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Last night a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine I maintain automatically rebooted after installing updates, without starting the DNS service. Since the machine is the network's DNS server, I got a call in the morning to say the Internet was down.

This has happened several times; I log in, manually start the service, everything is fine. But I can't figure out why this is happening.

The DNS Service is set for Automatic (not disabled), so it's not that.

When I look in the Event Viewer, it doesn't seem like there was even an attempt to start DNS; there are no error messages for DNS.

Any pointers on other events to look for (the logs are so noisy) would be appreciated.

This is a small office LAN, nothing fancy, the server is a DC. I don't believe there is anything unusual about the setup but I'll be happy to provide any additional information that might be relevant.

  • Is this a single DC environment? – pablo Feb 10 '11 at 16:05
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    While not a solution, ensure you have the service set to restart after failure on the Recovery tab. – John Gardeniers Feb 10 '11 at 20:36
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    what are the DNS servers configured on the DC? – pablo Feb 10 '11 at 21:38
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    @pablo The problem with entering a public DNS server (like Google or my ISPs) is that Windows then complains that the DNS server doesn't know anything about the domain's zone (which of course it wouldn't). – benzado Feb 21 '11 at 21:50
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    No, you never want to put public DNS servers in your domain controller's DNS servers list. Those should only go in the unconditional forwarders list for recursive DNS lookups. – SturdyErde Jul 14 '16 at 8:20
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Try switching the service to delayed start.

  • @Vick_Vega Are you sure this is a good idea? A lot of things depend on DNS being available, but the DNS Server service entry doesn't list any explicit dependencies. – benzado Feb 14 '11 at 21:14
  • @benzado, Exactly what we need. If a lot of services depend on DNS, meaning they will not start without having DNS up and running. Worth giving a try. – Vick Vega Feb 14 '11 at 21:31
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If you are running DNS on VM's I would spin up a second server, install DNS services and point your servers to the second DNS server as a secondary provider. If the problem persists with the primary DNS server you can retire it. This is assuming you are unable to find a solution to your problem though.

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