Win Server 2003 - DNS Not Running?

By gerryw ·
Hi all,
I have been asked to have a look at a network running under Win Server 2003 which has gone down and the Password has gone missing with the previous administrator...

Anyway I managed to get past the password and gain entry to the server. The problem is that when I go into management and try to open the DNS server I get an Error' saying that the server is not running and I must admit that I cannot find the reason why.

I would be most grateful if somebody could help me with this problem as I cannot get any further with anything else, ie Active Directory etc...


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All Answers

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DNS Server on Win2K3

by mjfera In reply to Win Server 2003 - DNS Not ...

Is this a DC you are logging on to? Is this the domain administrator account you've logged on as, or a local administrator account on a member server?

If you have logged on to the domain, DNS is certainly running somewhere. Assuming you are logged on to the domain:

Check the IP config on this server to determine the DNS server(s) for the network. Use DNS to determine the DC's for the domain. Best practice (assuming 2 domain controllers):

Install DNS server on both DC's. On the DC holding the PDC role set DNS to itself and only itself. On the other DC set primary DNS to itself and the secondary to the DC holding the PDC role.

Hope this helps.

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go to "services" in admin tools.

by CG IT In reply to DNS Server on Win2K3

see if DNS is running. If not, start the service. Then verify that the DNS service is set to start automatically.

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Win Server 2003 - DNS Not Running?

by gerryw In reply to DNS Server on Win2K3

Hi mjfera,
Yes it is a DC Im logging onto and it is the domain administrator account, but you have posed a question?

The previous installer/administrator (who left the company) had a network that was setup on another computer running NT4.0 Server and I am told that when he setup Win Server 2003 on the new computer he used the old one as the mail server. I am pretty sure that the Win Server 2003 is the Prime DC?

Could it be that the DNS is running on the older NT4.0 server and that is why the Win Server 2003 computer does not appear to have a DNS operating?

I have run ipconfig on one of the client computers and have received the following:
Address Type: Assigned by DHCP
IP Address:
Subnet Mask:
Default Gateway:

On the Win Server 2003 computer WINS shows the Server Status IP as:

I do know that I have internet access to the client computers but no email access and I also cannot connect the clients to the Domain on the Win Server 2003 server.

Could you give me a more detailed step by step process to determine what the problem might be so that I can follow your instructions and then be able to reply to each of the steps you ahve asked me to do?

I do hope that I am not putting you to to much trouble but it is vital that I get this server running again because there is a lot of important data that can only be accessed by getting into the domain so that the password can be obtained for a 3rd party online Data Backup company which needs it to decrypt the data!


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AD and DNS

by mjfera In reply to Win Server 2003 - DNS Not ...

Hi Gerry --

Here's what we can be sure of:

DNS is running, and is accessible by the Win2K3 server to which you logged on. If it were not accessible, domain logon would have failed from that host.

From the Win2K3 server, do "ipconfig /all". The /all switch will show you the DNS servers as well.

WINS is not necessary in a Win2K3 domain environment. The 169.254.x.x address you see is an auto-configure address, which means the NIC has no hard-coded address, and can not find a valid DHCP server.

Let's start with 2 things:

1) The results of the "ipconfig /all" on the Win2K3 server.

2) The results of "dcdiag" from the Win2K3 server (this can be run from the CLI).

These items will give me a clearer picture of what you're up against.

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AD and DNS

by gerryw In reply to AD and DNS

Hi mjfera,

Thank you for your reply,

I have been away for a few days but I am will be back to get to grips with this network on Friday morning 10th Aug 07 at which time I will carry out your instructions and post the outcome to you.

But on Tues. 7th before I left I did do an ipconfig /all on the Win 2K3 server and got these results:-

Host Name: Server2k3
Primary Suffix:
Node Type: Hybrid
IP Routing Enabled: No
WINS Proxy Enabled: No
DNS Suffix Search List:

Ethernet Adapter Local Area Connection 3:
Connection Specific Suffix:
Description: 3 Com Ethernet Link
PC Management NIC: C905C-TX73>
Physical Address: 00-01-02-6F-02-E6
DHCP Enabled: Yes
Autoconfiguration IP Address:
Subnet Mask:
Default Gateway:

Also, you observed that the NIC on the Win 2K3 server did not have a ?hard coded? address? Could this mean that there is a fault on this NIC?

I ask this because I did get error messages after I had got past the password and tried to start up the DNS etc, saying that there was a defective network adapter and a Service that was not operating and that this could cause a start-up problem with the server?

I hope that the above is of help to you and I will post to you the above data on Friday.


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DHCP Issue

by mjfera In reply to AD and DNS

The plot sickens.........

2 problems here:

1) DHCP is enabled, but it is not finding a DHCP server. Hence the Auto-Configure address. That's minor.

2) If this is truly a DC, you really need to hard-code the IP address.

To my knowledge, DC's do not cache domain credentials. Therefore, if you are logging in to the domain on this server, I do not see how this could be a DC since it has an auto-config address and no access do DNS.

Let's make sure this is, in fact, a DC. Since you're logged on to the server let's check for the existence of a SYSVOL folder. If c:\windows\sysvol exists, then you are dealing with a DC here. If you are, then I'm even more confused !! :)

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Win Server 2003 - DNS Not Running?

by gerryw In reply to Win Server 2003 - DNS Not ...

Thank you all,
I have now got past the P/W and have cured the problem thanks to all your input.


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