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I am using Windows XP Service Pack 3. I set up a Firebird SQL server on a machine on my 5 computer local area network. I used to be able to access it by using the server name "Server-win7". Now, I need to use its IP address. I can access the database fine using the IP address of the machine, but this is not really a good solution. The IP addresses are not as intuitive as names and they are also dynamic unless I set them all up as static.

I don't know why the name/IP resolution no longer works. I have done nslookup and it tells me that my DNS server is outside my local network on a Verizon server somewhere and it provides the wrong address for my database server. I have used the Microsoft Network Monitor and I see that my requests to my server do get routed to that incorrect server that is not even on my LAN. It seems odd to me that Windows Explorer can still browse the network by computer name but other software cannot.

Do you have any idea why the local name resolution stopped working? How can I restore peace and harmony here on my LAN?

Thank you for your help.

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Windows Explorer is using NBT (NetBIOS over TCP) to resolve the name, while it sounds like your software is using DNS to resolve the name. NetBIOS works very differently than DNS; in a nutshell it's searching locally rather than asking a server (that's somewhat inaccurate, but basically the point.)

As for fixing the problem, you could either set up a DNS server locally (maybe even use your router) or add Server-win7 to the hosts file on each PC. Given that there is a valid response to the DNS request (which seems odd) you'll have a hard time getting the name to resolve to your local PC. You could try running ipconfig /flushdns though.

  • I agree with you that getting a valid response (it has a suffix on it) from the Verizon DNS server for a computer on my local area network seems odd. I tried ipconfig /flushdns and it did not change anything. I have just started digging into networks and I thought I would find that there was a DNS server on my LAN. I'm surprised to find that there is not. Do you know if it is hard to set up? – jrodenhi May 22 '13 at 20:27
  • Not at all in my opinion. A little reading and you should be set. Try something like SimpleDNS. Add a forward lookup zone, create A records for all machines on your LAN (or just the server in question) and configure a forwarder to your Verizon DNS server or another DNS server (like Google's 8.8.8.8). Then change the DHCP settings in your router to point to your DNS server, or manually change it on each PC. – Tanner Faulkner May 22 '13 at 20:33
  • Thank you, Tanner. I have checked out their website. I will give them a closer look. – jrodenhi May 22 '13 at 20:44

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