Intranet failing intermittantly internally.

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I am getting users (including myself, the Domain Admin) who cannot pull up our Intranet. It's a very simple page and the error is "The Page Cannot Be Displayed" with "Cannot Find Server" in the Title Bar. Here are the specs. NT 4sp6a Domain PDC. Intranet runs on WIN2000 Member Server. Users using XP Pro or Windows 2000 Pro. I can ping the private IP of the website. When I try to ping the intranet.domain.com I get "Host could not be found". I can nslookup the url and get the proper ip address for the website from our internal DNS server which happens to be the same server that is hosting the website. Typing in the http://ipaddress/home.htm doesn't work either. Yesterday I could browse the site. Today I cannot. I go to another computer and it can browse the site. I login to two nearly identical computers and one can and one can't. I can't find any pattern. It doesn't matter if you are a plain jane user or admin, at some point this fails for you. We are small (three main servers and 24 workstations). This is an area I am not that knowledgeable about so I'm not sure what/how to check. In addition to all the pinging and login stuff, I've replaced a switch to see if that was it but it didn't help. Can someone please tell me what to do to figure this out? Thank you very much. Wendy
ASKED: November 23, 2004  11:54 AM
UPDATED: December 8, 2004  8:25 AM

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DNS – DNS – DNS
NT4 domain – have you stopped using WINS and NetBIOS names?
Half the services in MS operating systems use DNS -> WINS -> LMHosts to resolve ‘Names’ to IP address. the other half use Hosts -> LMHosts -> WINS -> DNS for resolution.
From the command prompt use ‘NBTSTAT -c’ to see what information is saved locally about addresses. Then us ‘IPCONFIG /all’ to verify everybody is looking at the same DNS server. IF there is a WINS source listed it must also be the same for every user. Once everybody is looking to the same location for ‘name resolution’you can make the DNS record for ‘intranet.domain.com’ [A record]{SRV record). You should probably set the ‘hosts’ and ‘lmhosts’ files in “%systemroot%system32driversetc” to read the same on every machine and read-only to stop drive-by changes. On your XP systems (unless you push software accros the network)disable the ‘remote registry’ service.
Happy Thanksgiving.

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  • Maeven
    Here's some more data. I'm using WINS on my PDC and BDC (both NT 4sp6a machines). There is no caching on the client machines. We use DHCP on PDC to deliver all relevant IP's (DNS, WINS (primary and secondary), Default Gateway, etc). Our DNS server has an entry in the forward section for the domain for our intranet and it's ip address..which is private. I've had a thought. Our secondary DNS is our ISP. They would not have our Intranet in their DNS record since it's a private IP. Would that be what is causing this? IF a computer went to the secondary DNS server for whatever reason would they get the host not found message? What would you do to fix that? Thanks and HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL.
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  • SteveCollett
    Part of your problem could also be routing. Some firewalls dont allow routing to themselves very well. Intranets are fickle things in this situation I would suggest moving right away from your host.com addressing for the internal intranet machine and simply use http://%machinename%/intranet. I am assuming that only your internal people can see the intranet site and this should solve your problem. This way you wont have any conflicts with DNS trying to look for a public address "host.com". cheers Steve
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  • Maeven
    Resolution? I have minimized the problem by finding and doing the following: In my DHCP setup the DOMAIN NAME entry was incorrectly set to the Network domain instead of the domain.com as it should have been. This was corrected. I added a third internal DNS server and bumped it to second on my list. So I have three DNS servers, first two internal and the third is our ISP. It seems the problem occurs now only rarely. We will be converting soon to a completely Windows 2000 or 2003 network very soon and hopefully through all the reconfiguration this problem will disappear and I'm sure a whole host of new ones will show up. 8-) Thank you all for your help. Wendy
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