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Clients will not fail over to secondary dns


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New user. I am currently updating my dns servers and everything is running smoothly except I cannot figure one thing out. I setup a secondary dns server in my environment using a VM with ESX Server and the secondary dns server is Server 2003. The problem is that when the primary dns server is not avalaible my clients do not roll over to the secondary dns server **Except for one XP client**. Even the secondary dns server with the static ip and static dns will not look to the secondary dns server after the first one times out. Though if i just set my secondary dns server as the first DNS it works fine...

I have DHCP setup to include my second dns server and verified with several clients that it works. In addition, the weird thing is that only one XP client will rollover to the secondary dns server which is very odd. So I know this isn't a permissions issue... Furthermore, my Nameserver for the secondary dns is showing correctly, the transfer from the primary dns to the secondary dns seems to be ok no records are missing, I updated my Mail Exchange ip and the dns replication was fine. I am currently doing AD work so I had to rollover clients to my other server and set my dns to my secondary address and everything works fine.

*My AD Server is a physical machine and not a VM*

I have covered the internet and this forum and couldn't find an issue like this (though if there is one, please direct me to the correct link.) Round robin is enabled, I checked my MCSE books and everything seems to be setup correctly. The only thing I can really think of is either the use of a VM other than that I am confused.

Also I know my secondary dns is working, due to I am currently browsing the internet with no nslookup but when I shutdown my secondary dns server I cannot browse the internet.

Any help is appreciated


Edited by sherm
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Honestly, I've never heard of that - I believe you, but that's just wierd. How do you have DHCP giving out IP addresses, and are you giving out only your two DNS servers, or do you have any public DNS servers in the list? I've only ever run into AD DNS problems (and never like this, but) when a public DNS server that wasn't part of the AD infrastructure was configured in the DNS for a client.

Oh, and welcome! :D

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Odd indeed - have you taken a network trace from a client after you unplug/turn off the primary DNS server and then try a simple name resolution (open a web page, ping a server, enter \\servername), to see if there are even any UDP port 53 packets being sent to the secondary DNS server?

What happens if a client is rebooted and doesn't get a response from the offline primary DNS server from the first moment, does it use the secondary one then?

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I have seen this in action, but honestly at the time, I was not in any position to find out why. When I saw this was when I worked for an ISP and our primary DNS server was down. Not inaccessable mind you, but the DNS portion wasn't working. Secondary DNS did not work on Mac or PC clients. I'd also like to know what causes this, just for my own knowledge.

PS: I wanted to add that the environment was totally different. My belief was that it was a standard or protocol issue. Since my company used SunOS/Solaris (DHCP, DNS) and Cisco (Routing) for all networking systems.

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