XP Resolves DNS with nslookup but not ping, traceroute, etc.

Today I encountered an unusual problem on a client system, they had been installing windows updates when the computer ran low on memory resources and crashed.  Following the crash they had lost all internet connectvity.  After some troubleshooting I determined it to be a DNS problem.  We could Ping DNS servers but not resolve domain names.  Changing DNS servers did not help nor did repairing the TCP/IP stack and a dozen other things I tried.  SFC /scannow did not turn up even a single invalid system file and windows was up to date with the exception of SP3.  I came to the conclusion it had to be a corrupt system file or something of the sort and in a last ditch effort installed SP3 knowing that Service Packs replace and reconfigure a large part of the system.  Sure enough once the system rebooted connectivity was restored.  So, while I do not have the problem pinned down I did see several others encountering this issue online – My best advice is to reinstall the latest service pack.  If any of you uncover more information on this issue please leave it in the comments.

Resolving DNS Event ID: 4515 – Duplicate DNS Zones

While working on a server today I ran into a reoccurring DNS event error:

This error hits the event log every time you start the DNS Service

Source: DNS
Type: Warning
Event ID: 4515

MicrosoftDNS but another copy of the zone has been found in directory partition DomainDnsZones.Domain.local. The DNS Server will ignore this new copy of the zone. Please resolve this conflict as soon as possible.

If an administrator has moved this zone from one directory partition to another this may be a harmless transient condition. In this case, no action is necessary. The deletion of the original copy of the zone should soon replicate to this server.

If there are two copies of this zone in two different directory partitions but this is not a transient caused by a zone move operation then one of these copies should be deleted as soon as possible to resolve this conflict.

Some online searching led me to the Microsoft Knowledgebase article here.

In my case the following steps resolved the issue:

First I started with Option 1:

For Option 1: [ForestDNSZones]

1. Click Start, click Run, type adsiedit.msc, and then click OK.
2. In the console tree, right-click ADSI Edit, and then click Connect to.
3. Click Select or type a Distinguished Name or Naming Context, type the following text in the list, and then click OK:

DC=ForestDNSZones, DC=contoso, DC=com
4. In the console tree, double-click DC=ForestDNSZones, DC=contoso, DC=com.
5. Double-click CN=MicrosoftDNS, and click the zone (contoso.com). You should now be able to view the DNS records which exist in this DNS partition. If you desire to remove this partition, right-click on contoso.com and then click Delete.

Note Deleting a zone is a destructive operation. Please confirm that a duplicate zone exists before you perform a deletion.

6. If you have deleted a zone, restart the DNS service. To do this, follow these steps:

a. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DNS.
b. In the console tree, right-click contoso.com, point to All Tasks, and then click Restart.

I was able to verify the DNS Zone existed there like the event log stated.

Next I Opened the Domain level with Option 2:

For Option 2: [DomainDNSZones]

1. Click Start, click Run, type adsiedit.msc, and then click OK.
2. In the console tree, right-click ADSI Edit, and then click Connect to.
3. Click Select or type a Distinguished Name or Naming Context, type the following text in the list, and then click OK: DC=DomainDNSZones,DC=contoso,DC=com.
4. In the console tree, double-click DC=DomainDNSZones,DC=contoso,DC=com
5. Double-click CN=MicrosoftDNS, and click the zone (contoso.com). You should now be able to view the DNS records which exist in this DNS partition. If you desire to remove this partition, right-click on contoso.com and then click Delete.

Note Deleting a zone is a destructive operation. Please confirm that a duplicate zone exists before you perform a deletion.

6. If you have deleted a zone, restart the DNS service. To do this, follow these steps:

a. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DNS.
b. In the console tree, right-click contoso.com, point to All Tasks, and then click Restart.

I was again able to confirm the duplicate zone existed.

I Before making any changes I fired up my backup software and took a system state backup of my DC.

Next I removed the duplicate Zone using ADSIEdit

Finally I restarted the DNS Server Service to verify the Event Log didn’t return.

How to Configure a custom domain name for the Autotask Client acess portal

Our company is a recent convert to Autotask, a practice management software for the IT consulting industry.  One of the great features is the ability for us to deploy a customer portal to view tickets, invoices, and other information regarding their service.  Because autotask is hosted we end up with a long URL to hand to customers similar to https://clientaccess.autotask.net/client=881920 – This is a problem for me because I like to keep things simple for the client.  I thought about a cname but because it isn’t just a hostname this won’t work.   Digging around my domain at Godaddy I noticed that they had a feature called “forwarding” – It only works for parked domains so making a third level domain or cname was not an option.  This wasn’t a huge problem for me so I bought a new domain name and enabled forwarding . . . a short 24 hours processing time later it was up and functioning perfectly.