Monday, August 9, 2021

Workaround: Infrastructure messed up DNS hostname and I can no longer access a server but server is up

I have a custom tool that uses server name to access server as that is the highly recommended method to access servers. Suddenly I no longer can access a server. I can no longer remote desktop or ping. Ping is not just a timeout but does not even resolve the name. I really, really, really wanted to avoid having to modify my configurations for a temporary change of a hostname to ip address.

One major reason that I want to avoid this is because Windows is extremely finicky about what users is logged into the server. I have to use a special admin account to login not the default one that I use to log into Windows (which also translates to the default IIS user that the web tool uses). Resetting this password to set a new password is still unclear and very messy. The cleanest method that has worked consistent is just to reboot the entire server which runs other web applications.

Anyways, I recall during a cloud custover where we used the host file to resolve names that have not been set up yet. I used to use this for web hostnames. I thought it was worth a shot and found that it also works for network folders.

The file for Windows 10 is located at (default) C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts. You may need to run the text editor as administrator for this to save. Anyways, this saved me a lot of time and the hassle to revert it back once infrastructure team fixes the issue.

There should be a cleanup to remove the entry in the host file. I am likely to forget this as I probably will soon to forget to follow up with infrastructure team on my ticket.

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