I am seeing an issue where I can't access the company website from the in-office server, and I also can't ping the mail server (both of these are hosted by some ISP).

After looking around I think the domain name might be conflicting with the web address.

In AD I can see that the domain is called company.co.za, and when I try set user in cmd, the output is


And the company website is company.co.za

What should I do here? Is it safe to rename the domain, or is there some DNS setting I can change?

From the set user command I can see that the conflict is only under USERDNSDOMAIN, but I have no idea what the implications of that is.

Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you


Renaming an Active Directory is not fun.

Just add A records to your Active Directory DNS for your outside servers.

  • Thanks for your answer longneck. I have no idea how to go about that but I will do some research - thank you
    – Bassie
    Oct 19 '18 at 13:21
  • Adding A record seems to have no effect. I still just get sent to the local iis 80 page. If I disable that page I get 404
    – Bassie
    Oct 20 '18 at 6:39

Your Web site uses the same name as your local domain. For some time MS recommended that you use the full .com address for your domain but they've changed their minds these days because of just the difficulties you are experiencing.

Depending on your needs you could:

  • Add a local AD DNS record to refer to the external website with an alternate name - e.g. www.domain....

    • From Server Manager choose DNS
    • Expand the nodes to Forward lookup Zones
    • Rgt clk yourdomain.com and select New Host (A or AAAA)
    • Use www as the prefix and provide the IP address of your web site as the address
    • Click Add Host button
  • use the ISP DNS to point to the website using www.domain.... and then place a web server on your local network and set it up to transparently redirect traffic to the www.domain address.

The index.html on the local web server may look like this:

<HTML><HEAD><meta HTTP-EQUIV="REFRESH" content="0; url=http://www.example.com">

I think that the second method is more technically correct as yourdomain.com IS the local domain (You said so in server setup) so you give the website a subdomain of www.yourdomain.com and just redirecting web traffic (port 80/443) away from your work network to the web server.

  • Thanks Mbo, do you have a reference for how I can do your first recommendation/ I have no expereience with these things
    – Bassie
    Oct 19 '18 at 13:52
  • What is the server OS?
    – Mbo42
    Oct 19 '18 at 13:53
  • It's Server 2012 R2
    – Bassie
    Oct 19 '18 at 13:55
  • See edits to original post
    – Mbo42
    Oct 19 '18 at 14:08
  • Unfortunately that didn't seem to work - navigating to the company.co.za in the browser still takes me to the default IIS page and pinging that address still returns I should also mention I couldn't find "forward lookup zones" in server manager - I instead found those in an application called DNS.... not sure if that is installed software or comes with ServerR2 by default
    – Bassie
    Oct 19 '18 at 14:17

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