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Old 05-15-2014, 11:58 PM   #1
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Default Windows DNS server

So with the new house, I'm doing a new network & all that fun stuff. As part of it, I installed windows server 2012 Essentials (think windows home server x10). Because this is an active directory server by default, it also includes and forces a DNS server on you and any connected clients.

What I'm trying to figure out is how to setup the DNS server such that when the server is down (ie rebooting for updates) how the domain connected computers can still access the internet. While the server is up, I can reach websites just fine, but during reboots I get DNS errors because the only DNS server assigned to the computer is down.

Has anyone here configured a windows DNS server that could help lend a hand?
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

Couldn't you point the PC's to another DNS server other than the server's like Google's or your ISP's and have it set in the router. I am not very good with configuring DNS on Server 2012 or in general.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

If I do that then I get warnings from the best practices analyzer because the clients are not using the server as the dns (required for active directory) so that really wouldn't solve anything.

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Old 05-19-2014, 12:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

Why not just set the server to restart at 2AM or something like that?

And also, is it worth the hassle when you're looking at 5 minutes of downtime to reboot at the most?
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmacavali View Post
Why not just set the server to restart at 2AM or something like that?

And also, is it worth the hassle when you're looking at 5 minutes of downtime to reboot at the most?
Worth the hassle maybe not in the long run but right now as there's still a bunch of updates to do it's hard to browse the net during a reboot when there's no longer a DNS for a few minutes. I wasn't sure if this would be a quick easy thing to change or not.

I was also worried (and worries absolved yesterday) that when I'd take the laptop off site (aka away from home) that the server being the only DNS entry would cause problems. However it seems like when away from the home network, windows automatically switches the adapter to automatically find a dns server like normal.
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

Yes, when you connect to any network, the computer will grab whatever DNS server is available for that network.

Is it possible to push 2 ip address for DNS within DHCP? That way you could set up the secondary as a public DNS server.
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Old 05-19-2014, 03:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

To repsond to the point out of order:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmacavali View Post
Is it possible to push 2 ip address for DNS within DHCP? That way you could set up the secondary as a public DNS server.
Yes it is, but I do still want my router to handle the DHCP side of things. The entire DNS requirement was kind of an unfortunate surprise for me and it only affects the computers connected to the domain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmacavali
Yes, when you connect to any network, the computer will grab whatever DNS server is available for that network.
Yup, as above though, the domain connected computers get the dns set manually (I can see it in the network adapter's properties) at startup when it detects it's on the same network as my server. everything else that isn't connected to the domain (about half of my computers + cell phone, PS3 etc) receive their DNS info from the router. How it's not causing problems I'll never know.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

If you use the server as a DHCP server as well, you should be able to set the secondary DNS server as something like 8.8.8.8
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

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Originally Posted by OhSnapWord View Post
If you use the server as a DHCP server as well, you should be able to set the secondary DNS server as something like 8.8.8.8
How simple is that to setup? It does sound like just doing it through the DNS is more work than I was hoping (thus not really worth it) and I really only want my router to to deal with this all as it is virtually never down and I have a backup just in case it dies (which isn't true for the server)
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Old 05-20-2014, 07:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

Well for you, you probably should point your dns on your computer's to be the routers ip. Because you're not using the servers dhcp. And in the router you can set the static dns back to your servers ip.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:42 AM   #11
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

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Originally Posted by briggs&straton View Post
Well for you, you probably should point your dns on your computer's to be the routers ip
As I mentioned before I cannot do this as it's required for active directory and would case some additional warnings/errors until I switched back which is why I was looking to be able to set the secondary with the server to the router's/google's.

I sounds like it might just be too much work for what I'm hoping to achieve and once things settle the reboots wouldn't be that often.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

Quote:
Originally Posted by celegorm View Post
As I mentioned before I cannot do this as it's required for active directory and would case some additional warnings/errors until I switched back which is why I was looking to be able to set the secondary with the server to the router's/google's.

I sounds like it might just be too much work for what I'm hoping to achieve and once things settle the reboots wouldn't be that often.
Oh ya I see, maybe routing both dns the server and router to each computer. You can put mult dns on a computer.

And honestly look into making the server your dhcp as well. That's how I have mine setup
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:34 AM   #13
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

either...
setup the active directory server to be a DNS primary and the router the DNS secondary (or 8.8.8.8 to be the secondary)

you can do this by walking round all the PCs,
or more likely use the DHCP settings

(expand the DHCP console, expand the scope, look in the scope options. and you'll see 006 DNS Servers, you can add a list of DNS servers here, (more than two if you want).

DNS servers are queried in turn.

Or, you can perhaps use your router as the DHCP server, in which case set your routers primary DNS server as your AD domain controller (so clients resolve queries here) and set the secondary dns server as the ISP or 8.8.8.8
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
either...
setup the active directory server to be a DNS primary and the router the DNS secondary (or 8.8.8.8 to be the secondary)

you can do this by walking round all the PCs,
or more likely use the DHCP settings

(expand the DHCP console, expand the scope, look in the scope options. and you'll see 006 DNS Servers, you can add a list of DNS servers here, (more than two if you want).

DNS servers are queried in turn.

Or, you can perhaps use your router as the DHCP server, in which case set your routers primary DNS server as your AD domain controller (so clients resolve queries here) and set the secondary dns server as the ISP or 8.8.8.8
That's what I was trying to say

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Old 05-23-2014, 11:33 AM   #15
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
Or, you can perhaps use your router as the DHCP server
That's what I want to do as I don't want to worry about phones and such going down while my server does updates or crashes do to tinkering

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
in which case set your routers primary DNS server as your AD domain controller (so clients resolve queries here) and set the secondary dns server as the ISP or 8.8.8.8
This I can easily do, but I don't think it'd really help. I'll try and take a screen shot of this tonight to help explain but with the server 2012 essentials connects you to the network it automatically changes the network adapter to over-ride the DHCP server's DNS account to point solely at itself so any configuration on the router is completely ignored if my server goes down.

To try and explain this in a different way. If I take my laptop to a coffee shop and look at the adapter's properties, the DNS option is set to automatically get DNS info from the router/network.

If I go home, connect to my wifi that option changes to over-ride the router's settings and use only the windows server DNS. Should I decide to connect to my neighbor's network for whatever reason, it automatically switches back to automatically getting DNS info from the router.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:28 AM   #16
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

do you hava a DHCP server running on the 2012 server?

clients may connect to either server.


as an example I extended my wireless with an old router, so I have 2 routers, internet access worked fine, but occasionally I'd get a device that seemed to refuse to connect, that was because I'd left DHCP running on the old router, so occasionally a client would get this server as the fastest response and get incorrect network settings.


if you do use your server for DHCP and DNS
Obviously, all devices that had gotten IP addresses in the case of DHCP will still have an address if the server is restarted, new devices will not get an address, but may default to an older address, or simple send out another request for an address a minute of so later when the server is back up.

as said, you should configure your DHCP scope options on either the server (F you MUST use this? or the router if you can use this) to use the AD server a the primary DNS server (so that machine names etc are resolved successfully internally). and the router as a secondary DNS server.

I'm confused as to how the server would be changing the router settings, so I assume you mean that when you have a machine connected to the internal network then it picks up an address from the server as when you add the DC role a DHCP role is also added.

See if you can turn off that role, (just stop the service)
I think that ideally you should want to use the AD server as your DHCP server as you are able to configure a lot more options, (like DNS search suffix etc to aid name resolution). but you might not want to.

you say that this is for home, I'm wondering how many devices do you have disconnecting and connecting to the network at any given time? would it really be so difficult to wait for the server to restart after applying updates if your phone can't get wireless for a few minutes?
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: Windows DNS server

I have a fair amount connecting/disconnecting on a regular basis as customers ship/want back laptops that remotely connect to their network but it's my personal work laptop that'd actually get the DNS setting changed that had originally concerned me. Since we've found that it changes that setting at bootup I'm ok so long as I restart before trying to do work outside of home.

Also, some of the AT&T configurations don't seem to play well when anything else is dishing out IP addresses.

The more I tinker the more limited i realize the crappy AT&T router (which I cannot replace) is, no UPnP, port 443 cannot be forwarded to any connected device, cannot specify DNS servers or specify DHCP scope.
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