Last month when the SBS MVPs were on campus for the MVP Summit, Susan Bradley mentioned how the ability to configure DNS in CEICW (Configure E-mail and Internet Connection Wizard) to use root hints instead of DNS forwarders is kind of hidden in the wizard. Well, she’s right (of course!). It’s covered in the Help topic for each of the pages where you specify Preferred DNS server (and Alternate DNS server) settings.

Preferred DNS server

If the value of your Preferred DNS server was not defaulted by the wizard, you must type the IP address of the DNS server at your ISP. The DNS Server service provided with Windows Small Business Server 2003 will be configured to forward the DNS queries it cannot resolve to the DNS server you specify.

Note: If you do not specify DNS server information, name resolution requests must instead use root hints. It is recommended that you use DNS server information if it is available from your ISP. For more information, click Start, click Help and Support, and then search for "root hints."

Alternate DNS server

If your ISP provides a secondary DNS server to use for backup DNS name resolution across the Internet, type the IP address. This option can be left blank. The IP address of the alternate DNS server cannot be the same IP address as the preferred DNS server.

This information is also covered in the following pop-up message that appears if you leave the DNS fields blank:

"DNS server information was not specified. DNS server information is used to forward name-resolution requests intended for the Internet to the DNS servers at your Internet service provider (ISP). Without DNS server information, these name-resolution requests must instead use root hints. It is recommended that you use DNS server information if it is available from your ISP. For more information about root hints, see Help and Support."

This is not to say that we are changing our mind and recommending root hints over DNS forwarding. However, if you’re in a pinch and your ISPs DNS server is down, it’s an option.

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.