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I did a fresh install of the DNS server package on Windows Server 2008 and had problems accessing any *.com site (, It wasn't until I dug into it that I saw that my Root Hints list was empty.

I thought the default behavior was to have the Root Hints set up and configured?

Did I misunderstand that?


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

A default installation of the DNS server role should have root hints unless the server has a root zone - .(root). If the server has a root zone then delete it. If the server doesn't have a root zone and there are no root servers listed on the Root Hints tab of the DNS server properties then the server may be missing the cache.dns file in the %systemroot%\system32\dns directory, which is where the list of root servers is loaded from. In the case of the root server list being empty you can:

  1. Add the root servers manually

  2. Copy the list of root servers from another DNS server

  3. Copy the cache.dns file from another server to this server

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I've added the list of root servers from I don't have another DNS server to copy the cache.dns file from. Is there any danger to not having the cache.dns file? Thanks – Tyler DeWitt Nov 17 '11 at 16:38
I'm not sure, but this article seems to describe your situation. See if it's relevant and if so, follow it's instructions. Also, unbeknownst to me, a copy of the cache.dns file is located at %systemroot%\system32\dns\samples. – joeqwerty Nov 17 '11 at 16:43
Awesome, thanks! Looks like your link got hosed, could you re input it? – Tyler DeWitt Nov 17 '11 at 16:52

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