Trying to setup DNS on Windows Server 2003

Microsoft Windows home server
August 7, 2010 at 00:39:06
Specs: Windows Home Server
I am very new to trying to set this up so bear with me if you can :)

I am trying to get WS2003 as my DNS for my home network. I have DNS installed. I would like to do this without being part of a domain and without using AD. From reading many posts it seems this should be able to be accomplished. I am using my router for DHCP. I have disabled the windows firewall on the server for this testing.

In its simplest configuration I think I should be able to:
1) Configure my routers primary DNS to my windows server IP, for example, 192.168.0.95
2) In DNS management on my windows server, set the Forwarders properties for the zone to the DNS IPs of my ISP
3) Set the TCP/IP properties of my windows server so that the Preferred DNS server is my windows server, 192.168.0.95

I believe with this basic setup I should be able to surf the web normally from a client on my network. The client would connect to the windows server ip as its dns from the router. The client should then ask the windows server to resolve a name and the windows server would use the my ISP's DNS from the Forwarders list to resolve the name.

Now I wouldn't be here if this didn't work :) So what did I do wrong or assume incorrectly along the way?

If I do ipconfig/all on the client I get the routers ip address for the DNS, as expected. I tried to include anything pertinent in this post but let me know if there is any other information that would be helpful in resolving this.


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#1
August 7, 2010 at 05:10:26
1) Configure my routers primary DNS to my windows server IP, for example, 192.168.0.95

No, don't do this. Leave the routers settings alone and do not mess with them if they're working. You configure the clients with the DNS address of your DNS Windows server, not the router. The server's DNS should be forwarded either to your router's LAN IP, or your ISP's DNS server(s).

2) In DNS management on my windows server, set the Forwarders properties for the zone to the DNS IPs of my ISP

Sure, or, you can forward requests outside the local zone to the LAN IP of your router.

3) Set the TCP/IP properties of my windows server so that the Preferred DNS server is my windows server, 192.168.0.95

If by this you mean, point the DNS server at it's own IP, sure, that will work.

So what did I do wrong or assume incorrectly along the way?

Well, part of your problem may just be that you don't have the Windows DNS setup properly. Also, it may be messing with the router's settings unnecessarily. The last thing you said is: "If I do ipconfig/all on the client I get the routers ip address for the DNS, as expected. " and that's where you're going wrong. If you're not going to use the DNS on the router, leave it alone completely. Clients should point at the Windows server for DNS. The Windows server's DNS should be forwarded to your ISP..........period, end of story.

Personally, I think you're overcomplicating things by bringing in the Windows DNS. You don't need it, your router can handle DNS just fine. Since you stated you're not creating an AD integrated domain, trying to setup your own DNS makes no sense.

Any time you add complexity to a network, you add potential trouble. As a rule of thumb you always want to apply the KISS principle (if you're not familiar with that, google "kiss principle").

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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