Microsoft KB Archive/171781

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Knowledge Base

DNS Server Fails to Start Due to Unavailable RPC Server Error

Article ID: 171781

Article Last Modified on 10/31/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q171781

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if a problem occurs. For information about how to do this, view the "Restoring the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring a Registry Key" Help topic in Regedt32.exe.


After your Microsoft Windows NT Domain Name Service (DNS) server starts, you may receive one or more of the following event log error messages:

Event ID: 157
Source: DNS
Description: DNS Server is not root authoritative and no cache file specified. A cache file must be specified when the DNS server is not authoritative for the root domain. The cache file must contain NS record(s) for root DNS servers and corresponding A record(s) for the root DNS servers. Otherwise, the DNS server will be unable to contact the root DNS server on startup and will be unable to answer queries for names outside of its own authoritative zones.

Event ID: 7023
Source: Service Control Manager
Description: The Microsoft DNS Server service terminated with the following error: The system cannot find the file specified.

Event ID: 3
Source: DNS
Description: The DNS Server has shutdown.

You may also see your DNS server in the server list of the DNS Manager with a red X on it, indicating that the DNS service is unavailable, and you may see the following message in the DNS Manager:

The RPC Server is unavailable.


This behavior can occur when the registry key that determines whether your DNS server initializes from a boot file or from the registry has not been updated properly.


WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it.

To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Start Registry Editor (regedt32.exe) and locate the following subkey:

  2. Edit the following value as appropriate:

       Value Name: EnableRegistryBoot
       Value Type: REG_DWORD
       Data:       1 or 0  (1 for registry boot, 0 for boot file)
  3. Quit Registry Editor.

This value is set to 1 when the first zone is created, and by default the boot file's information is then migrated into the registry. When resetting this registry value back to zero, it disables the DNS server from booting or initializing from the registry. If the DNS Server does not boot from the registry, then it must initialize from a boot file. A backup boot file can be found in the following location:


Copy the backup boot file to the %SystemRoot%\System32\Dns folder, and then restart the DNS service.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 4.0. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

Keywords: kbnetwork KB171781