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I am trying to export all the configuration settings from a "corporate" DNS server to my local DNS server (both systems use Windows Server 2012 r2) for testing and I am unsure as for how to do that. I explored dnscmd and the dnscmd /exportsettings (all this does write server configuration information to a text file) but haven't had much luck finding a solution.

I have also tried using a backup (http://c-nergy.be/blog/?p=1837) and restore script (http://c-nergy.be/blog/?p=1858) but these scripts only backup/restore zone files and not other configuration settings such as conditional forwarders, etc.

What would be the best way to go about solving my problem?

Thank you in advance.

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The zone information and DNS server settings are in different places.

  • Non-AD-integrated DNS server stores its zones as .dns files in %windir%\system32\dns. Copy these files besides cache.dns, that only contains cached DNS lookups.

    With AD-integrated DNS server the information is within AD and dns.exe performs many LDAP requests to gather this data when it starts. It's possible to Extract Active Directory-Integrated Zone Files with dnscmd /ZoneExport FQDN_of_zonename Zone_export_file, like you have done.

  • Settings are stored in the registry. Things are easy when AD isn't involved, as you can just export the settings with regedit /e and import by double clicking the .reg file on the target server. With AD-integrated installation you may need to check some values manually before importing. However, here's some registry locations where you can find your server settings:

    • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\DNS Server\Zones (formerly HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\DNS\Zones) is the location in the registry related to the zone files: what zones the server has, what are their settings and where they should be obtained from. The same information that can be obtained with dnscmd /zoneinfo.

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DNS\Parameters is the location for server-level settings. It's the same information that can be obtained with dnscmd /info.

    • The other DNS Registry Entries aren't directly associated with the DNS Server.

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    .dns files only exist if the DNS zones are not AD integrated. – joeqwerty Jun 5 '17 at 21:59
  • Yeah this won't really work... – Ahad Sheriff Jun 7 '17 at 14:32
  • I hope my answer is more complete now. – Esa Jokinen Jun 8 '17 at 9:15

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