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Ok, so here's the setup. Laptop is connected to our company VPN (Juniper Network Connect 7.2.0). There are two DNS Search suffix's (, domain2.local). From that laptop, while connected, nslookup polls the correct DNS server, returns the right IP. Pinging the IP works fine. Pinging the FQDN works fine. Pinging the unqualified domain name appears to be both using the suffix (even though that doesn't exist), and appears to be using the results from the local DNS server rather than the VPN DNS server.

More detail:

c:\> nslookup hostname
Server: hostname.domain2.local

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: hostname.domain2.local

c:\> nslookup hostname.domain2.local
Server: hostname.domain2.local

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: hostname.domain2.local

C:\> ping hostname

Pinging [EXTERNAL/WRONG_IP] with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for EXTERNAL/WRONG_IP:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),

C:\> ping hostname.domain2.local

Pinging hostname.domain2.local [] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from bytes=32 time=50ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time=50ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time=47ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time=50ms TTL=128

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 47ms, Maximum = 50ms, Average = 49ms

So here's what I've tried so far:

  1. ipconfig /flushdns
  2. netsh int ip reset all
  3. Verified that the network adapters are in the right priority order in the advanced settings
  4. Verified that the TCP/IP routes are correct
  5. Verified that the hostname isn't in the hosts file.

So... does anyone know why it still seems to be using the wrong DNS server?

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Have you checked if a static route is configured? What do the A records look like? Take a look at the packets and figure out what server is resolving for the 'ping hostname'. You said VPN DNS, are you on a VPN? Are you split tunneling? – Tanner Faulkner Jul 23 '12 at 19:01
Please clarify, are you saying that the name doesn't exist? What order do the suffixes appear in the DNS suffix search list (ipconfig /all)? – Harry Johnston Jul 24 '12 at 0:22
Is the hostname in question special in any way? For example, is it the NetBIOS name of the client, the domain, or perhaps one of the domain controllers? – Harry Johnston Jul 24 '12 at 0:24
@HarryJohnston, the hostname in question is one of the domain controllers for domain2. doesn't exist, the IP it returns is the IP of the website for In ipconfig /all the DNS suffix search list is domain1, domain2. The laptop in question is a member of domain1, but is VPN'd into domain2, which is a trusted domain. – FlyinButrs Jul 24 '12 at 18:49
@r.tanner.f - No static routes, and yes, the laptop is connected to the VPN. I believe it's a split tunnel, but I'll check and get back to you. I haven't done a packet analysis yet, I'm trying to diagnose a problem on a user's machine remotely, so getting time to work on it has been tricky. – FlyinButrs Jul 24 '12 at 18:51

1 Answer 1

Couple of possible things.

Try a route print and make sure that you don't have any static route in place which could be causing this.

Are you sure that "ping hostname" is being resolved by DNS and not WINS? If you can fully wualify and get a good result, but get a fail on shortname, it may well be a bad WINS record. Check your wins server and remove/correct any wrong records. also run NBTSTAT -RR on your mahcine

Check and adjust your DNS search order (covered in comments already by the looks of it)

Check you dont have a rogue HOSTS / LMHOSTS entry on your machine.

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