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Windows Home Server

Chris Bedford
Regular Advisor

Windows Home Server

OK, another reallllllly strange one for you experts.

My client has a new, clean installation of WHS with pretty much all the factory default options selected. As far as possible he has used the Windows hardware drivers, because the driver disk that arrived with the computer was cracked :-(

The snag that he has struck is that the OS seems unable to resolve DNS - sometimes. For instance, you can access www.intel.com but not www.microsoft.com, when you try to get to the ms website this results in a 404 error.

Attempting to troubleshoot it, thickens the plot further. Using NSLOOKUP from the command line *does* resolve www.microsoft.com, but right after that if I try to PING the same address, the error message comes back *immediately* "Ping request could not find host www.microsoft.com. Please check the name and try again".

What gives? Doesn't this indicate that there is a faulty component of TCP/IP - a manual nslookup works, but when the OS attempts to resolve the same address it malfunctions? We re-installed the whole OS after the first time had some hitches reading disks, but the 2nd installation behaves exactly the same, so this is a bit baffling, to say the least.
4 REPLIES
Pieter 't Hart
Honored Contributor

Re: Windows Home Server

>>> the OS seems unable to resolve DNS - sometimes <<<
What DNS servers are configured ? is there a DNS service active on the WHS system?

Here you need to diffentiate between dns client (command prompt, nslookup) and dns server (service, windows server aditional networking components).
is the dns client configured to use the whs system itself as dns?

>>> Using NSLOOKUP from the command line *does* resolve www.microsoft.com, but right after that if I try to PING the same address, the error message comes back *immediately* "Ping request could not find host <<<
this shoukld not happen! dns-resolved names should remain in cache for a much longer time than "right after that" (time is set bij the dns server giving the aswer).

so:
- using ipconfig /all => what dns-servers are configured
- using nslookup => also displays the configured dns and if it's reachable.

maybe this points to a local router connecting the homenetwork to the internet?


Gfuss
Trusted Contributor

Re: Windows Home Server

Chris,
Is microsoft.com the only site not working? If you can access intel.com and your local network connections are okay, then your network components are healthy. As mentioned before, you need to see what your Preferred and Alternate DNS servers are using 'ipconfig /all'.

I'd also look at the hosts file to see if something odd is in there (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts - open in notepad).

To not be able to access one website would point me at a router/firewall/proxy issue.
Gfuss
Trusted Contributor

Re: Windows Home Server

Just to confirm, Chris. You are getting the following for microsoft.com when you do a nslookup, correct?

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: microsoft.com
Addresses: 207.46.197.32, 207.46.232.182
Chris Bedford
Regular Advisor

Re: Windows Home Server

Thanks, both Peter & GFuss, solution was simpler than we all thought! But to answer your questions:-
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- using ipconfig /all => what dns-servers are configured
- using nslookup => also displays the configured dns and if it's reachable.

maybe this points to a local router connecting the homenetwork to the internet?
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Indeed the DNS server that showed up in both of these queries (as expected, with DHCP set on) was the DSL router only.

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Is microsoft.com the only site not working? If you can access intel.com and your local network connections are okay, then your network components are healthy
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Microsoft was not the only site that didn't work, but Intel was not the only site that did. It appeared to be fairly random, but consistent. Nothing untoward in the HOSTS file (just the usual localhost 127.0.0.1)

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You are getting the following for microsoft.com when you do a nslookup, correct?
----------
Yip!

So, what was the answer, you are asking yourself? NIC drivers. The motherboard in question apparently is not supported for WHS or W2K3 (something the user carefully neglected to mention) so he was blithely using the WinXP drivers from the manufacturer's website.

However since the NIC identifies itself as a Realtek xyz1234 once those (WinXP) drivers are loaded, he went to the Realtek website, found W2K3 drivers for that specific NIC, updated, and "voila" all working according to plan.

"Never despair until you can think of nothing else to do" seems to be a fair philosophy in the support game, eh. Thanks both of you for taking the time to think about this problem and to respond. I hope this issue adds something to the sum of knowledge out there! :-)