The DNS service does not load all its zones on a DNS server that is running Windows Server 2003


When a domain controller that is running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is restarted, the Domain Name System (DNS) service does not load all the DNS zones. Other symptoms may include the following:
  • Client computers that are connected to the server may experience logon times that are longer than 20 minutes.
  • Network resources may be unavailable to client computers and servers that are connected to the domain controllers.
  • The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) times out.
Additionally, the following error message is logged in the System event log:
Event Type: Error
Event Source: DNS
Event Category: None
Event ID: 4015
Date: 12/29/2005
Time: 5:12:23 AM
User: N/A
Computer: ComputerName
Description: The DNS server has encountered a critical error from the Active Directory. Check that the Active Directory is functioning properly. The extended error debug information (which may be empty) is "". The event data contains the error. Data: 0000: 00000051


Service pack information

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows Server 2003. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
889100 How to obtain the latest service pack for Windows Server 2003

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.


You must be running Windows Server 2003 to install this hotfix.

Restart requirement

You must restart your computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time item in Control Panel.
Windows Server 2003 R2, 64-bit x64-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformService branch
Windows Server 2003, 64-bit Itanium-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform Service branch
Windows Server 2003, 32-bit x86-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform Service branch
Ws03res.dll 5.2.3790.52767,58403-May-200600:26x86RTMQFE
Dns.exe5.2.3790.2695 442,88003-May-200601:19x86SP1QFE
W03a2409.dll5.2.3790.2695 25,60003-May-200601:11x86SP1QFE


To work around this issue, restart the domain controller.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a bug in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section. This problem was first corrected in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2.

Article ID: 909249 - Last Review: May 29, 2008 - Revision: 1