp/ip settings, given that the router is 192~1 and the server 192~2, On the IP Settings Tab: IP address= DHCP enabled, Default Gateway =192~1. DNS Tab: DNS server= 1) 192~2 2)ISP dns one 3)ISP dns two and then maybe check the boxes below. Correct? thanks -R

Thanks -R

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Reponse To Answer

by rudyard In reply to one NIC or 2?

So far, seems to work, I'll see if the other clients keep getting time out when the staff comes in. Should the Local Area Connection properties on the server be set the same? Right now IP=192~2, Default gateway= 192~1, Preferred DNS =192~2, Alternate is blank, and in the DNS tab there is only DNS server 192~2, there is no (ourdomain).local under Append these DNS...
Sound good? thanks -R

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Reponse To Answer

by rudyard In reply to one NIC or 2?

Sorry for the long delay, got struck by a vehicle while on my bike. OK, I was hoping this would resolve the "online, unable to query" problem but it did get all the clients connecting to the web and server, and no more timeouts, oddly enough. Thanks for your patience and this info. -R

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