DNS: Scavening: Records are not deleted if scavenging manually disabled with DNSCMD


You may find yourself in a scenario where you enable Scavenging on the Windows DNS Server to get rid of some old and stale records on the zone.

You configure the Scavenging Cycle and Aging (No Refresh and Refresh interval) appropriate to your environment and wait for the Scavenging cycle to delete your records.

You notice that the Scavenging cycle runs but does not delete the records with old time stamps.
You decide to wait for another scavenging cycle to run, but still the records do not get deleted.


You may get into this scenario where the DNS Zone was previously configured manually for scavenging by a different server (using dnscmd), then scavenging was disabled in the environment and then enabled again on another server.


For the zone in question run the following command:

dnscmd /zoneinfo contoso.com

(I will use the zone as contoso.com for example)

You will get the result like this:

Zone query result:

Zone info:

                ptr                   = 0000000000327C90
                zone name             = ocntoso.com
                zone type             = 1
                shutdown              = 0
                paused                = 0
                update                = 2
                DS integrated         = 1
                read only zone        = 0
                in DS loading queue   = 0
                currently DS loading  = 0
                data file             = (null)
                using WINS            = 0
                using Nbstat          = 0
                aging                 = 1
                 refresh interval    = 168
                  no refresh          = 168
                  scavenge available  = 3606130
                Zone Masters          NULL IP Array.
                Zone Secondaries   NULL IP Array.
                secure secs           = 3
                directory partition   = AD-Domain     flags 00000015

                zone DN               = DC=contoso.com,cn=MicrosoftDNS,DC=DomainDnsZones,DC=contoso,DC=com          Scavenge Servers

                 Ptr          = 000000000031D480
               MaxCount     = 1

                AddrCount    = 1
                                Server[0] => af=2, salen=16, [sub=0, flag=00000000] p=13568, addr=

Here you notice the IP address

This is the IP address of the server which has the permission to scavenge the zone (Most likely this could be a server which is no longer existing)
If this is not the IP address of the server which on which you have configured Scavenging then we need to change that.

To change the Scavenging server for a zone, run the command:

dnscmd /zoneresetscavengeservers contoso.com <Ip of the current DNS Server>

where <IP of the current DNS Server> is the IP address of the DNS Server where Scavenging is configured.

More Information

The following command resets all scavenging server settings and removes manually specified servers.

dnscmd /zoneresetscavengeservers contoso.com (without ip address).

Please note the maximum time that an stale record may take to be deleted through Scavenging is (No Refresh interval + Refresh interval + Scavenging cycle interval)

To get a good understanding on Scavenging, please refer: