DNSLint troubleshooting Utility for DNS
I am always on the lookout for a good new Microsoft utility. DNSLint is my current favourite.
For basic connectivity errors you cannot beat Ping and Ipconfig. But what if they don’t solve the problem? The answer is try DNSLint.
Topics for DNSLint
- Displays port numbers – HTML output
- Where does DNSLint come from?
- Getting started with DNSLint – /d /s
- Troubleshooting Email with DNSLint – /c
- Checking Active Directory with – /ad
- DNS Sample Report
Firewall problems plague me, so my killer feature of DNSLint is that it displays port numbers e.g. TCP 53. As a bonus it displays the information as HTML. Perhaps this is the start of a new trend by Microsoft to replace the DOS output of command line utilities is permanent files. (Who remembers to pipe the output of Ipconfig to a text file?)
The first question that I ask about any utility is where do you find it? In the case of DNSLint the answer is: Support Cabinet on Windows Server 2003 CD.
By accident if discovered that to get the most out of DNSLint I needed the a reverse lookup zone. I say by accident as I normally set up a reverse lookup zone as best practice. But I went to a customers site and got egg on my face when DNSLint would not display correctly. I blamed the customer – but only under my breath!
Does DNSLint work with Windows 2000? Yes just provided you have access to the Windows Server 2003 CD.
As with many of Windows 2003’s command line utilities there are whole bank of switches. To get started try DNSLint /d yourdom.com. However there is a trap with /d, if you are NOT connected to the internet. You must add another switch: /s server IP. Technically /s avoids the timeout when DNSLint tries to contact InterNIC whois
Example go to the command line type: DNSLint /d yourdom.net /s 10.1.0.50
The second and subsequent times you run DNSLint, append the /y switch, meaning overwrite the dnslint.htm file. Even better use the /r and specify your own filename. For example, /r serverx.htm, or /t if you prefer a text file.
Another feature of DNSLint is that it displays MX records which will assist in tracking down email delivery problems. For further email testing, for example SMTP or POP3, try the /c switch. It is possible this only works if the ports are the defaults, 25 SMTP and 110 POP.
To be clear if you just want to test SMTP the command would be:
DNSLint /d guybay.com /c smtp
SolarWinds’ Network Performance Monitor will help you discover what’s happening on your network. This utility will also guide you through troubleshooting; the dashboard will indicate whether the root cause is a broken link, faulty equipment or resource overload.
Perhaps the NPM’s best feature is the way it suggests solutions to network problems. Its second best feature is the ability to monitor the health of individual VMware virtual machines. If you are interested in troubleshooting, and creating network maps, then I recommend that you give this Network Performance Monitor a try.
To tell the truth I was disappointed with this /ad switch. To be fair it is only designed to troubleshoot forest replication. However I was hoping for a list of _gc or _dc records. I even tried the /v (Verbose) mode – but no dice, just the bare bones of the Glue record for Active Directory Forest replication
Syslog messages contain useful information for troubleshooting network problems. When something goes wrong then surely there will be an error message in the syslog datagram – if only we can find that record and interpret the event.
Here is a utility to capture and analyze network messages. The Kiwi Syslog Server filters messages and creates advanced alerts. View your syslog data via web access.
Do you have a problem with DNS? Investigate solutions with DNSLint. Not only will you get a friendly HTML output, but it will display port numbers and Glue records for Active Directory replication.
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Related DNS Server topics
- New Features for DNS in Windows Server 2003
- DNS – Names & Namespace
- Types of DNS Zone
- Conditional Forwarding
- Installing DNS Server
- DNS Queries
- Root Hints
- Resource Records
- DNS Naming Rules
- Basic DNS Server Troubleshooting
- Advanced DNS Troubleshooting
- Debug Logging for DNS in Windows Server 2003
- DNSLint – Utility