Is it normal that the DNS change is taking so long


I was trying to change nameserver information of one of the sites that I host with DH. So I changed the nameserver information with my registrar, but three days after, the DNS change is not yet complete. While some of the viewers see the site with DH, some see them with my new host. When I do ping, I still see DH IP.

Any suggestion?

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In my experience, it is very hard to accurately predict when DNS is going to fully “propagate” (not the best term here, but commonly used to describe the process of the DNS record being “updated” across the internet). Quite often a site is visible via DNS several days earlier via one route than it is via another, which is whay some users can see the site and others cannot.

Your pings aren’t the best indication or how fully the DNS has “propagated”, as they only reflect your routing (the same as browsing to your site with a browser).

I don’t believe that three days is excessive, especially given that you, and some others, are able to browse to to the site (which indicate you did successfully modify the DNS settings at your registrar). Sometimes, it just takes longer for every one to get the “updated” DNS.

ISP’s have been know to “cache” DNS also, so this could be a factor for some users. As it has only been three days, my advice is to just try to be patient. As long as you have set the DNS correctly at your registrar, you have done all you can do :wink: .

If you want to understand the technical details, check out this WikiPedia Article on the Domain Name System


Thanks Parker. In fact I have done DNS transfers many times before, and always I had things OK in less then 24 hours. First time I had such an issue for such a long duration (and clients are calling every 15 minutes :()

Thanks for your time and detailed reply.

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It is worth noting that some routers that support DNS relay can cause similar DNS caching issues.

If I use DHCP on my LAN, my ADSL modem/router hands out it’s own IP address as the DNS server address and acts as a DNS relay / DNS cache. This would be fine, except the DNS cache implementation seems to be ‘broken’, with old IP addresses sometimes getting ‘stuck’ in the cache. The only solution when this happens is to power cycle the router, but I am not always aware that it has happened :slight_smile:


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Thanks Mark.

Here I have started to worry a bit as it’s more than 100 hours now and my DNS report is still showing as Have I done anything wrong, or could I do something to fix this problem?

Thanks again guys.

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Posting the output helps a lot. I readily admit I had not seen the missing nameserver “stealth” stuff on a report before, and I don’t fully understand what is going on with that (off to Google to learn!).

However, I happened to be on the dreamhost irc channel (freenode #dreamhost) where some “wizards” hang out, and passed the url to your dns report to them. One of the “wizards” took a look at it and said he knew what the problem was. According to him:

" that is kinda wierd…check the zones file at your new DNS host…wait…I KNOW… the glue is out of rate… you’ll have to email the registar to change the glue… The Name Server names in the whois are just cosmetic, and some RFC thing… Basically, when you request dns stuff, it will ping the DNS servers, and it will go step by step to get the Zone server… using ip addresses, so it will take the glue etc, which is DH in this case… Basically it saves another set of NS lookups… The registrars are the only people that can touch it, from memory… It depends on the tld policies etc… took me a couple of moments to realise what was up, but we got there!"

(That is a “cut-n-paste” of “his” side of the conversation, editing out the misc non-relevant traffic on the channel.)

I have to do a little more research on “glue” to understand what he is saying at the level I want to understand it, but I wanted to pass this on as he very clearly understood from looking at the report what seemed to be the problem, and I have been impressed with his knowledge in other situations.

Of course, all the standard disclaimers apply, YMMV, etc. - but I think this indicates it is time for a contact with the registrar about the issue. It probably couldn’t hurt to file a DH support ticket (if they can manually remove the entry from their nameserver(s) and/or tweak the TTL?), but it may very well be totally under the control of the registrar.

Hope this helps! Good luck, and please let us know what you learn, as this is an unusual situation. :wink:


Thanks for taking the time and pain to explain everything. Well, I have already changed the NS info from my registrar to DH earlier. So, had there been any problem from my registrar, I would have faced that earlier as well when I tried to change the name server information to point it to DH.

About my present server, I have changed a few domain name already (from different hosts and registrars), and pointed towards that server. And I never had any problem there as well.

What I trying for the first time, is that I am trying to change name server info of a domain what is pointing towards DH. And I am having a problem here.

I contacted my registrar and the other server, both have replied me back, and what they told seems logical (as above). I submitted three tickets in three different places and DH is the only one who is yet to reply. And it seems to me that the problem might be coming from DH. Not sure, but I will have to wait for DH response to analyse the thing again and understand what happened exactly …

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I understand your analysis in your last post, and it does look like the problem might well be on the Dreamhost end.

It really seems to be the only thing that makes sense, and I’m wondering if all the recent panel problems in the last few days might have “borked” something. Hopefully, DH tech will get back to you soon and can get things fixed. I can only imagine how frustrating your situation must be :frowning: , and hope you find a solution soon!


Thanks again Parker. What’s most annoying, that that site I am trying to change is having over 300 very active members. And since last 5 days, I am doing nothing but replying one of them every 10 minutes explaining why they are facing problem. :frowning:

Yeah, let’s hope that DH replies me fast.

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Hmmm … 6 hours and 15 minutes has passed since I submitted my ticket, still waiting for the first reply … :frowning:

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Well, this problem is just solved. There was a problem in the zone file. And the other server’s support solved this for me. About DH, I am still waiting for their reply. I am going to delete that now, no need to give them unnecessary trouble since the problem is solved … but I would have liked to have atlease one response from them in 8 hours.

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I’m glad to hear that the problem is now resolved! Sometimes it seems to take forever to get something like this ironed out :frowning: .

I agree with you about wishing you had heard back from DH sooner, but given all you have been through with this one, I’d settle for having it fixed, eh? Good Luck! :slight_smile:


Thanks Parker (I know one Peter Parker … same family?)

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Ha Ha… nope not that I’m aware of, though I’ve had enough “rowdy” ancestors that I would never claim to know authoritatively to whom I might be related :wink: .



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