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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Configuring DNS with Older Versions of Windows

Configuring DNS on older Windows systems — such as Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT — is much simpler than in Windows 2000 and later, basically because the earlier Windows operating systems didn't support a great deal of DNS functions. These operating systems were created before dynamic DNS was commonplace, and fewer configuration options were available.

To begin configuring DNS, right-click Network Neighborhood on the desktop and choose Properties. This step opens the Network dialog box. Click the Protocols tab in this dialog box. From the list of protocols, select TCP/IP and click Properties.

In the TCP/IP Properties dialog box, click the DNS tab. You make all DNS configuration changes there. The first two options are Host Name and Domain. The Host Name option is where you configure the host name used with DNS. By default, it's set to the same value as the computer's NetBIOS name. You can change it to any value, though. The Domain setting is used to configure the primary DNS suffix for the system. This suffix is appended to all unqualified names. If your domain is set to domain.tld, for example, typing ping remotehost causes the computer to ping remotehost.domain.tld.

The DNS Service Search Order setting is used to specify DNS servers for the connection. These tools are relatively intuitive. You can add any number of servers by clicking the Add button. Remove existing servers by clicking Remove or change them by clicking Edit. You can also change the order in which the servers are accessed by selecting a server and clicking Up or Down to move it up or down in the list.

The last DNS setting in the dialog box is the Domain Suffix Search Order. You can specify as many as six DNS suffixes to search. These suffixes are used in order when an unqualified name cannot be resolved using the primary DNS suffix. Click the Add button to add a suffix to the list. Select a suffix from the list and click Remove to remove it or click Edit to change it. You can also select a suffix and use the Up and Down buttons to change its position in the list. Suffixes are used for resolution in the order in which they appear on the list.

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