DNS Client Does Not Try All Servers in DNS Service List

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Article ID: 195611 - View products that this article applies to.
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When a DNS query is made and the query returns an error such as server failure (rcode 2), the other servers in the list were not queried. The failure was passed back to the requester even though querying another server in the list could successfully complete the query.


The only time secondary servers were queried, was when no response is received from the primary server in the server list.


To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0 or the individual software update. For information on obtaining the latest service pack, please go to:
  • Windows Service Pack Center -or-

  • 152734 how to obtain the latest windows nt 4.0 service pack
For information on obtaining the individual software update, contact Microsoft Product Support Services. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information on support costs, please go to the following address on the World Wide Web:


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 4.0. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT version 4.0 Service Pack 5.

More information

The DNS query algorithm has been modified to attempt other servers in the server list if an error is received from a server that may be resolved by trying another server in the list. The new algorithm will retry servers until:

  • The name query is answered successfully.
  • An authoritative answer is received from a server that the requested host does not exists (rcode 3).
  • The server list is exhausted.


Article ID: 195611 - Last Review: November 2, 2013 - Revision: 3.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbfix KB195611

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