Change the DNS zone type

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

You can use the following procedure to change the Domain Name System (DNS) zone type. You can select a primary, secondary, or stub zone. When you select the secondary or stub zone type, you must specify the Internet Protocol (IP) address of another DNS server to be used as the source for obtaining updated information for the zone.

If the DNS server computer is operating as a domain controller, the option to change the zone type to Active Directory-Integrated is available. When you select this zone type, zone data is stored and replicated as part of the Active Directory database.

Changing a zone from secondary to primary can affect other zone activities, including the management of dynamic updates and zone transfers and the use of DNS notify lists to notify other servers about changes in the zone. Changing a zone from stub to primary (or the reverse) is not recommended because of the purpose of stub zones. For more information about planning DNS zones, see Deploying Domain Name System (DNS) on the Microsoft Web site (

You can perform this procedure by using the DNS snap-in or by using the Dnscmd command-line tool.

Administrative credentials

To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure. As a security best practice, consider using the Run as command to perform this procedure.

Changing the zone type

  • Using the Windows interface

  • Using the command line

To change the zone type using the Windows interface

  1. Open the DNS snap-in.

  2. In the console tree, right-click the applicable zone, and then click Properties.

  3. On the General tab, note the current zone type, and then click Change.

  4. In the Change Zone Type dialog box, click a zone type other than the current one, and then click OK.


To open the DNS snap-in, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DNS.

To change the zone type using the command line

  • At a command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    dnscmd ServerName /ZoneResetType ZoneName Property [MasterIPaddress...] [/file FileName] {/OverWrite_Mem|/OverWrite_Ds|/DirectoryPartition FQDN}

    Value Description


    Required. Specifies the DNS host name of the DNS server. You can also type the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the DNS server. To specify the DNS server on the local computer, you can also type a period (.)


    Required. Specifies the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of zone.


    Required. One of the following zone types:

    • /Primary

      Standard primary zone. The FileName must be required.

    • /DsPrimary

      Active Directory-integrated primary zone.

    • /Secondary

      Secondary zone. You must specify at least one MasterIPaddress...

    • /Stub

      Stub zone. You must specify at least one MasterIPaddress....

    • /DsStub

      Active Directory-integrated stub zone. You must specify at least one MasterIPaddress....


    Required for /Secondary, /Stub and /DsStub. Specifies one or more IP addresses for the master servers of the secondary or stub zone, from which it copies zone data.


    Required for /Primary. Specifies a file for the new zone. This parameter is invalid for the /DsPrimary zone type.


    Required for /Primary. Specifies the name of the zone file. This parameter is invalid for the /DsPrimary zone type.


    /OverWrite_Mem overwrites exisiting DNS data using the data in Active Directory.

    /OverWrite_Ds overwrites Active Directory data with data in DNS.

    /DirectoryPartition stores the new zone in the application directory partition that is specified by FQDN, such as

See Also

Other Resources

Deploying Domain Name System (DNS)