Exporting DNS records from Win 2003 server and importing them into Win 2008 server

Posted on 2012-03-15
Last Modified: 2012-03-18

I am about to try an in-place upgrade of Win 2003 server to Win 2008 server.

Before I do, can anyone tell me if I can easily export the current DNS records from the 2003 server and then easily import the DNS records into my 2008 server if the upgrade of the 2003 server goes wrong.

I dont want to have to try and add all of the DNS records manually if I can help it.

Thanks heaps

Question by:johnkan
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Accepted Solution

dkumar82 earned 0 total points
ID: 37723794
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 37723826

the best way to have AD integrated DNS...

if you have AD installed on any 2003 server why dont you use Ad inegrated DNS,.
Microsoft recommends to have atleat 2 Dc.. if you already have 2 DC simply use ad integrated DNS.

please note if your 2003 server is holding any fsmo roles, please shift roles before you do any criticle upgrade..........

you can verify by using below command on any DC

netdom /qury fsmo

Author Comment

ID: 37723969
Hello syed_M_Usman

Do I need to turn AD integrated DNS 'on' on the 2003 server and 2008 server or does this just get enabled when I join the 2008 server to a 2003 domain  ?

My ultimate goal is to add another 2008 server and decommission the upgraded 2003 server once the new server is in place. I was going to upgrade the 2003 server to hopefully make the introduction of the 2008 server in future easier.

The new 2008 server would then become the AD controller for the network. There is likely to be two 2008 servers in the end.

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LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 37723998
In response to your original post.
The answer depends a bit on how your current DNS zones are set up.
If it is AD Integrated you can run "dnscmd /zoneexport ZoneName ZoneExportFile".  Replace ZoneName with the name of your Forward or Reverse Lookup Zone that you want to export, and replace ZoneExportFile with any name you want.  By default the command will save the ZoneExportFile in the C:\Windows\system32\dns folder.
If your zone is non-AD Integrated, you can just copy the zone files from the C:\Windows\system32\dns folder.

As Syed_M_Usman said, if you've got more than one server that is a DC with DNS using AD Integrated zones, then the process is simple.  You can upgrade this machine and even if you wiped it out completely, as soon as you added the AD DS and DNS roles, the DNS data would replicate to this server - no need for manually copying or importing anything.

I would also recommend that if you have any other option to wipe out the 2003 installation and do a fresh install of 2008 rather than performing an in-place upgrade.
LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 37724022
The properties of each zone determine whether it is AD Integrated or not.  You can only have AD Integrated zones on a DNS that is also a DC.
LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 37724029
If you've got the extra hardware, I don't see where doing an in-place upgrade would make things any easier.  The answer might depend on what functions your current 2003 server (that you are planning to upgrade) performs.  Is it only a DNS server, or also a DC?  What about DHCP, print server, or any other roles?

Author Comment

ID: 37724078
Hi Footech

The only reason I was going to perform the in-place upgrade of the 2003 server to server 2008 was to try and simplify the migration of the DNS to the a new 2008 server.

The 2003 server is only providing DNS for the domain. I have already set up a 2008 server to provide file-sharing, and also another 2008 server which acts as a host for a virtualised mail server.

I was going to upgrade the 2003 server to 2008 server, use dcpromo on a new 2008 server to join the domain, export the DNS from the upgraded 2003 server and import the DNS records into the new 2008 server (not the upgraded 2003 server).

My reason for the exporting of the DNS was to make sure I had a backup method to restore the DNS on the new 2008 server if the dcpromo did not complete any DNS migration automatically, which I'm guessing is possible.

The 2003 server I am wanting to get the DNS records from is starting to fail, so will be removed from the network as the AD controller once the DNS role has been transferred to the new 2008 server.

Thanks heaps


LVL 16

Assisted Solution

Syed_M_Usman earned 250 total points
ID: 37724203

ideally you should do below

First take your win 2003 backup on external drive

make sure you dont have any error on below two outputs

1) repadmin /showrepl
2) dcdiag /v

Make sure you have AD intgrated zone (refer to
leave "Cause Immediate Replication Section)
wait till replicate to all DC

1) on extra hardware (64bit supporting) install win 2008 R2
2) check your forest/domain level (i would suggets to rais to win 2003)
3) add win 2008 in your domain.
4) run adprep /forestprep on win 2003 DC (once finish wait till replicate on al other DC/GC)
5) run /domainprep (once finish wait till replicate on al other DC/GC)   refer to

6) on win 2008 server run dcpromo
7) once new 2008DCpromo finish till it replicate all (at this point dont use this DC. the DNS information will come automaticlly after some time)
8) run below command again on new win 2008DC
1) repadmin /showrepl
2) dcdiag /v
9) once susceed nake sure your current win 2003 is not the FSMO holder, if the 2003 is FSMO holder you need to shift roles to win 2008DC refer to


Caution : this is time consuming task, prefer to do it after office hours and make sure you folow proper procedure... and you have system backups

once all above finish you have new win 2008R2 DC/GC holding all fsmo roles and DNS

you can very by giving below command on any dc

netdon /query fsmo

once you are satisfied you can uprgrade your win 2003 server....... i would suggest not to do any direct upgrade on win 2003 to win 2008 (if you are doing).

after all above you may not need to worry even if old 2003 fails, you can simply point all client to new DNS.

Author Comment

ID: 37724240
Hi Syed_M_Usman

In preparation for the DNS bit, I have completed steps 1 through 5 already.

I am going to complete steps 6 onward tomorrow afternoon on a quiet system.

I'll let you all know how this goes.

Thank you all for your responses so far.

LVL 40

Assisted Solution

footech earned 250 total points
ID: 37724244
You never mentioned if your zones are currently AD Integrated.  If I understood correctly, your 2003 server (that you're looking to upgrade) is also a DC.  Is this correct?  Is it the only one?
If you have the hardware for the new server right now, the easiest and I think safest path is to:
 - install 2008 on it
 - join it to the domain
 - run adprep on a current DC to prepare the schema for a 2008 DC
 - add the AD DS role, then run dcpromo, make it a GC, and add the DNS role.  DNS will be populated either through replication or import of records.
 - sieze the FSMO roles on the new DC
 - verify everything is replicating, then turn off the old server and make sure everything still functions.  If no problems are observed after a few days, go ahead and demote the old server, then remove it from the domain.

Especially if the 2003 server in question is the only DC, this is by far the safest option.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37734600
Hello Experts<br /><br />Thanks for your prompt responses and great advice<br /><br />The solutions worked perfectly in the end.<br /><br />The automated use of DCpromo to migrate the DNS and FSMO roles information worked a treat once I had determined I wanted the new 2008 server to become a DC.<br /><br />I guess I was being overly cautious.<br /><br />Thanks heaps

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