DNS Hell
May 26, 2004 11:11 AM   Subscribe

DNS hell! My Windows 2000 box seems to have some kind of DNS problem. Certain sites just 404 or time out. I know it's not my net connection, because other computers on my network can get to these sites. I've already renamed the hosts file and rebooted. I need to resolve this for a paying gig. Help! [more]

Example #1: On this page, scroll down to the EBGames row and click the orange "Buy It' button. I get a connection refusal from "click.linksynergy.com"

Example #2: the Salon day-pass ads. Scroll to the bottom of that Rush article and try to do the "day pass." I get a connection refusal from "cache.ultramercial.com"

Example #3: I cannot get to this link from the Ebates.com main index page (registration required). I get a connection refusal from "www.qksrv.net"

When I say "connection refusal" I mean a "page not found" error message in IE. Firefox actually tells me in an error dialog that the connection was refused by the host.

Now, these are all ad or paid referral sites. So killing off the hosts file was something to try. I apparently have a big ad-blocking hosts file installed by KLite++. I renamed it and rebooted. Is that enough to "turn it off?"

What else should I try? Again, this is for work so any help would be greatly appreciated.
posted by scarabic to Education (15 answers total)
you should leave the hosts file, but just edit with notepad and clear all the entries but the localhost/

You don't necessarily need to reboot, popping open a command window and typing:
ipconfig /flushdns

... should do it too.
posted by malphigian at 11:27 AM on May 26, 2004

Okay - did it.

Drat. Still doesn't work. I think the hosts file must not be involved. The good folks at Salon actually gave me the IP of the ad server and I added it into the hosts file. Didn't help.

Unless I'm looking at the wrong file.


That's it, right?

I've reset my IE internet security options to the default. Anything else I should try?
posted by scarabic at 11:33 AM on May 26, 2004

mine's in c:\i386 (win2k pro)
posted by andrew cooke at 11:36 AM on May 26, 2004

Firefox would tell you that it can't find the host if it's a DNS problem.

Open a command prompt and run 'nslookup click.linksynergy.com'. What does it say?
posted by cmonkey at 11:38 AM on May 26, 2004

nslookup says:

Server: ns2.attbi.com

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: click.linksynergy.com
posted by scarabic at 11:44 AM on May 26, 2004

I don't appear to have an i386 directory, although I am on Win2K Pro. I'm running a full search for all files named "hosts" now....
posted by scarabic at 11:47 AM on May 26, 2004

Your hosts file will in all probability be in: C:\WINNT\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.

Any other hosts files you find are not being used.
posted by majick at 11:52 AM on May 26, 2004

This is definitely a hosts problem. Those are common hosts blocked by things like the Kazaa Lite installation program. Both c:\winnt\hosts and c:\i386\hosts aren't the right location of your hosts file. It's:
c:\windows\hosts in Win9x and Me, c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts in NT4 and W2K, and c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts in Windows XP.
posted by zsazsa at 11:54 AM on May 26, 2004

I DO see one there, majick. For some reason, my filename search for "HOSTS" didn't it up at first. I must have interrupted it when it *DID* turn up a little ad-blocker I appear to have installed god-knows-when:

C:\Program Files\NoAd HOSTS file

I ran its uninstall and now I can get a Salon day pass :)

I've also cleared the one in

And flushed...

BUT! I still cannot reach the url of the web-tool I need to work. I don't really want to give out that URL, but it's a similar thing. It just times out. I'm connecting to my employer via a VPN. Other people inside their network can reach the tool fine. It's a timeout, not a refusal. I've resolved the host and tried to ping it but pings are all lost. Any suggestions for troubleshoooting that?
posted by scarabic at 12:12 PM on May 26, 2004

Did you try adding an entry for that specific tool in your lmhosts file?

Can you do a traceroute to that tool?
posted by briank at 12:22 PM on May 26, 2004

Traceroute begins to time out after 11 successful hops. What does that say?

I don't think it's a dns issue on this one, actually. I can resolve the host name. I just lose all pings to it.

How would I add an lmhosts entry and what would that do?
posted by scarabic at 12:32 PM on May 26, 2004

"Traceroute begins to time out after 11 successful hops. What does that say?"

That says it's not your problem, unless you administer the network 12 hops away. If you get that far, your end is fine.
posted by majick at 12:40 PM on May 26, 2004

That's what I would think. The weird thing is that I'm tunnelling to my employer's network, and it is the first hop. Theoretically, if it's failing 11 hops after my employer's network, then no one in their office should be able to get there either, right? But they can. Totally whacked. I'm going to have to contact the administrator of the tool and find out if they're blocking me somehow.

You all rock! Thank you!
posted by scarabic at 12:50 PM on May 26, 2004

(My guess is that they're not routing -- or intentionally filtering packets from -- the VPN network to the tool's network. This could be by design, accident, or incompetence.)
posted by majick at 1:11 PM on May 26, 2004

sorry about that. it appears that the i386 directory is a remnant from the factory install.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:29 PM on May 26, 2004

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