I'm replacing a Windows Server 2003 based DNS server (for an office LAN) with a new Windows 2008 based server. The old DNS server used the internal IP address of our Netgear router as a forwarder, but this doesn't work with the Win 2008 server.

Is there another address I should be using instead of the router as the forwarder? Currently I've just copied in the DNS server addresses of our ISP from the router settings which seems to work, but I guess these could change any time.

Some forums suggest using / as forwarding servers - is this correct?



Not that this answers your question but I personally wouldn't use my router as a forwarder and I wouldn't use my ISP as a forwarder either. If you're set on using forwarders my suggestion would be to use Google's public DNS servers, and

BTW, I've had no problem adding those two ip addresses as forwarders in W2K8 DNS.

  • I'm using a forwarder as that's how the old DNS server was set up, and as I've never set one up before I was copying its configuration. Is there a better way to resolve external addresses if not using a forwarder of some kind? – Nick Oct 6 '10 at 13:38
  • You could just use the root hint servers, which are "installed" and "enabled" by default. Barring any funky configuration on your part, external name resolution should work out of the box with no need to configure forwarders or make any other modification to the DNS server. – joeqwerty Oct 6 '10 at 14:01
  • Ok, looks like I didn't test the out of the box configuration before I fixed / borked it. Will go back over what I've done, thanks. – Nick Oct 6 '10 at 14:33
  • Glad to help... – joeqwerty Oct 6 '10 at 15:09
  • Unborked! Just deleted all the forwarding server entires.. Thank you – Nick Oct 6 '10 at 16:02

How do you mean it doesn't work? Can you ping the router interface? what errors are you seeing? When you mean forwarder do you mean default gateway? what does your routing table look like?

  • Doesn't work as ping/tracert cannot resolve external addresses. I can ping the router. The router is the default gateway on both old and new DNS servers. It is also set up as forwarder on the old DNS server - this works, which is why I tried adding it as forwarder on new DNS server (forwarder properties tab differ a lot between Win Server 2003 and 2008 though) – Nick Oct 6 '10 at 9:46
  • That is odd, are old and new servers in the same subnet, got the same mask/DG etc? have you disabled the 2008 firewall temporarily? – Chopper3 Oct 6 '10 at 9:55
  • Yes, same subnet/mask/DG. Disabling Firewall makes no difference. When I add the router IP as forwarder Win 2008 cannot resolve the FQDN which could be the issue (Win 2003 seems happy with just the IP) – Nick Oct 6 '10 at 10:01

Contact your ISP's techsupport and ask them for the IPs of the DNS servers they use. They will be fastest and closest to you.

Make sure they are accessible from the windows server behind the NAT first of course. and openDNS are known and working servers, but they might not be quote as responsive as the ones the ISP is using, simply because they are probably farther away

  • as dynasny has suggested, you can also check your router's config and it will show you what public dns it is being assigned by your ISP, you can use those as forwarders, and ofcourse,, - HTH – Mutahir Oct 6 '10 at 13:27

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