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I have two Windows Server 2008 R2 servers which act as both Active Directory primary domain controllers and DNS servers on my network. Both computers have WINS installed and are the primary and secondary DNS servers for all of the computers on the network.

When I enter a URL such as http:// server.mydomain.local, the server's IP resolves properly. However, when I enter just http:// server, the DNS lookup fails. (space added to the URLs so this site does not parse it as a link)

If I run "nslookup server", a SERVFAIL is returned from both servers, although when I run "nslookup server.mydomain.local", it correctly returns the server's IP. How can I allow users to get to a server by entering just http://server instead of the entire FQDN?

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How are their DNS search suffixes configured? –  Shane Madden Dec 30 '11 at 4:26
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

On a domain-joined computer, open the properties of the network adapter, select TCP/IP settings, select advanced and go to the "DNS" tab

On the middle of the box, choose the "Append primary and connection specific DNS suffixes" and check the "Append parent suffixes of the DNS suffix"

EDIT:
As Christopher pointed out you can also specify a distinct suffix search list, to do this for all computers in a domain, consider using GPO's, like this:
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/datacenter/manage-dns-suffix-configuration-through-group-policy/2665

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I would say you need to configure you computers search domain. Is your Active Directory domain mydomain.local?

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Yes, my AD domain is in that format (mydomain.local). –  Grant Dec 30 '11 at 4:38
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