New Year’s Resolution Problems? Issues using Project Server 2007 if you don’t have DNS

If you have Project Server 2007 installed on a network without DNS then you may come across some of these problems:-

  • You can connect on the server using PWA or Project Professional 2007, but not on a remote machine
  • WSS appears to be working OK on some pages from the remote machine – but not all
  • You put in the IP address for your server as you don’t have DNS – but the URL just changes to the server name and the page can’t be found

The problem is resolving the name of the server – and just directly entering the IP address won’t work in many cases.  The reason for this is that many WSS pages do some redirection – sometimes just in the background – and these redirections go to the server name.  If the name cannot be resolved on the client to the correct IP address then you can expect errors like “An unexpected error has occurred” – the WSS catch-all error.  However some pages work just fine – particularly the main Central Administration pages of WSS and the root sites of site collections such as http://%3cserverip%3e/default.aspx

The resolution is to get DNS working – but if this is not possible then there are a couple of workarounds:-

  • Add the IP address and server name to the hosts file in c:windowssystem32driveretc (or wherever your Windows directory is)


  • Modify the Alternate Access Mappings in WSS, Central Administration, Operations – so that the IP address is the public URL for those sites you need to access via IP rather than the name

The second option is useful if you have many clients (although fixing the root problem and getting DNS working would be even better) but be warned – if you have SSL configured then this will give different issues – The certificate which matches the server name will report an error as it will not match the IP address.

I suspect you would also get similar problems if your host file had an entry for the server which was not correct – which can happen if you use DHCP and the server IP address is not constant.

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