Essentials 2012 Manage DNS AutoDiscovery

Logo1Listening to the ‘Home Server Show’ podcast recently,  the conversation inevitably steered towards Client DNS on Essentials. It reminded me that i had written a script last year, to manage the UR3 feature of Essentials 2012 that being ‘DNS AutoDiscovery’ but never actually shared it.

I uploaded it to the TechNet Gallery today.

It relates to the changes in UR3 that introduce Registry changes to stop the Client computers DNS being managed (or mangled depending on your point of view) by the Essentials Server. You can run the script on a single PC or you can run it on the Server to have it apply to all clients.

This was put together for Essentials 2012, but i just added some tweaks to help it work with R2.

If you do choose to Disable the service at the Server, it is important to note that it will only affect Clients that install the Connector after the change, existing clients will need to be modified manually to set them back to use DHCP or your preferred method for name resolution.

You’ll need a good handle on double negatives because, Disabling Skip DNS AutoDetection, will actually retain the settings that allow the Essentials Server to configure your Client DNS.

If you choose to Enable Skip DNS AutoDetection, you will be telling your Client or Server, to Disable the process that controls Client DNS.


Other resources:

Script to check if Essentials has configured your NICs:

Blog explaining Client DNS behaviour:

About Robert Pearman
Robert Pearman is a UK based Small Business Server enthusiast. He has been working within the SMB IT Industry for what feels like forever. Robert likes Piña colada and taking walks in the rain, on occasion he also enjoys writing about Small Business Technology like Windows Server Essentials or more recently writing PowerShell Scripts. If you're in trouble, and you can find him, maybe you can ask him a question.

4 Responses to Essentials 2012 Manage DNS AutoDiscovery

  1. paulbraren says:

    Great article Robert, thank you!
    See also related Google+ post here:

  2. Alex says:

    Hi, I’ve come to your posts whilst attempting to configure a test network with windows essentials r2 domain on one subnet ( via netgear prosafe – connected to isp cable router) and cable router wifi network for non domain users. I’ve had the same problems but with dns settings being changed on computers using the connector – but also – I’ve had problems when I connected via vpn from main subnet – via forwarded port on netgear prosafe – to the essentials server – completely wiped my dns out. However – as I’ve not got connector – I don’t have an entry in registry for Windows Server and thus your script doesn’t find the required paths…

    Need to have vpn available -but also i need to ensure the windows server is not providing dns outside the network – could this be achieved by blocking on the firewall?

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