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How to Configure DNS in Windows 2003 Server

DNS or Domain Name System is a general purpose, replicated and name resolution system that resolves the host names into the IP addresses and it stores the information about your host name, domain names on your local network and on internet.  The DNS translates the IP address into the domain name and domain name into the IP address.   

The list of the IP addresses and the domain names are distributed throughout the internet. The active directory in the Windows 2000/2003 servers cannot function without the DNS.


Active directory clients locate need DNS for locating the domain controllers. While promoting the stand alone server to the domain controller, the DNS is installed automatically. In this article we will learn that how to install and configure the DNS separately.  For managing the name resolutions in your network, you need to understand the host names, primary, secondary and stub zones, root name server, resource records, delegation and dynamic updates.


Secondly, you will need to know how to configure zones, how to monitor the DNS server, understanding cache only server and implementing a delegating zone.  DNS uses two different types of processes to resolve the queries recursive and iterative.


  • Click Start > Settings > Control Panel > and Double click Add/Remove Programs
  • Click Add/Remove Windows components.  Windows component wizard will start now click Next.
  • Now click Networking Services and click Details button.
  • Select the Domain Name System in the list and click ok.
  • Start the server setup.  The DNS server files will be copied to the computer.

After the installation has been completed, you need to test, whether it is successful or and you are able to resolve the names or not.  There is a built-in utility “NsLookup” that is used to check whether the installation and configurations are okay or not.

How to Configure DNS

The following steps will tell you that how to configure the DNS in your Windows 2003 server.

  • Click Start > Programs > Admin Tools and click DNS manager.  DNS server configuration wizard will start automatically and if the wizard does not start automatically then right click your server name and click configure your server.
  • Choose, add a forward look up zone and click next.  The new forward lookup zone to accept the dynamic updates, Click next.
  • Use the zone name exactly same as your active directory domain name.  Type the domain name and click next.  The zone name should match your local subnet id and click next.
  • Add a reverse lookup zone and click next.
  • Now accept the default name of the new file and click next.
  • Now click finish to complete the DNS configurations.

The next step is to accept the dynamic updates for the forward and reverse lookup zones.

How to Enable Dynamic Updates

  • Click DNS Manager and expand the DNS server objects.
  • Expand the forward lookup zone folder.
  • Right click your forward lookup zone name and click properties.
  • In the general tab, select “Allow dynamic updates” check box and click ok.
  • Perform the same steps for the Reverse Lookup zone.

How to Enable DNS Forwarding on the Internet

  • In the DNS console, right click the DNS server object and click Properties.
  • Now, click the forwarders tab.
  • Enter the IP address of the DNS servers in the IP address box.  The IP addresses for the DNS forwarding are usually of your local ISP.
  • You can add multiple forwarding IP addresses, and the address which is on top will be given priority.
  • Click ok to finish the DNS forwarding.


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