microsoft server 2003 promote secondary dns to primary

Posted on 2004-11-23
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have 2 DNS servers one is the primary and the other secondary for the forward lookup zones.
Given a situation where the primary is unavailable how do I promote the secondary to take over.

Question by:john_123
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    by:Chris Dent

    Is this in relation to an AD Domain?

    If they're Active Directory integrated zones you don't need to promote anything. You only need to provide the DNS server address to the clients on the network.

    AD Integrated uses a Multiple Master model which allows you to have multiple copies of the same zone in Read / Write state - in the traditional Master / Slave model the Master is Read / Write and the Slave is Read Only.

    Changes to any of the versions of the zone anywhere in the directory are replicated to all other Name Servers on the network.

    Once the addresses are in place on the clients you can see how it fails over to a different DNS. Add a deliberately incorrect IP for the first DNS on your client, then run NSLookup. It will state it cannot find the first server and connect to the second.

    If they're not Active Directory Integrated is this to replace a failed Master Name Server?
    LVL 11

    Accepted Solution

    You can change the primary/secondary status using the Zone Properties dialog.

    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Just to clarify, my answer was related to primary/secondary, not AD Integrated.  Here is how to change primary/secondary in W2K.  I think it's the same in 2003.  Im not near my server to check.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment


    Apologies, this is not AD integrated.  However, cfairley pointed me in the direction of the Zone properties dialog.
    I see it now! didn't see it before but with reassurance from others it helps to take a second look!

    thanks, john

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