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Microsoft KB Archive/172953

From BetaArchive Wiki

Article ID: 172953

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server 4.0
  • Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server 4.0a

This article was previously published under Q172953


This article is designed as an introduction to the Microsoft Domain Name Service (DNS) included with Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0. This guide will take you through the steps needed to install and configure DNS on your Windows NT Server.

For additional information on Domain Name Service, please see the following white paper available on the Microsoft anonymous ftp server:

File Name: Dnswp.exe
Location :
Title : "DNS and Microsoft Windows NT 4.0"


Installing Microsoft DNS

Use the following steps to install DNS on your Windows NT 4.0 Server:

  1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel. Double-click the Network icon, and then click the Services tab.
  2. Click Add, select Microsoft DNS Server from the Select Network Service dialog box, and then click OK.
  3. Type the location of your Windows NT source files, click OK, and then click Close.

NOTE: If you have any service packs installed, you will need to re-apply your service pack before restarting your computer.

  1. Restart your computer.

Configuring Microsoft DNS

Gathering Information:

Before you actually begin configuring the DNS server, there is some basic information you will need. Some of this information must be approved by Internic for use on the Internet, but if you are configuring this server for internal use only, you can then decide what names and IP addresses to use. You will need:

  • Your domain name (must be approved by Internic)

  • The IP address of each server for which you wish to provide name resolution

  • The host names of each of the servers in step above

NOTE: The servers in the step above may be your mail servers, any public access servers, FTP servers, WWW servers, and so on.

For example, use the following information (substitute your actual information where appropriate):

   Domain Name: <>
   Servers:   <>
       <> (notice the same IP

Creating Your DNS Server:

Using the information above, configure your Microsoft DNS server by doing the following:

  1. Click the Start button, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DNS Manager.
  2. From the DNS menu, click New Server.
  3. Type the IP address of your DNS server in the Add DNS Server dialog box ( in the example information), and then click OK.

NOTE: It is not necessary to restart the DNS server for changes to your zones to take effect. All that is required is for the server data files to be updated using the following step:

  • In DNS Manager, right-click your DNS server, and click Update Server Data Files.

Creating Your Reverse Lookup Zone:

Some applications use a reverse query to a DNS server to find the host name of a host when it has the IP address of the computer. You must configure a reverse lookup zone to provide this capability.

NOTE: Reverse lookup zones may not be necessary in your network, but it is recommended that one be present. NSLOOKUP run on the DNS server will fail if no reverse lookup zone is configured.

To create a reverse lookup zone, perform the following steps:

  1. In DNS Manager, right-click your DNS server, and then click New Zone.
  2. Click Primary from the "Creating New Zone for" dialog box, and then click Next.
  3. The Zone Name is derived from your IP network address. In the example information, the Zone Name is Type your reverse zone name (the least significant part of the IP address, and work toward the most significant part of the address). For example:

       If your network ID is:         Then your reverse zone is:

    NOTE: The syntax of the reverse lookup zone is imperative to its operation.

  4. After you type the reverse lookup zone name, press Tab and the reverse lookup zone file name will automatically fill in using the zone name in step 3 appended by ".dns" (without the quotes).
  5. Click Next, and then click Finish.

Creating Your Forward Lookup Zone:

  1. In DNS Manager, right-click your server, and then click New Zone.
  2. Click Primary Zone, and then click Next.
  3. Type the Zone Name for your DNS domain. This is the domain name that is registered with Internic (<> in the example).
  4. Press Tab, click Next, and then click Finish.

When you have created the forward lookup zone, you should see three records automatically created in that zone: the NS record, the SOA record, and an A record. If you do not have all three of these, you may want to verify that your DNS settings in your TCP/IP properties are configured correctly (click the Start button, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click the Network icon).

NOTE: The A record will only be created if the zone name matches the domain name.

Adding Host Records to Your Forward Lookup Zone:

The A record for your DNS server should have been automatically created. However, DNS Manager does not automatically create the PTR record in the reverse zone for the DNS server. The simplest way to correct this is to use the following steps:

  1. Right-click the A record for your DNS server, and then click Delete Record.
  2. Click Yes in the confirmation dialog box.
  3. Right-click your forward zone, <>, and then click New Host.
  4. Type the host name of your DNS server and the IP address.
  5. Click Create Associated PTR Record to enable it and click Add Host.
  6. Click Done.

NOTE: Repeat steps 3-5 above for all of the servers that you want to add to your DNS domain.

To verify the PTR records are created successfully, right-click the reverse lookup zone, and then click Refresh.

Configuring Other Record Types

A DNS server can be responsible for several different record types. Some of them include, but are not limited to the following: A, CNAME, HINFO, MX, NS, and SOA. For details on these and other record types, please refer to the DNS white paper mentioned earlier in this article.

Creating A CNAME Record:

A CNAME record allows you to use multiple names for the same IP address. This way, you can have users access the same server for separate functions, such as and Before you can create the CNAME record, you must first have an A record, as described earlier.

To create a CNAME record, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click your forward zone, <>, and click New Record.
  2. Select CNAME Record from the Record Type list box in the New Resource Record dialog box.
  3. Type an alternate name for access to this computer. For example, in the sample information earlier in this article, WWW is an alternate name for
  4. Type the original host name in "For Host DNS Name." For example, <>.

NOTE: It is important to use the fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) for the originating host DNS name.

  1. Click OK.

Now when your users make a query for either of these host names, your DNS server will return the same IP address.

Creating an MX Record:

An MX Record is a Mail Exchange record that points mail programs to your mail servers. To create an MX record, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click your forward lookup zone, <> and then click New Record.
  2. Select MX Record from the Record Type list box in the New Resource Record dialog box.
  3. The Host Name (Optional) field is used for the host name of the mail server. However, if you want users to be able to send mail to your domain using the format, then leave the Host Name field blank. NOTE: If the MX record contains the hostname, sending mail to may not work. There are three ways to resolve this. First, remove the hostname from the MX record as described in step 3. Second, after the MX record is created with the hostname, create an "A" record for the domain that has no hostname. Third, delete the existing MX record and re-create as described in steps one through six in the Creating an MX record section of this article.
  1. Type the FQDN of the mail server in the Mail Exchange Server DNS Name, for example,

NOTE: There is a trailing dot, ".", after the Mail Exchange Server DNS Name. The FQDN that is used for the Mail Exchange Server must have a corresponding A record for that domain. If the Mail Exchange Server is a different computer than the DNS Server, the DNS Server must know where to redirect the mail traffic.

  1. The Preference Number is any number from 0 to 65535. In the case of multiple mail servers, this number identifies which mail server is to be used first. The lower the preference number, the higher the priority.
  2. Click OK.

For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

174419 How to Configure a Subnetted Reverse Lookup Zone on Windows NT

Additional query words: smallbiz DNS KBhowto Setup configure NT4

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