Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Resetting DNS and WINS on DHCP Clients

As you probably know, Windows-based systems can be DHCP clients (and obtain their IP address, subnet mask, and gateway from DHCP) but use hard-coded DNS servers or WINS servers. Right off the top of my head, I can’t really think of any reasons why this is useful, or when it may be necessary, but the point remains that it is possible, and invariably this situation crops up during standardization or migration projects. The problem with this situation is that changes made to the DHCP server (such as handing out new DNS server or new WINS server addresses) won’t be properly reflected on those workstations that have hard-coded values for these configuration settings.

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Remotely Enabling Remote Desktop

Other than exploring a new WMIC alias here, you won’t see any startling new tricks or techniques here. We’ll be reusing tools that are already well-worn but still useful.

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iSCSI and ESX Server 3

A few weeks ago I wrote about trying to use NetApp’s ONTAP Simulator as a VM under ESX Server so that I could do some testing with the new NAS and iSCSI functionality in ESX Server 3.0. I finally got that working, but later had to shut it down when I started working with ESX Server 3. As it turns out, the ProLiant 6400R servers I was using for my VMware lab (running ESX 2.5.x) were not supported for the final release of ESX 3 because the cpqarray.o driver was dropped from the final release, and the cpqarray.o driver is what supported the Smart Array 3200 and Smart Array 4250 RAID controllers in these two boxes. No ESX 3 on these boxes.

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Setting DNS and WINS Server Addresses Remotely

As a follow-up to yesterday’s posting about using WMIC to set the DNS suffix search order remotely, here’s additional information on using WMIC to remotely set the DNS server and WINS server addresses. This technique can be particularly useful for servers, where the IP addresses are statically assigned (as opposed to configured via DHCP).

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Remotely Setting the DNS Suffix Search Order

Invariably, larger organizations end up with a fragmented DNS namespace that has grown over the years due to name changes and acquisitions. As resources move between domains (DNS domains and Active Directory domains), it soon becomes necessary to have clients resolve hostnames even when the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) isn’t provided by the user. The DNS suffix search order provides that functionality, and is very often a key part of maintaining connectivity in these separate namespaces.

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Mass Renaming Computers

I hate to continue beating the for /f stick, but it sure is a handy command. This time we’re going to use it to rename large numbers of computers at a time, such as when your company changes the standard naming convention and then asks you to go back and rename all the computers that don’t match the new convention. This is a big deal because not only must the computers be renamed, but the matching computer accounts in Active Directory must also be renamed at the same time. Renaming the computer manually (from the Network Identification tab of the properties of My Computer) renames the Active Directory account, but who wants to do it all by hand?

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It's a Matter of Privacy, Not Security

Daniel Jalkut, in his Red Sweater Blog, recently posted that he had detected (via Little Snitch) some network activity from Dashboard back to Apple’s web site. Upon further investigation, he found that the activity was apparently tied to this one-line entry in the release notes for 10.4.7:

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Group Policy Resources

I just posted several links for Group Policy-related web resources to my del.icio.us bookmarks list (subscribe to my del.icio.us RSS feed for regular updates). There are some good sites included, as well as some pretty handy tools. Since I just landed a big AD migration project, I have a feeling some of these tools may come in handy.

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Finding Independence

Technically, Independence Day in the US isn’t until tomorrow (July 4). I don’t plan on being around much tomorrow, though, so I’m posting this today.

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New IE Flaws

In addition to the announcement of a new “trojan horse” for Mac OS X, a couple new flaws were uncovered and disclosed for Internet Explorer in the last few days as well.

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