ComTech: IT Support Stirling

How to set up a DNS server on Debian Wheezy

Debian makes a fantastic server.  It is stable and very rarely goes down so today I will show you how to turn it into a DNS server.  For this tutorial I will be using Debian Wheezy as my base system.

On your server open up a terminal and  install the bind9 package by typing:

sudo apt-get install bind9

There are four configuration files we will need to configure so lets take the first.  In your terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/named.conf.local

and replace nano with your favourite text editor.

Within the file insert the following code:


# This is the zone definition. replace with your domain name
zone “” {
type master;
file “/etc/bind/zones/”;

# This is the zone definition for reverse DNS. replace 0.0.10 with your network address in reverse notation – e.g my network address is 0.0.10
zone “” {
type master;
file “/etc/bind/zones/”;


Instead if using choose your own DNS domain (this is not the same as an active directory domain but rather a name for your DNS zone).


Make sure the ” marks above are vertical and not curved.  If they are curved you will get errors when you come to restart the bind 9 package (trust me I have done that a couple of times!!)

Now we need to configure the next file.  In your terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/named.conf.options

You will need to adjust the forwarders with the address of your ISP’s DNS servers (the example below shows BT’s DNS servers). Modify the file accordingly.


forwarders {;;


Next up is the zones file so in your terminal type:

sudo mkdir /etc/bind/zones

Now we need to configure it by typing:

sudo nano /etc/bind/zones/ (replace with your DNS domain).

Add the following code to the file:


// replace with your domain name. do not forget the . after the domain name!
// Also, replace ns1 with the name of your DNS server IN SOA
// Do not modify the following lines!


// Replace the following line as necessary:
// ns1 = DNS Server name
// mta = mail server name
// = domain name IN NS IN MX 10

// Replace the IP address with the right IP addresses.
www IN A
mta IN A
HomeServer01 IN A


In the above code replace the following: with your DNS domain name, with your static DNS server address, with your computers hostname.dns-domain,

mta is your mail server (if you have one). If you do modify the IP address to show this.

Now we have to create the reverse DNS zone file so in your terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/zones/

and add the following code:


//replace with your domain name, ns1 with your DNS server name.
// The number before IN PTR is the machine address of the DNS server
@ IN SOA (



With all the files configured we just have to restart bind so in your terminal type:

sudo service bind9 restart

Don’t forget to test your new configuration:


If you are unable to restart the bind9 service run the command named -g 53 which will give you a list of any configuration errors as this is usually the case.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter



Windows Vista – the forgotten OS?

As the new kid on the block Microsoft is pushing Windows 8 hard.  They are also trying to get people still on XP to upgrade to either Windows 7 or even Windows 8, however there is no mention of that other OS Vista.  Now I know that Vista isn’t liked very much (by both the public and Microsoft itself) and Microsoft would rather it went away but the fact is it is still used by millions of people worldwide.  So lets take a look and see how bad it really is.

First the good points.

1. New flashier interface.  Vista looks good especially with the new Aero interface.  The icons look snappier and navigation around the menus is good.

2. The Network Center.  At last Microsoft put networking at the centre of the OS.  Setting up either a wired or wireless network on Vista is a breeze.

3. Security.  Vista is a lot more secure than its predecessor Windows XP. In XP the user runs with administrative privileges by default which means that if the system gets infected with a virus and that virus compromises the user account it would then have administrative privileges for the system.  This could not happen on Vista because of the UAC (User Account Control) which asks you to specify a password before you carry out administrative tasks.

4. Reliability and Performance Monitor.  I love this and was surprised Microsoft dropped the Reliability monitor from Windows 7.  The ability to produce reports about the current state of the system is invaluable from a troubleshooting point of view and coupled with the ability to monitor the system over a period of time using the Reliability Monitor is priceless.

Now onto the not so good stuff.

1. Resource hog.  To run Vista you require much beefier hardware than what was required for XP.  Vista loves memory and if you don’t have enough of it to say it is slow is an understatement.  You can run it on 1 Gb but watch what happens when you try installing software and actually using it.

2. Drivers.  When Vista came out it wasn’t compatible with a lot of the peripherals (eg printers) that users were using at the time.  This should be largely sorted but the damage to its reputation has been done.

3. Pricing.  Vista came in 6 different versions starting from Basic and ending up at Ultimate which cost a whopping £160 (approx).  This was more than its predecessor Windows XP.

4. The interface.  Yes the Vista interface was better but it was also too different from XP for a lot of customers.  Customers didn’t want to relearn how to use the system.

5. The UAC.  This was the biggest complaint from users by far.  When you try and do any administrative task in Vista the UAC appears and asks for a password (usually preceded by a blank screen) and shocks many users.  It is very intrusive and a lot of users turned it off which kind of defeats the purpose of having it there in the first place.

6. Windows 7.  Basically Windows 7 is what Vista should have been out of the blocks and because of this many people and businesses are bypassing Vista on their upgrade paths and going straight to Windows 7.

From a personal point of view I would rather work on a Vista system than an XP system anyday. With the inbuilt troubleshooting tools it is much easier to diagnose problems and fix them plus everytime I have had to reinstall XP on a system it never loads all the drivers. Vista doesn’t have this issue.  I will probably miss it when it eventually goes but I know of many that wont.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter







How to set up a Windows network

Today we are going to learn how to set up a simple network using different versions of Windows.  This tutorial will use Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows XP Home Edition but works just as well on Vista.  We will share a folder from Windows XP to the Windows 7 machine but it works well the other way too.

On the XP Machine

Click on Start and locate My Computer.  Right click on My Computer and go to Properties.  Click on the Computer Name tab and find the change button which is situated next to “To rename this computer or join a workgroup, click Change”.  Click the button.  In Workgroup pick a name for your new network and click OK.

Next we want to share some files.  Best way to do this is to run the network wizard.  Locate the folder you want to share, for example My Documents, and right click.  Go to the sharing tab and locate Network sharing and Security.  Under Network Sharing and Security you will see the new network wizard.  Click on this and follow the instructions.  When completed restart the system.

Once restarted again locate the folder you want to share and right click.  Go to the sharing tab and you will see a box titled “Share this folder on the network”.  Check the box and give it a shared name.  If you want other users to change files in your folder check the box “Allow network users to change my files”.  That’s it for XP now onto Windows 7.

On The Windows 7 Machine

Go to Start and then right click on Computer.  Click on Properties and when the “View Basic Information about your Computer” screen appears click on change settings, which is located on the bottom right.  Locate “To rename this computer, click Change” and click change.  Add the network name you chose for the Windows XP machine under Workgroup and click OK.

Windows 7 will now attempt to find the network and when it does it will ask you if the network is Public, Home or Work.  If this is home network click Home and so forth.

Now to accessing the shared files.  Go to Start and right click on Computer.  Click on map network drive.  Browse for the shared folder on your XP machine and when located click finish.  The shared folder will come up as a network drive and can be accessed from going into Computer.

Word here about firewalls.  If you are using the inbuilt Windows firewalls you should have no problems as these open up the required ports to allow the computers to communicate.  If you are using a different firewall then either turn it off (not recommended unless you have a another firewall between the computers and your router) or manually open up the required ports. And that is it.

To share the files the other way round name your Windows 7 workgroup the same way you did in XP and then right click on the folder you want to share.  Click on share with and then go to specific people.  The operation for mapping the drive is exactly the same in XP.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT Support, Laptop repairs and Computer repairs to both personal and business clients in and around Stirling. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more.  Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

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