Instructions For Backing Up Windows DNS Servers

In the latest Windows based Enterprise, the Active Directory is run by the Windows Domain Name System server. Name resolution services for all servers and clients authenticating against Active Directory are provided by the service. The loss of DNS would be disastrous for the proper working of the system and you would be left with no option but to look for how to fix DNS server not responding. The best thing you can do is to take a backup of the service.

Firstly, you need to configure a Windows System State backup job. A comprehensive system state backup is required for the DNS zones in the Active Directory. For this, access the Windows Server Backup utility on a domain controller running the DNS service. Open the Start menu, hover the mouse pointer over Accessories, then System Tools, and then Windows Server Backup.

If you get an error message notifying that Windows Server Backup is not installed, proceed as follows. Access the Administrative Tools folder and then open Server Manager. Now, click on the Features button that you see on the left side of the tree. Click on the Add Features button found on the right side. Navigate to the bottom of the window and place a check mark for Windows Server Backup Features. Proceed by clicking on Next and then Install.

Select the Backup Schedule option from the Actions listed on the right in the Windows Server Backup page. On the first page of the backup configuration wizard, choose the Custom option. Click on Next and then Add Items. Place a tick mark for System rate and click on Ok. To select a backup schedule, click on Next. Now, you need to choose an appropriate destination in the Specify Destination Type page of the wizard.

Choose a safe location and copy the DNS zone files. To locate the zone files in the root directory, open the Windows Explorer. Now, navigate to the C:\Windows\DNS\backup folder. Copy all the files in the folder, and save them to an alternative location, for example as a network share.

Manually backup the Active Directory integrated zone files. Open the Command Prompt window in Administrator mode. In the Command Prompt window, enter dnscmd /ZoneExport <zone name> <zone file name>. The <zone name> should be replaced with the name of DNS zone in the DNS control panel applet. Replace <zone file name> with any name of your choice.

The backup file will be created by Windows now. You can find this backup in the DNS subfolder of the System32 folder in C drive. Next time you ask yourself how to fix DNS server not responding, just make use of this backup file.