Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In this thread today I got clarification on the meaning of the various DNS actions. Very helpful. Now to the real question. We have a Windows DNS secondary zone that maintains a copy of our parent company's DNS. When I open the zone in DNS mmc, "all" the entries show up yet the Status for the zone is listed as "zone never loaded".

This seems odd since we can apparently resolve the hosts we need to access in this dns. What is this status trying to tell us about this zone?

share|improve this question
What specific operating system are you running on your primary and secondary DNS servers? – dmourati May 16 '11 at 23:08
The primary I do not know. The secondary is Windows 2003 – uSlackr May 17 '11 at 12:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You're right that there is a conflicting message. A warning, plus valid data. Some things to try:

  • try adding another record to the primary and see if the secondary picks it up
  • check event viewer on your secondary to see if it offers any clues
  • are you sure all record types copied? If zone updates aren't allowed (very common nowadays) then maybe it just guessed at the basic A and MX records but wasn't able to get everything.

Use NS lookup to confirm that your zone is responding correctly. Here's a video walkthrough on how to do that. Make sure to use server secondary_dns_server to test directly from your secondary server.

share|improve this answer
There is quite a lot of data in the zone, but it is no longer replicationg. We suspect the parent org turned off DNS transfers without warning. After a technical review, we feel as though the correct way to handle this is to set up a conditional forwarder to their DNS and drop the zone altogether. We don't do enough queries against this to maintain a full copy (which have 40-50k records). – uSlackr May 18 '11 at 18:49
One more thing, we are able to connect to the zone NS and complete lookups. – uSlackr May 18 '11 at 18:51
That would explain it. If they allowed zone transfers when you first set it up, but turned it off later, that would account for your situation. Do you really need to host the DNS for the zone yourself? If so, the forwarder sounds like it will do the trick. – Scott Forsyth - MVP May 18 '11 at 19:36
My confusion is over the Zone status of "zone never loaded". It just seems wrong. So, yes, I think the forwarders are our future – uSlackr May 18 '11 at 21:32
It does sound like incorrect terminology. It's really "zone unable to load currently". – Scott Forsyth - MVP May 19 '11 at 15:29

By default, AD Integrated zones do not have zone transfers allowed. Regarding transfer status, are both TCP 53 and UDP 53 allowed between the two?

Ace Fekay

share|improve this answer
This is not an AD integrated zone. As for the ports, I'll verify that, but the DNS HAS host information from the DNS, it just says that it doesn't. I assume from the fact I have data that transfers are happening. – uSlackr May 16 '11 at 20:58

As I understand it with Windows DNS, zone transfers are not enabled by default. You have to enable them explicitly in the 'zone transfer' section in the properties of the primary zone.

Can you confirm if you have enabled this?

share|improve this answer
The only config I see is whether it allows other to transfer from it. And as I said, the zone has data, so it got it, it just doesn't say it got it. – uSlackr May 11 '11 at 13:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.