Configure a New DNS Server

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

You can use these procedures to configure a new Domain Name System (DNS) server with either the Windows graphical user interface (GUI) or the dnscmd command-line tool.

When you install a new DNS server on a server that is not a domain controller, you typically perform the following tasks to configure the DNS server:

  • Create a forward and (optional) reverse lookup zone. After creating the first zone, you can also create additional zones, as needed.

  • Determine whether each zone will allow dynamic updates, including whether nonsecure updates will be allowed.

  • Determine whether unresolved queries will be forwarded and to what servers.

Instead of configuring these settings, you can choose to configure the server to use root hints so that you can perform these configuration tasks at a later time. See Managing Root Hints for more information about using root hints.

Membership in Administrators, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (

Configuring a new DNS server

  • Using the Windows interface

  • Using a command line

To configure a new DNS server using the Windows interface

  1. Open DNS Manager. To open DNS Manager, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DNS.

  2. In the console tree, click the applicable DNS server.

  3. On the Action menu, click Configure a DNS Server.

  4. Follow the instructions in the Configure a DNS Server Wizard.

To configure a new DNS server using a command line

  1. Open a command prompt.

  2. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    dnscmd <ServerName> /Config {<ZoneName>|..AllZones} <Property> {1|0}
Parameter Description


The command-line tool for managing DNS servers.


Required. Specifies the DNS host name of the DNS server. You can also type the IP address of the DNS server. To specify the DNS server on the local computer, you can also type a period (.).


Specifies that the command configures the specified zone.


Specifies the name of the zone to be configured. To apply the configuration for all zones that are hosted by the specified DNS server, type ..AllZones.


Specifies the server property or zone property to be configured. There are different properties available for servers and zones. For a list of the available properties, at the command prompt, type dnscmd /Config /help.


Sets configuration options to either 1 (on) or 0 (off). Note that some server and zone properties must be reset as part of a more complex operation.

To view the complete syntax for this command, at a command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

dnscmd /Config /help

Additional considerations

  • To open an elevated Command Prompt window, click Start, point to All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  • When you finish configuring the server, you may have to complete additional tasks, such as enabling dynamic updates for its zones or adding resource records to its zones.