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Uh, oh. Someone Deleted the DNS Domain!

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Mar 15, 2001


by Carl Campos

You are sitting at your workstation, looking for the umpteenth time at that MCSE certification path for Windows 2000, when you hear it.  "Uh, oh...", one of the other network administrators says.  You ignore him.  You're looking for the IIS 5.0 exam to replace your IIS 4.0 exam.  The IIS 5.0 exam doesn't exist.  

What to do if someone deletes the DNS Domain.

"Uh, oh...", you hear again, this time in stereo.  Did these guys just realize that they're too late to finish that NT 4.0 certification?

One of your fellow administrators appears in front of your cube.  His face is red, he's sweating and he needs your help.  "I was deleting a host in DNS and I accidentally deleted the entire domain," he says, out of breath.  "Isn't there an undo or something?" he asks, already knowing the answer.  You get up and walk over to his machine.  He still has the NT 4.0 DNS Manager open.  Sure enough, the DNS zone for your division of the company is gone.  Zone transfer had been misconfigured, so your Secondary DNS Server had not been getting updated.

"What do we do?" he asks.  You stop the DNS service.  Then, you ask the Backup Administrator to start the restore of the DNS server's C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\DNS directory.  "I don't know," you reply.  "I've never had to do a disaster recovery on a DNS Server before."  

Everyone is looking to you to solve the problem as you sit down and open your copy of TechNet.  You do a search for "DNS recover" on TechNet.  You find article #Q180794, How to Restore DNS Zones When Deleted from DNS Manager.  

According to the article, when a DNS zone is deleted from the DNS manager GUI, the zone file is not deleted.  You check the \WINNT\SYSTEM32\DNS directory on the server, and sure enough, the DNS zone file is still there.  You make a copy of the file and open it in Notepad.  All of the records appear to be present.  Now all you need to do is recreate the zone with the same name as it had before, and you've fixed the problem!

After a couple of tests using nslookup, you determine that the zone is functioning properly.  You tell the Backup Administrator to stop the restore process.  Like all good fables, there was a hero and everyone learned a lesson in the end.  Lucky for your co-worker that the story wasn't a tragedy.

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