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DNS May Fail to Resolve Top-Level Domain

If your Windows 2008 Server is running DNS Server Services and uses root hints to resolve Internet host name, it may fail to resolve queries for host names in certain top-level domains. When this happens, the problem will continue until the DNS Server cache is cleared or the DNS Server service is restarted.

When the problem is occurring, an NSLOOKUP command issued for an affected name will return the error “server failed”. A network trace will show that the DNS server does not send any traffic for such a request to the Internet. Furthermore, No events related to a problem are reported in the DNS Event Log.

Interestingly, the DNS server does not exhibit this behavior if DNS Server is configured to use forwarders for Internet name resolution instead of root hints.

To resolve the issue you can configure your DNS servers to forward to your ISP’s DNS servers. When 2008 DNS servers are configured as forwarders, this issue is not exhibited.

To resolve the issue and continue using root hints, change the MaxCacheTTL registry value to 2 days or greater. Modify the registry at your own risk.

  1. Start Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
  2. Locate the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DNS\Parameters
  3. On the Edit menu, click New, click DWORD (32-bit) Value, and then add the following value:
    • Value: MaxCacheTTL
    • Data Type: DWORD
    • Data value: 0x2A300 (172800 seconds in decimal, or 2 days)

Set the MaxCacheTTL to 0x0 if you do not want the DNS server to cache any recursive queries.

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