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Did I screw this up? I don’t even know how this might have happened, so I’d like to learn. I’m trying out HostGator’s reseller service and I bought a domain name through it, but I didn’t want the default name servers and so I changed them during the registration. After registration the domain name record is correct everywhere except at and and it looks like the DNS network is using that same information.

$ whois -h
Name Servers:
$ whois -h
   Domain Name: EXAMPLE.COM
   Registrar: ENOM, INC.
   Whois Server:
   Referral URL:
   Name Server: NS1.HOSTGATOR.COM
   Name Server: NS2.HOSTGATOR.COM
   Status: clientTransferProhibited
   Updated Date: 01-jun-2010
   Creation Date: 31-may-2010
   Expiration Date: 31-may-2011

>>> Last update of whois database: Tue, 01 Jun 2010 19:20:47 UTC <<<
    $ dig +norecurse NS
;; AUTHORITY SECTION:      172763  IN      NS      172763  IN      NS

My next step is to let HostGator have a look, but first I want to better understand how this happened.


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How long ago did you make the change it can take 24-48 hours for the who-is to update. – Campo Jun 1 '10 at 19:52
I did it last night, but I've never had to wait more than four hours for any such change since about 2005. – danorton Jun 1 '10 at 19:55
It’s probably not directly related, but it’s also interesting to note that isn’t actually resolved anywhere except in this glue record. – danorton Jun 1 '10 at 19:57
have you tried to use your registrars who is? Do you get the same output? Does the site resolve using the correct name server? If its just the who is info and its not effecting the site then I would say wait a little longer and see if it changes. I agree it shouldn't take more than 4 hours and that's even pretty long. Check your TTL and you can try setting it lower to make the process a little quicker. – Campo Jun 1 '10 at 20:02
The registrar is enom. It’s the first output above and it’s correct. Beyond that, as the DNS network is wrong, the information at the correct nameserver is moot. In any case, I have confirmed that it is correct. If this is just a matter of waiting, I wonder who’s being so abnormally slow about this. eNom? HostGator? Simply bad luck? – danorton Jun 1 '10 at 20:16
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I would contact the registrar to ensure they actually pushed the change out to the root DNS servers and have the correct information on file. I haven't used HostGator specifically, but some of the registrar APIs that I've had to talk to in the past have been.... glitchy.

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Thanks, Justin. It’s too late now to see any external evidence, so I’m going to conclude that HostGator got something out of sync. That their name servers themselves aren’t properly listed is a pretty big clue. – danorton Jun 4 '10 at 12:45
Oh, and I used eNom’s web interface in a HostGator subaccount, so it wasn’t HostGator’s use of the API, anyway. – danorton Jun 4 '10 at 12:52

The way it’s supposed to work is that when you update registration information for .COM, .NET, and .EDU domain names, the registrar should send the the new WHOIS information to CRSNIC. The problematic situation described above is one possible result when that transfer fails.

While it’s arguable that CRSNIC might have dropped the ball somewhere, eNom could have automatically checked to confirm that the CRSNIC record had been updated, and obviously didn’t.

I would conclude that eNom failed to properly transfer (and confirm the transfer of) the updated WHOIS name server information to CRSNIC.

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