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Creating the DNS Client Configuration

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To configure DNS on client computers, the Active Directory DNS owner must specify the computer naming scheme and how the clients will locate DNS servers. Table 2.9 lists the recommended configurations for these design elements.

Table 2.9   DNS Configuration for Client Computers


Design element Configuration

Computer naming

Use default naming. When a Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003 computer joins a domain, the computer assigns itself a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) comprising the host name of the computer and the name of the Active Directory domain.

Client Resolver Configuration

Configure client computers to point to any DNS server on the network.


  • Active Directory clients and domain controllers can dynamically register their DNS names even if they are not pointing to the DNS server that is authoritative for their name.

A computer might have a different existing DNS name if the organization previously statically registered the computer in DNS or the organization previously deployed an integrated DHCP solution. If your client computers already have a registered DNS name, when the domain to which they are joined is upgraded to Windows Server 2003 Active Directory, they will have two different names:

  • The existing DNS name

  • The new FQDN

Clients can still be located by either name. Any existing DNS, DHCP, or integrated DNS/DHCP solution is left intact. The new primary names are created automatically and updated by means of dynamic update. They are cleaned up automatically by means of scavenging.

If you want to take advantage of Kerberos authentication when connecting to a server running Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003, you must make sure that the client connects to the server by using the primary name.

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