Bad Ol’ DNS

Last night, I was trying to research some of the stuff I needed for my script to build the photo side of the site, and noticed problems getting to sites.  I saw this on both the PowerMac and the Mini.  I was panicky that something bad was happening on the network, or worse yet, from outside.  Being the good troubleshooter I am though, I jumped on Beck’s WinXP box, and noticed no problems at all.


I did some (very slow) searches on google for DNS lookup issues (since that’s what it looked like) on Macs, and found that a bunch of people had problems out of the latest security updates.  I tried a couple of things, and finally happened on a hint that applying the security update again.  I pulled it down from Apple (long DNS, but quick download, which again pointed at a DNS problem), applied it and still had the problem.

Then a stroke of genius — what if I changed the order of the DNS servers that Charter supplies me?  I did that, and all was great!

So, what’d we learn kids?  Well, it seems that WinXP handles flakey DNS situations just a tad better than OS X, going to the secondary DNS server in the list with little noticeable delay.  I think OS X was trying the first one, and waiting a long time before failing to the second one.  Or, maybe the first one was slow, but just alive enough to keep OS X’s interest, preventing it from going to the secondary DNS server.

Either way, this was a weird thing to deal with!