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Setting up DNS in a DC after upgrade

We have three NT 4 Servers. Our T1 provider is also our provider for Internet access and they host the DNS. Our firewall points to the IP addresses they gave us for DNS resolution. We are upgrading to Windows 2000 servers. How do I have to set up the DNS in my DC? Our network never had a DNS in house.

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The DNS for your Windows Environment should be local -- that is on one of the Windows 2000 servers. The DNS can be configured with a FORWARDer that points to the DNS of the ISP. This will allow the internal Windows DNS server to handle dynamic DNS and name resolution for all of the internal systems and then defer to the External DNS server when the name is not internal.

Now you could install DNS on one of the Windows NT 4.0 servers and then upgrade. Alternative, you could install a new Windows 2000 server (you can use a workstation system if you want as this will be temporary). Once you configure the Windows 2000 server with DNS, then configure the NT 4.0 server you are about to upgrade to point to the Windows 2000 server. Then follow these steps:
  1. Upgrade the Windows NT 4.0 server to Windows 2000
  2. Install DNS on the upgraded server
  3. Configure the forwarder on the upgraded server
  4. Point the upgraded server to itself as the DNS server
  5. Retire the Workstation or temporary DNS server
  6. Point the other Windows NT 4.0 server to the Windows 2000 DNS server
  7. Upgrade the remaining Windows NT 4.0 BDCs to Windows 2000
  8. Switch to Native Mode
  9. Change the DHCP scope (assuming that you are using DHCP ) so that all of the workstations in your enterprise point to the Windows 2000 DNS server.
I have found that the upgrade works better when DNS is installed prior to upgrades, which is why I suggest that you use the temporary DNS server.

This was first published in August 2004

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