I have two DC running on Windows 2003 Server SP2 and all updates.  Both servers are configured with DNS.  The idea was if one is offline the other can listen.  That is not the case, if the main DC is rebooted, all the PC's loose the ability to resolve.  Exchange stops connecting, all the machines pretty much loose link to the DOMAIN.  Once the server comes back up, everything is fine.  How do I make it so that if the root DC goes offline, the network can resolve by looking at the 2nd DC.  

All the PC's primary DNS are pointing to the root DC and secondary DNS is pointing to the second DC.  

Your help is greatly appreciated... :-)
Rob DuranSystems Network EngineerAsked:
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How are your DNS servers setup?  Are they active directory integrated?  Can you confirm the records exist on the second DNS server?  Are they replicating OK?  Any errors in the DNS Log?
Rob DuranSystems Network EngineerAuthor Commented:
They are set as Active Directory intergrated.  The records all exist on teh second DNS server.  Looks like it is replicating.  I manually also just created a record on the main DC and then logged on to the secondary DC and when I tried to recreate the same record it prompted "duplicate record exists".  That leads me to belive it is replicating.  I looked at the DNS log and it is clean, not a single error.  

Could it simply be the PC? Does it take time before it attempts to use the secondary DNS address?
As for exchange, it binds to a global catalog server, make sure both DCs are set as global catalog servers.
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Try configuring your second DNS server as the primary on the client pc and make sure name resolution is still working. You can try a nslookup "servername" to check DNS.
Rob DuranSystems Network EngineerAuthor Commented:

I logged on to the sites and sevices and both servers have 'Global Catalog" checked.  Both set as "Default Query Policy".  Is that the only place to set your request?
When the primary is down, is it one PC that has trouble, or ALL PC's that have trouble.  You stated above that it is all.

Can you confirm the IP of the secondary DNS server in the IP properties of those computers is correct?  Maybe you are pushing out the wrong IP via DHCP?
If you take the primary DNS server offline (unlug from network or shutdown) and then run nslookup from a client pc, what is the result?
If should return
Default server: servername.domain.com
address:  w.x.y.z
The default server should be the DNS server it can talk to.

Are you actually sutting down the primary DNS server or just stopping DNS?

I believe that if the primary dns server is responsive, but DNS if off you can have an issue like you describe as the client will try to talk to the first DNS server in the TCP/IP parameters list.
Rob DuranSystems Network EngineerAuthor Commented:

It affects all the PC's.  I rechecked the DNS settings and it all looks good.  


I am now working on your request.
Exchange binds itself to one GC, if the one it's connected to goes offline, you'll probably need to at least restart the exchange services if not the whole server to get it to bind to the other GC.

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