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Last night a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine I maintain automatically rebooted after installing updates, without starting the DNS service. Since the machine is the network's DNS server, I got a call in the morning to say the Internet was down.

This has happened several times; I log in, manually start the service, everything is fine. But I can't figure out why this is happening.

The DNS Service is set for Automatic (not disabled), so it's not that.

When I look in the Event Viewer, it doesn't seem like there was even an attempt to start DNS; there are no error messages for DNS.

Any pointers on other events to look for (the logs are so noisy) would be appreciated.

This is a small office LAN, nothing fancy, the server is a DC. I don't believe there is anything unusual about the setup but I'll be happy to provide any additional information that might be relevant.

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Is this a single DC environment? – pablo Feb 10 '11 at 16:05
@pablo Yes, single DC. – benzado Feb 10 '11 at 20:29
While not a solution, ensure you have the service set to restart after failure on the Recovery tab. – John Gardeniers Feb 10 '11 at 20:36
what are the DNS servers configured on the DC? – pablo Feb 10 '11 at 21:38
@pablo The DC has one ethernet connection; the DNS servers are (1) the interface's own IP address and (2) the loopback address ( I realize that's kind of silly, but I'd get warnings if I didn't have two addresses, even though I don't have two DNS servers. – benzado Feb 14 '11 at 21:02

Try switching the service to delayed start.

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@Vick_Vega Are you sure this is a good idea? A lot of things depend on DNS being available, but the DNS Server service entry doesn't list any explicit dependencies. – benzado Feb 14 '11 at 21:14
@benzado, Exactly what we need. If a lot of services depend on DNS, meaning they will not start without having DNS up and running. Worth giving a try. – Vick Vega Feb 14 '11 at 21:31

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