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We have a DNS server on local network which has some custom TLDs such as "local, dummy" etc. The domains ending with these TLDs resolves to test servers like win2003test.dummy.

The problem occures when a VPN connection is up. Windows tries to resolve these domain with another DNS server assigned by VPN server. This prevents dummy domain-to-ip translations.

Is there an easy setting somewhere with which I can overcome this issue?

PS: Remote gateway in VPN setting is disabled.

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You mention a DNS server with custom TLD's, and the DNS server set by the VPN server. Is your Custom DNS the same as the DNS set by the VPN server? Or are you using something like OpenDNS or a Router for your VPN connection? Can you add or set the DNS issued by your VPN to that of your custom DNS server? (Too many TLA's and servers, imo :P) – EvilChookie Aug 27 '09 at 18:53
Thanks, I clarified the question. Overriding on VPN connections DNS works but this is a workaround not a solution. – dereli Aug 27 '09 at 19:06
Good question. I'd be curious to know the answer as well. – EMP Aug 28 '09 at 6:48
What type of VPN are you using? Hardware or software? – Kez Sep 10 '09 at 20:06
@dereli You're going to have to make your local DNS primary, whether you can hardcode it in your VPN client or you have to change it everytime, that's what has to be done – prestomation Sep 10 '09 at 20:07

I assume that you are talking about when clients VPN into the network?

I see a few solutions, all of which are pretty easy.

  1. Setup the VPN to issue a DNS server which has the .dummy TLD in it.
  2. Setup the DNS server which the VPN issues to have stub records which point to the correct internal DNS servers for the .dummy TLD.
  3. Setup the DNS server which the VPN issues to be a secondary DNS server for the .dummy TLD.
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Since VPN Server is not managed by us, none of these are inapplicable. – dereli Nov 23 '09 at 0:30

It seems to me that what you're asking is how to configure a split DNS.

See if this article helps:
Configure a split DNS system on Windows Server 2003

In a lesser way, see also:
In a multi-DNS server environment, how do I configure the DNS servers to resolve both local and remote hosts?

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You could enter them in the computer's C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file. Trying to modify the DNS server you're pointed to will only cause problems resolving hosts on the other side of the VPN.

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This is inapplicable in my situation, since test servers may change over time. – dereli Aug 27 '09 at 18:41
Unless you can add your dummy domains to the remote DNS server you're going to have to choose between resolving their remote addresses and resolving your local dummy ones. – djhowell Aug 27 '09 at 19:13

Sorry, not an answer to your question, but just to be sure you know what you're doing:

We have a DNS server on local network


The problem occures when a VPN connection is up.

I wonder about the "a" in "a VPN connection": is this a VPN connection to some third-party server?

If yes, then:

Remote gateway in VPN setting is disabled.

So, you actually want your local network (and its local test servers) and that third-party VPN to be interconnected?

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No interconnection is required. – dereli Nov 23 '09 at 0:34

What you might try is an INCLUDE in your LMHOSTS file per Microsoft Knowledge base at

If the test servers change, update the LMHOSTS file on the central server and all of your clients will pull the change.

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As harrymc said, configure split DNS. Since it sounds like you cannot make modifications to the VPN DNS server, your best bet is to set up your own DNS server on the remote network that you VPN into. Then have all the VPN clients point to that DNS server rather than the VPN assigned one.

Your alternative is for each person who VPN's in to set up a DNS server on their machine, and configure split DNS.

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