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Programmer inherits W2K Server...

I have inherited the administration of a Windows 2000 Server. It is setup as the local domain controller. I have the existing computers and users setup working with it fine. However I have inherited it in an odd state, it seems it used to run the DHCP, DNS and Exchange server for the office, these services are now run by the little linksys gateway or the new hosting company. The books I have read show the Domain controller running all of these services, not another machine. Is it proper to have DNS and DHCP not handled by the domain server, will it cause me any problems or headaches?

Thanks!

Jeff
Thursday, March 18, 2004

That would be OK except that DHCP will not be able to tell DNS what addresses it is passing out to whom, so machines with dynamically-assigned IP addresses will not have real names that can be found in DNS.

It's no big deal to fix it -- just install and run DHCP and DNS on the Windows server and turn it off on the linksys, but if everything is working OK for you and you don't really need to resolve names of dynamically-assigned workstations I wouldn't touch it.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Thursday, March 18, 2004

In short, it depends...

Find a pro in your neighborhood and ask them to take a look.

There are plenty of IT pros looking for work, and your setup could be a quick moonlighting opportunity for someone who wants to work.

Who knows, you may find your next job through them.

I certainly did!

--
ee

P.S. I know some pros in the Phoenix, AZ area, if that happens to be where you are...

eclectic_echidna
Thursday, March 18, 2004

"if everything is working OK for you and you don't really need to resolve names of dynamically-assigned workstations I wouldn't touch it"

Why would I need to resolve the names? I am just using the server to host some shared drives, active directory, run a network antivirus package (Panda, a company I had never heard of), and then doing backups with Veritas.

The big thing I have not done yet is add a computer to the domain. Long story short last IT guy left (several years ago) with all the licenses and install CDs so once I have that under control I will be redoing some PCs and placing them back onto the network. Does DNS get involved in that at all?

Jeff
Thursday, March 18, 2004

The only reason is if people wanted to do peer-to-peer stuff between workstations by name.

For example, my computer is named fogdude. It gets a dynamic IP address from DHCP running on a Win2K server. The office DNS box is on the same Win2K server so as soon as my machine gets its IP address, DHCP will notify DNS that fogdude.hq.fogcreek.com should be 10.123.0.2, for example. Now anyone else in my office can type fogdude.hq.fogcreek.com to see my machine.

If DHCP is not talking to DNS, the only way to find particular workstations is with their NetBIOS names (\\FOGDUDE) which is not particularly reliable.

If nobody ever needs to talk to other workstations (they all just talk to the server) it's not going to matter.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Thursday, March 18, 2004

More than not particularly reliable NetBIOS is a resource hog, and you get all kinds of problems if the server goes offline for a short period and all the other machines fight about who is going to be master browser.

But if the last guy left some years ago! and nobody has noticied anything wrong until now I would not tempt fate.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, March 18, 2004

Thanks for the help.

I have fixed a bunch of the subtle problems that had come about due to years of neglect. It had full drives, broken backup scripts, outdated anti-virus definitions, etc etc. I have now started to clean up the PCs, several no longer connect to the domain etc. I am trying to get this all squared away so I can focus on my main job of writing a new application to support the growth of this firm. Trying to make sure what I do know will last a while as far as having to reconfigure things.

So once again thanks for the info.

Jeff
Friday, March 19, 2004

Congrats on your inheritance, but wouldn't a house have been nicer? Money? Did the cat get all of those?


Friday, March 19, 2004

The last admin got those along with the software licenses and install media!

Jeff
Friday, March 19, 2004

So you are running the whole shebang without a licence?

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, March 19, 2004

No I have the licenses for the domain server and all the software on that. I have extracted out the license codes from win2k desktops. I cannot get the codes out of MS office. I have talked with Microsoft and the keys match as registered to us. We are going to be buying new machines very soon so I hope that will clean up the last of this mess. Fortunatly the setup is small now... 12 pcs growing to 25 or so in the next 6 months. So I am as legal as I can be.

Jeff
Friday, March 19, 2004

why would you wan't DHCP in an local area network?
What are the advantages of DHCP in a LAN setup ?

(i mean, all machines in my reach have static addresses)

Michael Moser
Saturday, March 20, 2004

Michael, it's hard to find the two machines on a LAN that are conflicting with each other by having been assigned the same IP address. By the time we reached 60 or more workstations on the LAN, our administrator prefered to administer IP addresses from a central location (using DHCP). If any workstation wanted a static IP address (which a number of our workstations did) then he'd configure the DHCP server to always assign the same IP address to that workstation ... and could see (from the DHCP server setup) which static IP addresses were assigned to which workstations.

Christopher Wells
Saturday, March 20, 2004

I've just ghosted 180 workstations with identical software.

Because we didn't have W2k server but only peer to peer, I had to use static IPs. I used to be able to use W2K pro as a DHCP server but couldn't get this to work with Win XP Pro.

Setting the IP's statically was a pain, and that is with the workstations all in one room. If the IP's are not set statically then Ghost Server doesn't get them to do the clone. Worst you have to reset all the IP's afterwards, which you wouldn't have to do if the cloned image used DHCP.

If I had to do it again I would either set up Samba, or insist on W2K server and the client licenses. Static IP's are a pain.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, March 20, 2004

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