A DNS Catch-22

Okay, DNS gurus. This one’s for you.

I bought a domain (mediaconversations.com) from a company, Tripod UK, who claim to be domain-name acquisition experts. I paid the fee and got email from them that I could now change the name servers. I went into their UI and set them to ours, ns1.theplanet.com and ns2.theplanet.com. I then setup the zone file at The Planet to include A records for http://www.mediaconversations.com, etc. But after a few days, I still couldn’t resolve any hosts in that domain. After more than two months and lots of email with Tripod UK and The Planet, it still doesn’t work. Tripod UK blames The Planet and vice versa.

Can you figure out what’s going on and who’s right? Here’s what I know so far:

  1. If you do a ‘whois mediaconversations.com’ you may get peculiar results. From my version of whois (OS X) I see two different descriptions of the name servers. At the top, it says the nameservers are correct: ns1.theplanet.com and ns2. But later in the output from whois, it says the nameservers are dns1.name-services.com and dns2, which are incorrect. Using other whois utilties, people tell me they only see the wrong ones.
  2. The above suggests that the problem is with the gTLD servers, but if you run dig or use dnsstuff, it appears that the gTLD servers all have the proper (theplanet.com) name servers.
  3. If you use dig to query the nameservers at The Planet, you’ll see that the zone file for the domain is correct for host ‘www’.

The folks at Tripod UK say that although whois may return incorrect data, it’s what in the gTLD (global top-level domain) nameservers that matters, and that data is correct.

So who’s right and who’s wrong and what ammunition can you give me to prove it to them? Leave it in the comments, or if you prefer, send it to doug@rds.com.

Update: We got the evidence we needed to convince The Planet that the problem was indeed on their side. That problem has now been corrected. Thanks to all who replied.

3 thoughts on “A DNS Catch-22

  1. Glad you’ve solved the mystery, but curious geeks want to know: What was the exact error in The Planet’s configuration??



  2. Hi,

    This is Gary from Tripod UK, I just came across this post in google. I am very pleased to hear that you have sorted out the situation and even more pleased to hear that the fault did not lay on our side.

    Kind Regards


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s