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W2K3 Server does not query Alternate DNS Server

I have a new forest where all of my servers are W2K3, and all workstations are W/XP. I have two DNS servers (a Primary and a Secondary), and I am not planning to use WINS nor DHCP. When I specify these two DNS servers as Preferred and Alternate in TCP/IP properties, the W/XP workstations will autmatically query the alternate DNS if the preferred DNS is not available. But from W2K3 servers, it behaves differently - the alternate DNS server is never queried. How do I get W2K3 Server to automatically query the alternate DNS server if the preferred is not available?
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DonnaHartnett
Asked:
DonnaHartnett
1 Solution
 
Netman66Commented:
How do you know the servers don't try the alternate?

Since these servers both host the SOA for the domain, then they won't attempt to go elsewhere if DNS is running since they are authoritative for the zone.

Make sure that each DNS server has forwarding set to the ISP - NOT each other or from one to another.  Each server should have a direct forwarder out or else you may run into this.

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feptiasCommented:
Have you added NS records to the forward lookup zone for your domain for both DNS servers?

To add such a record, go to Properties for the zone and select the Name Servers tab. Then click Add.. button
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DonnaHartnettAuthor Commented:
Netman66... "How do you know the servers don't try the alternate?"
You can tell by running "NSLOOKUP -d2" - this turns on debug mode and shows what's happening when the preferred DNS server is unavailable. From W/XP, it shows that it goes on to query the alternate DNS server, but from W2K3 Server, it just stops after it can't locate the preferred DNS server. BTW, this forest is not intended to have communication with the outside world - it is strictly internal.
I think my DNS servers are set up correctly, since everything works fine from W/XP.
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DonnaHartnettAuthor Commented:
feptias... "Have you added NS records to the forward lookup zone for your domain for both DNS servers?"
Yes, my two DNS servers are the only servers listed in Named Servers for the zone.
And as I mentioned in my reply to Netman66, I think that my DNS servers are set up correctly, since everything works fine from W/XP.
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Netman66Commented:
I've tested this here and unless the primary is offline it stops after a successful query.

How are you disabling the Primary DNS for one of the servers?





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DonnaHartnettAuthor Commented:
Netman66...
Go to the DNS server that's listed as the preferred server, and stop the DNS Service. Then try "NSLOOKUP -d2" from another server or workstation to see if it will query the alternate DNS server.
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Netman66Commented:
I'll try that.
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DonnaHartnettAuthor Commented:
I ended up calling Microsoft on this problem. It turns out that NSLOOKUP, under W2K3, does not operate correctly when the preferred DNS Server is unavailble. Bottom line, don't use NSLOOKUP to test DNS. DNS works fine in W2K3.
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VenabiliCommented:
Changed recommendation: PAQ - refund
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CetusMODCommented:
PAQed with points refunded (250)

CetusMOD
Community Support Moderator
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