Secondary DNS servers don't appear to work in Windows clients

Kevin Darcy kcd at
Thu Jan 9 16:25:17 UTC 2003

Thomas B wrote:

> I use DHCP and Dynamic DNS to supply IP addresses, default gateway and
> DNS servers.  We have 2 DNS servers which both appear to work fine.
> But if I disable the first DNS server in the list and try to an
> nslookup, the PC responds with:
> C:\>nslookup mq
> DNS request timed out.
>     timeout was 2 seconds.
> *** Can't find server name for address Timed out
> *** Default servers are not available
> Server:  UnKnown
> Address:
> This message keeps repeating until I stop it.  Why doesn't the
> secondary DNS server respond? Is the client not sending requests to
> it?
> We are using Compaq Rack-mount servers which are experiencing low
> utilization for its purpose.  Should I use a round-robin technique in
> order to better utilize the secondary DNS server?
> What's the deal?
> Where can I find advanced topics on DNS administration that look at
> uptime optimization?

Looks like cannot do a reverse-lookup of its own address.
nslookup stupidly does a reverse lookup of the nameserver's address
before actually looking up what you requested, and will fall on its face
if the reverse lookup fails. Dig and other DNS troubleshooting tools
don't have this misfeature.

Can you ping "mq"? Maybe the nameserver is only hosed with respect to
reverse DNS. Maybe it can resolve forward lookups, like "mq", just fine.

By the way, you should try to wean yourself from the use of short names.
They are evil.

- Kevin

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