Question Windows 10 random DNS server isn't responding error.

sharp461

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OK, so for the past week, I have gotten this random internet error. Everything would be working fine and then just suddenly I have no internet, and having Windows troubleshoot it gives me the error "The DNS server isn't responding." The strange thing is though, my wifi was still working perfectly fine (tested on phone) and the other PC in the house that is wired had no issues, so that rules out my router/modem. Still to be on the safe side, I did my own troubleshooting and so I: 1) restarted the modem and router, 2) bought a new LAN cable just in case, 3) changed the DNS server manually to Googles', 4) updated the LAN adapter drivers, 5) disabled and enabled the LAN adapter, and 6) even flushed the DNS (though I just read online about renewing it and the IP after which I will have to try if the issue happens again).


None of these solutions I read online worked, but you know what did? Restarting the PC. This led me to believe that this is a Windows issue, not any of my hardware. Considering it is only my PC which seems to be affected, and even if it lost the internet, everything else on the Network is working fine. And if the only fix seems to be to restart, then something in Windows is causing this. I just checked too when the last Windows update was, and wouldn't you believe it, 4/10/2019, update KB4493509. My issue only started happening on 4/14 ( I remember because Game of Thrones was starting soon). Never had an issue before, and that update is pretty close to cause me to wonder if it messed something up.


Also, the error seems to be pretty random, as it happened once, I restarted and all was good for the rest of the night. Then I left the PC on overnight to download a game and when I woke up, the game had finished and installed successfully but I lost internet again (this was on 4/14-15). After I restarted again and installed the new LAN drivers just in case, I didn't have this issue again until last night, 4/23. So I just wanted to ask if others have seen this issue, and if Microsoft is aware of any problems with the update or Windows 10 in general causing DNS errors that only a restart seems to fix. Thanks.
 

sharp461

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When you get "The DNS server isn't responding."
do ipconfig /all to see what dns server is using

run any malware scan? using vpn?
If it happens again I will check the ipconfig. I don't use a VPN, and I did run an Avast scan, all clean supposedly. Any other programs better?
 

sharp461

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So, it has been a week and it happened again. Seems to happen once a week, and a restart is still the only fix. Definitely sounds like a Windows issue to me.
 
The problem is windows tells you that you have DNS errors when the whole internet is not accessible. Kinda stupid of course you can't get to the dns when the internet is down.

So when this happens see if you can ping 8.8.8.8 (this is a google dns server). If not see if you can ping your router ip.

Since you say it does not affect any other device I would guess something like DHCP issues could cause the problem. I would try to hard code the ip address in your pc including a DNS server like 8.8.8.8. It would be very strange to get a outage with static ip settings and no other device be affected.

Also if you have IPv6 enabled try to disable that in your PC. You can get strange errors when IPv6 works but IPv4 does not or the reverse. IPv6 is not really used much so it does not hurt to turn it off.
 

sharp461

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The problem is windows tells you that you have DNS errors when the whole internet is not accessible. Kinda stupid of course you can't get to the dns when the internet is down.

So when this happens see if you can ping 8.8.8.8 (this is a google dns server). If not see if you can ping your router ip.

Since you say it does not affect any other device I would guess something like DHCP issues could cause the problem. I would try to hard code the ip address in your pc including a DNS server like 8.8.8.8. It would be very strange to get a outage with static ip settings and no other device be affected.

Also if you have IPv6 enabled try to disable that in your PC. You can get strange errors when IPv6 works but IPv4 does not or the reverse. IPv6 is not really used much so it does not hurt to turn it off.
Ok, when the problem happens again I'll try making a static ip address. Ipv6 is off already when I tried troubleshooting before. In another post I made somewhere, I was able to ping my router, and I could ping 8.8.8.8. I just couldn't ping google.com.
 
If you can ping 8.8.8.8 that is the dns server. You want to set the DNS in your pc to use 8.8.8.8. If you can ping it you can use it to resolve names. The default method is to use your router as a proxy. So if your router has some issue it will not talk to the DNS. The default is also to use your ISP DNS server and they tend to have more problems than google dns server. There are other public ones like 1.1.1.1. or 4.2.2.2 if you do not want to use 8.8.8.8
 

sharp461

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If you can ping 8.8.8.8 that is the dns server. You want to set the DNS in your pc to use 8.8.8.8. If you can ping it you can use it to resolve names. The default method is to use your router as a proxy. So if your router has some issue it will not talk to the DNS. The default is also to use your ISP DNS server and they tend to have more problems than google dns server. There are other public ones like 1.1.1.1. or 4.2.2.2 if you do not want to use 8.8.8.8
Right, I can ping 8.8.8.8, but changing my DNS to that does not fix the problem. I have not tried those other ones though, but I feel that won't solve anything. I pretty much ruled out the Router as well considering the other PC that is wired still works as well as the wifi, and the only fix that seems to work is restarting the PC, not even the router, just the PC. I still think it may be a Windows issue, but I have not used a system restore yet before my last update.
 

sharp461

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what your motherboard?
ASUS ROG Crosshair Hero VII. I have an Intel LAN adapter and when I installed its most updated drivers, Intel also installed their own program which looked pretty neat but didn't really help lol.

Try a NSLOOKUP command. If you can ping 8.8.8.8 it should be possible to talk to it.
When I run into this problem again I will try this out, thanks. What should I be looking for though?
 
You should be using your internet service provider's DNS servers. If there was an issue with DNS servers all devices at your residence would not get internet. Is that the case?
OK, so for the past week, I have gotten this random internet error. Everything would be working fine and then just suddenly I have no internet, and having Windows troubleshoot it gives me the error "The DNS server isn't responding." The strange thing is though, my wifi was still working perfectly fine (tested on phone) and the other PC in the house that is wired had no issues, so that rules out my router/modem. Still to be on the safe side, I did my own troubleshooting and so I: 1) restarted the modem and router, 2) bought a new LAN cable just in case, 3) changed the DNS server manually to Googles', 4) updated the LAN adapter drivers, 5) disabled and enabled the LAN adapter, and 6) even flushed the DNS (though I just read online about renewing it and the IP after which I will have to try if the issue happens again).


None of these solutions I read online worked, but you know what did? Restarting the PC. This led me to believe that this is a Windows issue, not any of my hardware. Considering it is only my PC which seems to be affected, and even if it lost the internet, everything else on the Network is working fine. And if the only fix seems to be to restart, then something in Windows is causing this. I just checked too when the last Windows update was, and wouldn't you believe it, 4/10/2019, update KB4493509. My issue only started happening on 4/14 ( I remember because Game of Thrones was starting soon). Never had an issue before, and that update is pretty close to cause me to wonder if it messed something up.


Also, the error seems to be pretty random, as it happened once, I restarted and all was good for the rest of the night. Then I left the PC on overnight to download a game and when I woke up, the game had finished and installed successfully but I lost internet again (this was on 4/14-15). After I restarted again and installed the new LAN drivers just in case, I didn't have this issue again until last night, 4/23. So I just wanted to ask if others have seen this issue, and if Microsoft is aware of any problems with the update or Windows 10 in general causing DNS errors that only a restart seems to fix. Thanks.
Just because other pc's in the house can get out to the internet doesn't rule out the modem and router. There could be a bad port on the router. Did you try swapping ports on your router with another working computer? Set your tcp/ip settings back to DHCP (the way it was) and on the affected machine, open a command prompt and type "ipconfig /all" and post the output.
 
You should play with the nslookup command while it works good. I would suspect if it doesn't work it will timeout but if you can ping it that is not likley. In theory the DNS server may not have the information but google dns servers are extremely stable so that is not likely...at least for multiple different sites. What may happening is you actually have good DNS but the browser has a issue.
 

sharp461

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You should be using your internet service provider's DNS servers. If there was an issue with DNS servers all devices at your residence would not get internet. Is that the case?

Just because other pc's in the house can get out to the internet doesn't rule out the modem and router. There could be a bad port on the router. Did you try swapping ports on your router with another working computer? Set your tcp/ip settings back to DHCP (the way it was) and on the affected machine, open a command prompt and type "ipconfig /all" and post the output.
I'm assuming I'm using my ISP's servers as manually changing to 8.8.8.8 did not work, so its set to automatic again. And yes I did change the ports on the router (what I did not do is bypass the router entirely and connnect to my ISP's modem/router, only because only my PC seems to be affected).

You should play with the nslookup command while it works good. I would suspect if it doesn't work it will timeout but if you can ping it that is not likley. In theory the DNS server may not have the information but google dns servers are extremely stable so that is not likely...at least for multiple different sites. What may happening is you actually have good DNS but the browser has a issue.
Using that command right now brings up www.routerlogin.com and my IP gateway, I'll have to see what happens when its broken. I have tried different browsers and discord, and speedtest by Ookla and nothing connects (I haven't tried any games though, and I have never been disconnected while playing a game. only when browsing the internet or a youtube video).
 
So you are using your router and likely your ISP for the DNS.

A good test is going be to add 8.8.8.8 to the end of the nslookup command. This forces that querie to use the specified dns (ie 8.8.8.8) rather than the one it has set in the network settings.

If 8.8.8.8 works but your router one does not it means the router or the ISP dns has issues. It is very common for the router DNS proxy thing to have issues, not sure why but I have had it happen so often on so many routers I always set my dns to 8.8.8.8 or some other value to not use the proxy function.
 
I'm assuming I'm using my ISP's servers as manually changing to 8.8.8.8 did not work, so its set to automatic again. And yes I did change the ports on the router (what I did not do is bypass the router entirely and connnect to my ISP's modem/router, only because only my PC seems to be affected).



Using that command right now brings up www.routerlogin.com and my IP gateway, I'll have to see what happens when its broken. I have tried different browsers and discord, and speedtest by Ookla and nothing connects (I haven't tried any games though, and I have never been disconnected while playing a game. only when browsing the internet or a youtube video).
After setting your TCP/IP back to dynamic, open a command prompt and type "ipconfig /all" and post the output.
 

sharp461

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After setting your TCP/IP back to dynamic, open a command prompt and type "ipconfig /all" and post the output.
OK, so this is the output while my internet is working, I will have to wait for it to die and show you that one (if it changes?) Also, I tried the NSLOOKUP command while it was down and it
says DNS request timed out. Again, I can ping 8.8.8.8 just fine, and I can ping my gateway, though I cannot use the browser to login to my router (I can use my phone on wifi though and when I did, the PC did show up
as connected with an IP and everything. Not really sure what I should be looking for though on there).

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : Johnny-PC
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Ethernet:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) I211 Gigabit Network Connection
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 4C-ED-FB-78-D1-67
DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.6(Preferred)
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Thursday, May 2, 2019 11:16:46 PM
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Friday, May 3, 2019 11:16:46 PM
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled
 

Botnus

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It says "Ethernet adapter Ethernet" in your CMD line info up there, so I'm assuming you're using a cabled connection. If I'm understanding correctly, the issue is that it stops communicating with the DNS server for some reason. Also from what I understand, your internet connection just randomly drops while you're in the middle of using it... Your DNS server is your router instead of something beyond your own network, and though the computer in question becomes unable to reach your router, other devices on your network (Your phone) CAN reach the router just fine... It sounds like the error is occurring specifically between your computer and your router at this point. IP Addresses may not have anything to do with it.

Let's start with the simplest: Layer 1 -> Have you tried using a different Ethernet cable? Check your cable for kinks, sharp/tense twists, knots, or tears, or if the cable tips are loose. If the cable's damaged, you could lose connectivity to your router, and hence your DNS server. Are there any new (Or old) electronics in the area that the cable's running by? Electromagnetic Interference can be causing some issues, as well. Do these outages coincide with the use of any electrical equipment, such as a microwave? Just something to consider.
 
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OK, so this is the output while my internet is working, I will have to wait for it to die and show you that one (if it changes?) Also, I tried the NSLOOKUP command while it was down and it
says DNS request timed out. Again, I can ping 8.8.8.8 just fine, and I can ping my gateway, though I cannot use the browser to login to my router (I can use my phone on wifi though and when I did, the PC did show up
as connected with an IP and everything. Not really sure what I should be looking for though on there).

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : Johnny-PC
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Ethernet:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) I211 Gigabit Network Connection
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 4C-ED-FB-78-D1-67
DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.6(Preferred)
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Thursday, May 2, 2019 11:16:46 PM
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Friday, May 3, 2019 11:16:46 PM
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled
Check out the dhcp lease duration. It was set may 2nd and expires a day later. If you keep your computer on and the lease expires you'll get disconnected until such time as a new one is obtained. Statically assign your computer instead of using DHCP and see if the disconnects replicate.
 
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sharp461

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Check out the dhcp lease duration. It was set may 2nd and expires a day later. If you keep your computer on and the lease expires you'll get disconnected until such time as a new one is obtained. Statically assign your computer instead of using DHCP and see if the disconnects replicate.
I just noticed that, and you know, I think before I set it static, I want to test and see if that actually is the cause (though isn't the PC supposed to renew automatically?). Right now, today on Friday, my lease is supposed to expire on Sunday. I do have to ask though, wouldn't restarting the router also renew the lease? Or, would restarting the PC renew? Usually what happens is I shut the computer off for the night, I wake up and go to work, come home and turn on my PC, and then I will have internet for maybe a few minutes and then I lose it (or sometimes its lost near instantly). If turning on the PC is supposed to renew it, then why didn't it? Unless the whole Windows fast boot thing causes it to stay and maybe it took a bit for the PC to recognize its expired? Anyway, I will wait and see if the next time I lose internet corresponds with that lease.

It says "Ethernet adapter Ethernet" in your CMD line info up there, so I'm assuming you're using a cabled connection. If I'm understanding correctly, the issue is that it stops communicating with the DNS server for some reason. Also from what I understand, your internet connection just randomly drops while you're in the middle of using it... Your DNS server is your router instead of something beyond your own network, and though the computer in question becomes unable to reach your router, other devices on your network (Your phone) CAN reach the router just fine... It sounds like the error is occurring specifically between your computer and your router at this point. IP Addresses may not have anything to do with it.

Let's start with the simplest: Layer 1 -> Have you tried using a different Ethernet cable? Check your cable for kinks, sharp/tense twists, knots, or tears, or if the cable tips are loose. If the cable's damaged, you could lose connectivity to your router, and hence your DNS server. Are there any new (Or old) electronics in the area that the cable's running by? Electromagnetic Interference can be causing some issues, as well. Do these outages coincide with the use of any electrical equipment, such as a microwave? Just something to consider.
In my original post, I did mention I bought a new LAN cable and that didn't fix anything. So far no failures, but I want to test a few things as well when it happens again: 1) change the DNS manually in the Router settings instead of in Windows, 2) completely bypass my router and plug the cable into the modem (which in turn should give me a whole different IP address, 10.x.x.x), and 3) statically assigning my computer like the other poster above me mentioned. Also, I have wires running through my walls (like actual cabling, not a hole from one side to the other :p) that were put in when the house was being built 15+ years ago. They all lead to a Switch box in a closet. Never had an issue, and no one else has an issue, but besides that no other electrical equipment that could cause interference.

One more question: if I bypass my router completely and plug into my modem/router my ISP gave me (complete with a 10.x.x.x IP address for some reason) and it DOESN'T work, would that more or less point towards Windows being at fault?
 

Botnus

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In my original post, I did mention I bought a new LAN cable and that didn't fix anything. So far no failures, but I want to test a few things as well when it happens again: 1) change the DNS manually in the Router settings instead of in Windows, 2) completely bypass my router and plug the cable into the modem (which in turn should give me a whole different IP address, 10.x.x.x), and 3) statically assigning my computer like the other poster above me mentioned. Also, I have wires running through my walls (like actual cabling, not a hole from one side to the other :p) that were put in when the house was being built 15+ years ago. They all lead to a Switch box in a closet. Never had an issue, and no one else has an issue, but besides that no other electrical equipment that could cause interference.

One more question: if I bypass my router completely and plug into my modem/router my ISP gave me (complete with a 10.x.x.x IP address for some reason) and it DOESN'T work, would that more or less point towards Windows being at fault?
I must have missed the part where you said you bought a new cable. My mistake. When you say "So far no failures" do you mean that the problem seems to have stopped presenting itself?

I'm just going to answer the questions your presented because I'm not really in a position to troubleshoot at the moment:

1) Do not change the DNS in the router. The problem is just one computer, which means that the router's not at fault. It could possibly be an issue with Windows, such as not updating on time, which could cause network problems just like this (So I'd recommend paying a visit to Windows Update after undoing any changes you've made), or settings elsewhere.

2) You could go right past the router straight into the modem if you like, but I'd advise against this. The router acts as a firewall, which protects your networked devices. Since we can tell that the router isn't the issue I doubt this will work. Might still be worth a try though, computers are bonkers sometimes.

3) I'm not sure what you're doing with the IP Addresses since we know that you can connect and work, you just lose the DNS at random. One thing you might want to try doing is setting your IP Address settings to "Dynamic", going into Command Line and typing in "IPConfig /release" to release your IP address (You will lose connection to the network), and then typing in "IPConfig /renew", which will request a new IP Address. You will likely get the same IP Address you had before, though, with a renewed lease.

I'm a bit confused to the layout of your network now. Does it go: Internet <-> Modem <-> Router <-> Switch <-> Connected Devices? I just want to be sure we aren't talking about two different things thinking we're on the same page, is all.

I think we can safely assume that the router isn't the issue at this point based merely on the fact that none of your other devices are having issues. The fact that it just drops your DNS server for no apparent reason in the middle of using it makes me think there's something wrong either with your connection physically, or yeah, on the Operating System side. First check Windows Update for any updates that haven't run yet, as deferred updates could cause problems... When your DNS server goes out, try pinging your router's IP Address. Since your router's your DNS server, if you can't reach the router then you know for a fact that it's something between it and your computer. Maybe try plugging directly into the router instead of the switch in the closet.
 

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