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Alternate Configuration

Discussion in 'Networks' started by Stoney, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Hi,

    Having some issue with laptop users at work and wondered if any one could offer some suggestions for a workable solution.

    Situation: Laptop users work at the main office using their laptop's to log on to the domain. Due to the way the network is currently configured, I have had to manually enter the DNS server address's into the LAN connection properties.

    Without the DNS Ip's entered all the pc's look up the wrong DNS servers (BT's).

    The laptop users also work at different locations around, and they plug into the LAN at these places as well (these places are not managed by us, they're our customers).

    Problem: Everytime a user comes back from working else where they've had their TCP/IP settings removed by customers IT dept to allow them to hook up to their network. I then have to go and manually enter the DNS settings again before they can get back on the network.

    The laptop users use at least 3 different networks.

    I tried specifying our network as the Alternate Configuration in the LAN TCP/IP settings, and leave the primary connection as obtain IP and DNS settings automatically, allowing the users to connect to 2 or more networks. The problem with this is when the user plugs into our LAN, the laptop goes off and finds the wrong DNS settings and then can't get on the network, rather than using the alternate configuration.

    I realise that the answer to this would be to configure what ever is pointing to the wrong DNS servers correctly. I believe the DNS address's that get assigned are the Bt servers. We have a lease line which has a permanent VPN connection to our servers up in Scotland. I'm not sure how chnaging the settings on the router would affect things and I don't want to break the network down this end!

    Is there another solution to the problem (short term maybe) until I can investigate further what's causing the DNS issues and rectify it.

    Cheers,

    Paul
     
    Certifications: 25 + 50 metre front crawl
    WIP: MCSA - Exam 70-270
  2. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi Paul,

    Blimey, that is like a Transcender question! :biggrin

    There must be an issue with DNS on your network, this would explain why the laptop clients are using BT's DNS and not your internal one.

    I will check for you and report, but I cannot see why the alternate configuration could not be set as your network requires for now and main config to obtain settings automatically. Or, the other way round if the users are in the office more than out of it.

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  3. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Hi Boyce

    Yeah, it is a bit full on. :blink

    It's not just the laptops, it's every pc in the main office, if left to connect to the LAN on it's own, it points straight to 194.xxx.xxx.x., but our network is 192.xxx.xxx.xxx.

    It's been like that since I started. I've been slowly getting arounnd and configuring the right dns servers and getting people on the domain.

    The problem is that the laptop's need to use dhcp on which ever network they go on. Only because they're on more than 2 networks and having static IP's (apart from on our network) would require constant configuration. Having our network as alternate config doesn't seem to work because the primary config gets an ip automatically and then uses the wrong dns servers!

    I've looked on our VPN router, which also acts as DHCP, and in the DHCP setup area the DNS servers are entered as 194.xxx.xxx.xx or BT's. I am certain that these need to be changed to our DNS servers, but I am not familiar with VPN routing too much and fear for the consequences!! The same servers are used in the router setup for transparent bridging on WAN1. I guess this is the VPN bit?

    It's a linksys RV082 8 port VPN router btw.
     
    Certifications: 25 + 50 metre front crawl
    WIP: MCSA - Exam 70-270
  4. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Have you tried using a batch file to change the connection properties? I had a similar(ish) situation in a place I worked last year - we had five sites that had DHCP servers, but loads of tiny branch offices all over the place that didn't. Most of the guys travelling around were sales bods who either went to the main office or the satellite office closest to where they lived. I stuck two batch files on their desktop - one for obtaining an IP from a DHCP server, the other with a manual config for a free address in the subnet 'their' branch office was configured for. Worked a treat.

    And before any bright spark gets on at me about DHCP relay agents - we didn't manage the WAN and had no way of fiddling with the routers!
     
    Certifications: A few
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  5. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Zeb,

    Any chance you have that script?

    I plan to get an O'Riley book on scripting as I nothing on the subject.

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  6. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Is that using netsh?

    How do you get the script to know which network it's on and thus what data it needs?

    That last post was my 100th, woo hoo. I now have a power of 2!! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: 25 + 50 metre front crawl
    WIP: MCSA - Exam 70-270
  7. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Yes you can use netsh, just create two batch files and name them something like ourcompany.bat and othercompany.bat or whatever to differentiate.

    I didn't read it all but the following link looks good..

    http://www.asp101.com/articles/stanley/nicsettings/default.asp
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  8. mojorisin

    mojorisin Kilobyte Poster

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    if your users pick up a dhcp address ok from your server why not use the server scope options and add in the dns server that you want them to connect to

    this way as they are issued with a dhcp address from the domain controller they will also be issued the correct dns server to use

    option oo6 DNS Servers under scope options
     
    WIP: 70-685 http://www.speedtest.net/result/3377759783.png
  9. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    I took the plunge last thing Friday afternoon and changed the settings on the router. Nothing catastrophic happened and now the DHCP points to the correct DNS servers. I still may need to use the .bat files in some circumstances.

    Bluerinse: Thanks for the link. I had got some bat files but wanted to automate which ones run when the user boots up. Should be able to get somewhere with that.
     
    Certifications: 25 + 50 metre front crawl
    WIP: MCSA - Exam 70-270

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