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Configure the Primary DNS Suffix for a Client Computer

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

You can use this procedure to configure the primary Domain Name System (DNS) suffix for a client computer running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista. The procedure to follow for other versions of Microsoft Windows may be similar.

By default, the primary DNS suffix portion of a computer's fully qualified domain name (FQDN) must be the same as the name of the Active Directory domain where the computer is located. To use different primary DNS suffixes, a domain administrator may construct a restricted list of allowed suffixes by creating the msDS-AllowedDNSSuffixes attribute in the domain object container. A domain administrator can create and manage this attribute by using Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

Membership in Administrators, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (

To configure the primary DNS suffix for a client computer

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

  2. Click Classic View, and then double-click System.

  3. Click Change settings.

  4. In the System Properties dialog box, click Computer Name, and then click Change.

  5. In the Computer Name/Domain Changes dialog box, click More.

  6. In Primary DNS suffix of this computer, type the primary DNS suffix.

  7. To prevent the primary DNS suffix from changing when the computer moves to another Active Directory domain, clear the Change primary DNS suffix when domain membership changes check box.

Additional considerations

  • If this computer belongs to a group with Group Policy enabled on the Primary DNS suffix of this computer, the string that is specified in Group Policy is used as the primary DNS suffix. The local setting is used only if Group Policy is disabled or unspecified. When the computer is joined to a domain that defines such a policy, you must restart the computer twice for the policy setting to take effect. After the computer is restarted the first time, the policy settings are copied to the computer from the domain.