Troubleshooting DNS issues and DNS error (s) with the Preparation Wizard

Here is a new tidbit on the Preparation Wizard J. Since we announced it back in July, we have a lot of Microsoft IT Pros go check it out. Please spread the word if you can if you find this tool valuable. Provide a link back to this article or any of the other follow on articles we have done on the Preparation Wizard. We think the community could tremendously benefit from this work.


Last time, we talked about how the Preparation Wizard helps to identify and resolve AD replication issues.  Today, we will focus on how this tool helps identify DNS Issues and troubleshoot a DNS error (s).  For those new to this tool, the Preparation Wizard is not just for customers with Essential Business Server or those who are planning to deploy this solution in their environments. This tool is for anyone with Active Directory in their network who would like to verify the health of their environment.


DNS issues are not fun to troubleshoot… mostly because there are so many potential causes and a very long long list of steps to try in order to figure out what’s wrong.  Just go online and search for “troubleshooting DNS.”  One of the top articles shows over 50 different potential causes behind DNS errors and as many ways to troubleshoot them:

How long would it take for someone to try them all to ensure the DNS is functioning correctly?  My guess is it would take a lot longer than the 15 minutes (or less) you could spend running the Preparation Wizard, what we feel is the great new tool that scans the existing network, identifies the source of DNS errors and provides links to knowledge based articles that explain how to correct these issues.

How does Preparation Wizard help find and resolve DNS errors?

In order to identify the source DNS errors, Preparation Wizard uses LDAP, DNS queries and WMI to contact each server in the network and run a set of checks to verify that DNS is functioning correctly.  In addition, the tool specifically looks for events that indicate DNS problems. Note that the Preparation Wizard does not change the environment, so the tool is completely safe to run at any time!

How is it different from other tools?

Unlike many other known tools which simply dump large amounts of networking data collected from a single source (such as event logs, for instance), the Preparation Wizard is able to gather data from many different areas (Active Directory, DNS, SYSVOL, event logs, etc.), cross reference that data, and make conclusions about the overall health of the network. The Preparation Wizard has over 100 different checks which are based on most common issues resolved by Microsoft Customer Support Services over the past 10 years!

Specifics tool verifies?


Out of 100+ different checks that Preparation Wizard runs, a significant portion is dedicated to ensuring that DNS functions correctly.  Among others, the tool verifies that:

·         All DNS servers in the network can obtain the Start of Authority resource record

·         All DNS servers in the network can resolve (A) records

·         All DNS servers can resolve GUID CNAME records

·         Domain zones in Active Directory include functioning DNS delegations

·         Domain controllers with DNS are not hosting a root (.) DNS zone

·         Domain controllers are configured with static IP addresses

·         Domain controllers are associated to a domain zone in Active Directory

·         All DNS records (including SRV) can be resolved for a domain controller

·         Forwarders are configured and root hints are enabled on all DNS servers

·         Scavenging interval is set correctly for a zone

·         There are no multi-homed domain controllers in the environment

·         Orphaned network interface objects do not exist

·         All domain controllers reference a valid DNS server

·         The binding order is set correctly

·         Domain controllers are not using APIPA addresses (which are automatically assigned)

·         Dynamic registration is configured correctly


Go get it – it’s FREE!



Julia Kuzminova
EBS Community Program Manager


Link to supporting documents and other resources on troubleshooting DNS issues:


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