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Intermittent Page Cannot Be Displayed/DNS errors

Discussion in 'Networking' started by rock_on, Oct 24, 2005.

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  1. rock_on

    rock_on Thread Starter

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    G'Day All,

    We're experiencing a very annoying problem at work whereby we'll receive "Page Cannot be Displayed/DNS Errors" intermittently when visiting websites. For example, typing a URL in the Internet Explorer address bar will sometimes load the page you're requesting and other times it'll pop up the "Page cannot be displayed" error. What's perplexing is that after receiving the error, all one has to do is hit 'refresh' and more often than not, the page will load! Additionally, sometimes not all images on a website will load after hitting the refresh button.

    We're running a server with Windows 2000 Server installed and a corporate LAN with about 10 terminals. We share a satellite internet connection between the computers (hooked up to a router which connects to the server) and never had any problems until recently (apart from the response latency issues often associated with satellite connections). I've checked the event viewer on both the server and client computers and noticed that we're getting time synchronisation errors. Could these be the root of the problem? Unfortunately, no errors pop up in the event viewer co-inciding with the "Page Cannot Be Displayed" errors otherwise I suspect I'd have the problem fixed by now......

    I know this thread will sound a little vague in light of the fact that I don't usually work out of the office and as such, don't have access to the event codes that the event viewers are spitting out. I'm just hoping that someone with some networking expertise can point me in the direction of what could possible be causing this. The only thing that I can think that may have been done to prompt this problem was the installation of SP4 on the server (about a month ago) although the problems didn't start until about 1-2 weeks ago.

    I've been poring through the Microsoft Knowledge base with regards to the event codes and DNS errors but have had little success in finding a solution. Any assistance/direction that you guys can offer will be GREATLY appreciated

    Cheers,

    Nathan

    P.S. Anyone with Networking expertise in Northern Alberta, Canada looking for some contract work?
     
  2. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

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    When you say corperate LAN do you mean workgroup or domain? The answer can result in 2 totallty different DNS setups.
     
  3. rock_on

    rock_on Thread Starter

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    Hi StumpedTechy,

    Thanks for replying. I'm pretty sure that we're on a domain setup (domain is prompted - and entered - at the Windows NT/2000 login screens) though my background isn't in IT (I'm a pilot by profession) and I've been tasked with this problem as I know a 'little' about networking (which I think is far more dangerous than knowing nothing!). When 'View entire network' is selected in windows, our internal network pops up underneath mshome'. Would this be a workgroup or a domain? Apologies for my lack of being able to answer your question with confidence.

    To complicate matters, I work out of a different base than that where the server is located (about 60 miles away) and as such, don't get many opportunities to troubleshoot/investigate first-hand the problems that our main base is having.

    I do know that the server also acts as a webserver whereby our internal company website is hosted off it and is accessible via the Internet at a static IP. The internal network side of things is basically used as shared 'mapped' network drives on the server and limited print sharing between terminals.
     
  4. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

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    Yes if it has a domain section in the logon then you are on a domain.

    You also mention your running Windows NT still? Does this mean your Domain is in Mixed mode or are you running straight AD? What I am trying to do is determine what type of DNS setup you currently have to be able to determine where the "break" may be.

    Since the server is a W2K server can't your remote desktop to it? You should be able to and if this is not installed on it (terminal services) then install it ASAP it will save you alot of footwork.

    Also take al ook at this thread as ALOT of the tips I am telling him will relate to your problem -

    http://forums.techguy.org/t409610.html

    Lets leave time synchronization errors alone until we have DNS figured out.
     
  5. rock_on

    rock_on Thread Starter

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    G'Day StumpedTechy,

    I'm certainly going to owe you a beer or two after this is all said and done - thanks again for replying.

    As for whether we're running in mixed mode or straight AD, I'm not sure I follow what you mean (I've never heard the terms). Just about every client computer that we have is running a different version of Windows. I thought one or two may have been NT however I don't think that's the case now. We definately have 4 running Windows 2000 Professional. 4 running windows XP (maybe 2 home ed, 2 XP Pro), 1 running Windows 98 and 1 other running server 2000 strictly as a client. The Server itself is running Windows 2000 Server with SP4. Another thing I forgot to mention in my initial post was that email hasn't been affected at all. Whilst the browser problems pop up constantly, email continues to run flawlessly....

    I'm new to Windows 2000 and 2000 Server so I haven't even tried to remote desktop to it. I'll certainly check that out when I make it back to the other base later this week.

    I've read that other thread once and I plan on reading it a few more times for everything to sink in. It's funny, I usually have no qualms fixing problems and troubleshooting stuff I don't understand on my own systems by trial and error however when I mess with network at the office, I often end up doing more harm than good. I can usually fix the additional problems I create however this often involves more time than fixing the original problems! People go to school for years to learn about this stuff and it heightens my respect for guys like yourself who not only understand it, but are willing to assist others in troubleshooting/fixing networking issues.

    Thank you very much
     
  6. rock_on

    rock_on Thread Starter

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    Hi StumpedTechy,

    My boss ended up authorising a network specialist to come in and assist. He found a couple of problems namely the upload speed of our satellite internet connection was terrible (1-3kpbs) and all DNS requests by clients were being routed to an inappropriate destination (primary DNS was set to Direcway) rather than the server and/or router initially. Anyway, what was happening was that the DNS requests were going through, however they were timing out and causing the Page Cannot be Displayed errors. What's odd was that when we speed tested the satellite modem without the clients being plugged into the switch, the satellite was giving us normal upload speeds. As soon as we plugged the other clients in, it dropped by a factor of 7 (downloads were unaffected). Anyways, by changing the DNS settings, the techie was able to get sites resolving normally again. I'm going to double check all the client computers and make sure that they're free of spyware/nasty stuff that's trying to 'phone home' so to speak and rob us of our limited bandwidth.

    I'm also up and running on the remote desktop connection (thank you!). I had no idea how easy (and useful) it is.

    All the best,

    Nathan
     
  7. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

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    Ah yeah be glad you got him in... that DNS being directed outside instead of internal is BAD! Also glad to hear he caught the speed too.

    As for RD I am glad you find it useful. I was very taken aback by it for the first 2 months of using it and didn't like it.... but after alot of training in it I use it all the time. Both on servers at work and to even reach my home network :)
     
  8. fragmental

    fragmental

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
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    was reading your post regarding this error,, had the same problem on a customers computer.Check in the internet properties under languages ,, if u have more then one entry in there or custom language , this can cause the problem,, just remove the ones that are not necessay, and you'll find that you won't have to refresh everytime you connect :) Happy travelling (y)
     
  9. rock_on

    rock_on Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Hi Fragmental,

    Thanks for replying. Our problem did turn out to be DNS-related and was solved by an on-site techie within minutes. I'll have a look at the language settings next time I'm back at 'mission control' (aka Head Office).

    Cheers,

    Nathan
     
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