After one day, you may find your Windows 2008 DNS Server is unable to resolve names in some top level domains (TLD’s) like .co.uk, .cn, and .br when it is configured to use root hints. This may also be seen with other top level domains too. According to Microsoft, a network monitor trace should show that the DNS Server does not send any DNS traffic out to the internet. The Windows 2008 DNS server returns SERVFAIL to the client or when using nslookup. I have not used Network Monitor to verify this myself, but I am sure if you loaded it up and used this MS KB to set up a trace that you would be able to verify this symptom.
Workarounds include restarting the DNS server, clearing the DNS cache, setting maxcachettl to 2 days or greater, and using DNS Forwarders instead of root hints.
This currently occurs with default SBS 2008 installs that have been configured to use root hints for DNS lookup. I have recently noticed this behaviour myself with two different SBS 2008 installs.
If you want to use root hints, you can set the maxcachettl registry value on the Windows 2008 DNS Server as follows:
1. Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
2. Locate the following registry key:
3. On the Edit menu, click New, click DWORD (32-bit) Value and then add the following value:
Data Type: DWORD
Data value: 0x2A300 (172800 in decimal = 2 days)
4. Click OK.
5. Quit Registry Editor.
6. Restart the DNS server.
Another way to get around this issue is to use the following method (I personally prefer this way):
1. Open up DNS under Administrative tools from the SBS server’s start menu.
2. Right click on the server name and select Properties.
3. Go to the Forwarders tab and click on the “edit” button.
4. Enter the primary DNS address of your ISP (In this case mine was BT so I used 126.96.36.199) and click Ok.
5. The forwarders section will now attempt to automatically resolve the FQDN for that IP. (Note you can also probably enter your router’s IP address in the forwarders section which should then get your SBS to look to the router for DNS information).
6. Click Ok to close the properties window and then close your DNS console.
DNS lookups for the TLDs should now be working again. If not, stop and restart DNS or give the server a reboot.