Active Directory 2008: Root Hint Facts

Root Hint Facts

Root hints are pointers to top level DNS servers on the Internet.

  • The Cache.dns file holds the 13 root hint   addresses for the Internet root servers. The Cache.dns file can be found in two locations:
    • %SystemRoot%\system32\dns\Cache.dns (the copy in use)
    • %SystemRoot%\system32\dns\backup\Cache.dns (the copy reserved in the backup location)
  • The Cache.dns file normally lists the NS (name server) and A (host name)   records for the Internet root servers. You can change this file to list the   records for your own internal root DNS servers if you are using DNS on a   private network.
  • You can configure root hints through the   properties of a DNS server or by configuring   the DNS server’s Cache.dns file. If the server is configured to load   data from Active Directory, you must configure   root hints using the DNS snap-in because   the local Cache.dns is not used (the root hints data is stored   in Active Directory).
  • The root zone is at the top of the DNS hierarchy,   and is named . (dot).
  • If you have a root zone configured on a DNS   server, the server will act as a root zone   server. A DNS server configured as a root   zone server will never use the root hints   file (Cache.dns). It considers itself authoritative.   Consequently, the server won’t access the   Internet to forward DNS queries.
  • If you want the DNS server to access the   Internet, delete the root zone in the DNS   console.

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