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New here, but I have learned a great deal by looking around. My question is probably a simple one:

In Microsoft Active Directory, does DNS look at the forwarders before it goes to the root hints?

Thanks in advance.

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

The DNS lookup process for the Server is as follows:

  1. DNS server cache
  2. Authoritative Zones (Primary, Secondary, Active Directory Ingetrated, GLOBALNAMES)
  3. Stub Zone / Conditional Forward
  4. Standard Forward
  5. Root Hints

This same process is used regardless of if it is a Microsoft Active Directory DNS server, or a standalone DNS server.

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Yes, a server with a forwarder will always look at forwarders before trying to recursively resolve the name itself.

And if it has forwarders, it will only try recursively at all if the "Use root hints if no forwarders are available" box on the Forwarders tab is checked.

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root hints are the last resort. The forwarders will be queried first

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