Archive for the ‘Remote Access’ Category

Troubleshoting DDNS with zoneedit and nslookup

September 11, 2013 1 comment

zoneeditToday I was playing around with some remote services I installed on a server at home.  While using the software, I stared getting connection errors.  I opened up CMD and did a ping of my ddns hostname.  Sure enough I received a wrong IP address.  Now I have ran into a similar issue with zoneedit before when my IP address would renew with my ISP.  It might take a few minutes but DNS is eventually updated and everything would be working again.  This time though I wasn’t getting an IP from the range of my current ISP (lets say 172.x.x.x), I was getting an IP address from the range of my old ISP (142.x.x.x).

So after a few “What the hell is going on here?” ‘s I started going through scenarios.  Was the DNS server at work to fault?  or perhaps the ISP DNS server?  Perhaps it was zoneedit reporting incorrect IPs?

First off I checked my zoneedit account.  After logging in I found that all my ddns records were up to date with a 172.x.x.x IP, so that ruled zoneedit out.

Next I opened up CMD and ran nslookup.  Now nslookup is a pretty handy tool for those who havn’t used it.  Microsoft’s discription of the tool is “Nslookup.exe is a command-line administrative tool for testing and troubleshooting DNS servers” (

I started with typing my domain name into the nslookup prompt. Lone behold my correct IP (172.x.x.x) was resolving.  Hold on a second….  I opened another CMD window and pinged my dns address. Sure enough it resolved the proper IP (127.x.x.x).  Always love problems that fix themselves!

Sadly this wasn’t to be the case for long.  I started up the software again but after a while I stared getting disconnects.  “That was too easy” I thought as I pinged my ddns hostname and sure enough it was showing up as 142.x.x.x.

This time I jumped right into nslookup and this time my ddns hostname was resolving to 142.x.x.x.  So I typed in lserver to get a list of the DNS servers my PC is using to resolve IP addresses.  I then typed in lserver 192.x.x.x (the ip of my first DNS server) and tried resolving my dns name, same 142.x.x.x IP.  I went through the list and got the same IP each time.  I then typed in lserver (google’s publicly available DNS server) and tried resolving my ddns name, and I got my 172.x.x.x IP.

So now I though it was a local dns problem.  I changed the order of my dns servers to include google as first reference and went back to my software.  After a little while longer though more disconnects!

Back to nslookup and sure enough setting lserver and then typing in my ddns name was returning the dreaded 142.x.x.x!  The only thing I could think of now was to go back to zoneedit.

Zoneedit uses 2 name servers with your account for redundancy.  I set  lserver in nslookup and tried resolving my ddns name and got my correct 172.x.x.x.  I then set lserver and sure enough got back the 142.x.x.x record.  I fired up the support page on and sent in a trouble ticket explaining that server2 was keeping a cached record for my ddns account.  Hopefully I get a reply soon!




I did get a reply and zoneedit fixed their server.  I did however had to republish my domain on their web portal to update the problem server with the correct information.

Windows Home Server, Painless Backups for all!

August 6, 2009 Leave a comment

WHS pie chartSo my Freenas NAS has been a pain in the ass lately.  It has this neat little habit of forgetting it has hard drives attached to it.  This is the second time this has happened, so I decided to branch out and try new server OS’s.  I have read a little bit about Windows Home server and heard the claims that “It just works”.  With this in mind, I decided to give it a chance.  The install was neat to say the least.  At first it installed windows 2003 server, then converted it to SBS and finally logo-ed it as WHS.  This process took 5 reboots, and looked like one hell of a batch file by MS.  The one thing I didn’t like was that it didn’t ask for an admin password until it was finished installing.  I was away form the house during the end of the install process and couldn’t log in to RDP on the server until I had an admin password set. That aside the install was pretty painless.

Setting up the WHS client on the rest of the PCs was equally as painless.  Once installed from either a CD or the handy dandy network share under \\server\software I could remotely manage all the WHS functions and as well have remote access to my PCs (through a activex based RDP client).  This client also facilitates automated network backups, but I was going to set this up later…  or so I thought!

Since the old NAS used UFS for a file system, I have to use UFS explorer to mount the disk in windows and copy the data to the WHS.  This is taking some time so I opted to leave my PC on overnight to finish copying.  When I got up this morning I checked the status of the drives to see how much data has been copied.  WHS has this neat little graph which displays different chunks for data, system, backups and so on.  What did I see but a blue chunk full of 26gigs of backup.  I never even touched the setups and WHS took care of my backups over night.  How cool is that!  Now that’s what I call painless backups!  I recommend it for anyone that is looking for a nas solution.

Chris Control

March 31, 2009 Leave a comment

chriscontrolChris Control was the answer to my Prayers when I had a PC that would not connect through RDP.  ChrisControl is an all in one client that uses both RDP and VNC.  The neat thing about ChrisControl is if you know the admin account, it can remotely connect to the PC, install a VNC server and connct to it… No configuration Required!  And to complete the puzzle it also removes VNC from the remote PC when you close the session, making your PC secure once again.  This works great in our environment where not every PC is on the AD, and has the advantage both the tech and user to access the same screen at the same time.

Oh, and did I mention it also does WOL for those PCs who are powered down?

Heres the download link!