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As per a few prior questions - I am in the process of splitting a server with a variety of role into individual servers with one role per server.

I have now got the following servers/roles setup:

Server Name: CARBON  
Server IP:  
Server Role(s): Active Directory Domain Services + DNS Server  
(HP ProLiant DL360 G4 Intel Xeon 3.0GHz - 4GB of RAM)

Server Name: HYDROGEN
Server IP:
Server Role(s): None  
(HP ProLiant DL360 G4 Intel Xeon 3.0GHz - 4GB of RAM)  

Server Name: OXYGEN  
Server IP:  
Server Role(s): File Services    
(HP ProLiant ML110 G6 Intel Xeon 2.40GHz - 5GB of RAM)  

All workstations (Windows XP Professional SP3) have the following TCP/IP settings:

IP Address: 192.168.1.XX (Static)
Subnet Mask:

DNS Primary:  

The DNS Server (CARBON Server has forwarders set to OpenDNS's IP addresses.

So - my question is:

  1. If I have a DNS server running on, should all of the workstations primary DNS be set to that IP rather than

  2. On all other servers should the primary DNS be set to

  3. On the DNS server itself, should the primary DNS be set to

  4. If I make the server with no role (HYDROGEN a Domain Controller as a backup - what should it's DNS settings be? Does it need to run a DNS server aswell?

Any help clearing this up in my head would be greatly appreciated!

share|improve this question
I have a DC at a Customer site named CARBON. I saw your question and did a double-take. I have no OXYGEN, though. I was worried about corrosion and/or fire. – Evan Anderson Apr 30 '11 at 15:29
up vote 4 down vote accepted
  1. Yes - All of your workstations should point to for DNS.
  2. Yes - All other servers should point to for DNS
  3. No - Your AD/ DNS server should have listed as the primary DNS server in the server's TCP/IP settings. (and as the secondary if you setup DNS on that)
  4. If you are creating an additional Domain Controller it should have the DNS role as well. That Domain controller/ DNS server should have it's own IP ( as it's primary DNS server in it's TCP/IP settings and as the secondary.
share|improve this answer
I have made those changes with a couple of extra changes. I have swapped the file service server 'OXYGEN' to '' and then DC + DNS Server 'CARBON' to ''. I have changed the DNS primary IP on the workstations to ''. The roaming profile no longer seem to work. – dannymcc Apr 29 '11 at 14:01
@dannymcc why did you change the workstatiosn Primary DNS to If you've changed the primary DC/ DNS server to you could've left the workstation's DNS set to that IP. – HostBits Apr 29 '11 at 14:04
I should have been clearer - I have changed 5 workstations DNS IP's to .54, the rest are still .50. None are loading the profiles or home drives from .52's shares. – dannymcc Apr 29 '11 at 14:11
I still don't know why you changed those 5 to .54, seeing as none of your servers are assigned .54. As for your profiles I can't help you there as you haven't specified anything about how that is configured. If it was working before you changed the File Server's IP, I would change it back using my recommendations above. – HostBits Apr 29 '11 at 14:23
I have reverted the changes from 54 back to 50. Let's call it a moment of madness. It was only working when the profiles etc. were on the DC server. Since I have moved them to their own server it's all gone wrong. I think a separate question would be more appropriate. Thanks! – dannymcc Apr 29 '11 at 14:28

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