How do I configure DNS for a Windows 2000 domain?

A. Windows 2000 domains rely on DNS and require Dynamic DNS which is an update to the basic DNS specification and details can be found in RFC 2136 that can be viewed at

Another major update in DNS 5.0 is the addition of service (SRV) records and these have already been seen as a mechanism for publishing the ldap server, _ldap._tcp.<domain> and it is through these records that domains can be looked up through the DNS service.

You could perform this on a separate Windows 2000 machine, the domain controller and the DNS server will probably not be the same machine, it just has to exist before upgrading the server to a domain controller. To install DNS 5.0 on the server perform the following:

  1. Start the Install/Remove Programs Control Panel Applet (Start - Settings - Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs)
  2. Click the "Configure Windows" left hand pane
  3. Click the "Components" button that is displayed
  4. Select "Networking Options" and click Details
  5. Select "Microsoft DNS Server" and click OK
  6. Click Next

Before actually configuring the DNS service modify the TCP/IP properties of the machine to use itself as the DNS server:

  1. Right click on 'My Network Places' and select Properties
  2. Right click on the 'Local Area Connection' and select Properties
  3. Select 'Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)' and click Properties button
  4. Under the DNS section select 'Use the following DNS server addresses:' and enter the machines IP address
  5. You can also click advanced, select the DNS tab and ensure the DNS suffix for the connection is the DNS domain you are about to create. Click OK
  6. Click OK to all dialogs to close all windows

Now check the computers primary suffix is set

  1. Right click on 'My Computer' and select Properties
  2. Select the 'Network Identification' tab and click the Properties button
  3. Click the More button
  4. Ensure 'Primary DNS suffix of this computer' is set to the DNS domain you are about to create and click OK
    Click here to view image
  5. Click OK to all dialogs to close all windows
  6. Click Yes to restart the computer

If you don't do this first, your NS records for the zones will simply list the computer name, followed by a ".", rather than the FQDN of your NS and this may cause problems. You can forgo this step and the NS records will be updated after the machine becomes a DC, but I've heard of some problems with this approach.

You then need to configure the DNS service

  1. Start the "DNS Management" MMC snap-in (Start - Programs - Administrative Tools - DNS Management)
  2. Right click on the root and select 'Configure Server' and this will start the configuration applet. Click Next
  3. It will detect there are no root servers so select "This is the first DNS server on this network" and click Next
  4. Check "Yes, add a forward lookup zone" and click Next. This zone is used for the storage of host name to IP addresses
  5. You should now select the zone type, Select "Standard Primary" and click Next. "Active Directory Integrated" stores the DNS database in the Active Directory however there is no Active Directory at this point. This option can be set later
  6. Enter the name of the zone, e.g. and click Next
  7. Select "New File" and click Next. If you had an existing .dns file you may import this
  8. Check "Yes, add a reverse lookup zone" and click Next. The reverse lookup zone is used to find the host name from a IP address. When you create a host record a PTR record can also be selected to be created and this adds a record in the reverse lookup zone
  9. Again select "Standard Primary" and click Next
  10. Enter the first parts of your subnet, e.g. (subnet will be filled in for you). If you subnet mask was you would enter the first 2 parts of you IP address, if you would enter the first 3. Click Next
  11. Again Check "New File" and click Next
  12. A summary will be displayed and click Finish to complete the installation

The final stage is to configure the zones to be dynamic update enabled which allows hosts to add records in the DNS server.

  1. Start the "DNS Management" MMC snap-in (Start - Programs - Administrative Tools - DNS Management)
  2. Expand the DNS server, expand the "Forward Lookup Zones", select the domain, e.g.
  3. Right click on the domain and select Properties from the context menu
  4. Select "Yes" from the "Allow dynamic updates?" drop down box
  5. Click Apply then OK
  6. Now expand the "Reverse Lookup Zones" and select the reverse lookup zone, e.g. "200.200.200.x Subnet"
  7. Select the zone and right click the zone and select Properties from the context menu
  8. Again select "Yes" from the "Allow dynamic updates?" drop down box
  9. Click Apply then OK

DNS is now configured for a domain and you can create the domain.

To ensure all entries are correctly entered enter the command below in a command window (cmd.exe)

C:\&gt; <b>ipconfig /registerdns</b>

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.