The Active Directory database size increases unexpectedly because a Windows Server 2003-based DNS server inappropriately creates several SerialNo objects

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
SYMPTOMS
A Windows Server 2003 Server-based DNS server may create several SerialNo objects. The high number of SerialNo objects may cause the Active Directory database file (Ntds.dit) size to grow. Additionally, the high number of SerialNo objects may increase Active Directory replication.

Note This problem occurs if the Windows Server 2003-based DNS server uses Active Directory directory service-integrated zones.
CAUSE
This problem occurs because the DNS server service inappropriately creates the SerialNo objects in Active Directory for the zones that are not marked as transferable.
RESOLUTION
To resolve this problem, a hotfix is available. After you apply this hotfix, the DNS server first checks if the zone is marked as transferable before the DNS server creates a SerialNo object for the zone. Therefore, the DNS server will only create SerialNo objects for the zones that are marked as transferable.

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.

Prerequisites

To apply the hotfix, one of the following service packs must be installed on the DNS server:
  • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2)

Restart requirement

You have to restart the DNS server after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any other previously released hotfixes.

Registry information

To use one of the hotfixes in this package, you do not have to make any changes to the registry.

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 with SP1, x86-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirement
Dns.exe5.2.3790.2974443,39213-Jul-200711:02x86SP1
W03a2409.dll5.2.3790.295728,67219-Jun-200707:30x86SP1
Windows Server 2003 with SP2, x86-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirement
Dns.exe5.2.3790.4117443,39213-Jul-200713:42x86SP2
W03a2409.dll5.2.3790.4106453,63228-Jun-200707:20x86SP2
Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Itanium-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirementService branch
Dns.exe5.2.3790.29741,125,37613-Jul-200715:30IA-64SP1Not Applicable
W03a2409.dll5.2.3790.295727,64813-Jul-200715:30IA-64SP1Not Applicable
Wdns.exe5.2.3790.2974443,39213-Jul-200715:30x86SP1WOW
Ww03a2409.dll5.2.3790.295728,67213-Jul-200715:30x86SP1WOW
Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Itanium-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirementService branch
Dns.exe5.2.3790.41171,125,37613-Jul-200715:56IA-64SP2Not Applicable
W03a2409.dll5.2.3790.4082452,60813-Jul-200715:56IA-64SP2Not Applicable
Ww03a2409.dll5.2.3790.4106453,63213-Jul-200715:56x86SP2WOW
Windows Server 2003 with SP1, x64-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirementService branch
Dns.exe5.2.3790.2974760,83213-Jul-200715:30x64SP1Not Applicable
W03a2409.dll5.2.3790.295729,18413-Jul-200715:30x64SP1Not Applicable
Wdns.exe5.2.3790.2974443,39213-Jul-200715:30x86SP1WOW
Ww03a2409.dll5.2.3790.295728,67213-Jul-200715:30x86SP1WOW
Windows Server 2003 with SP2, x64-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirementService branch
Dns.exe5.2.3790.4117760,83213-Jul-200715:56x64SP2Not Applicable
W03a2409.dll5.2.3790.4082454,14413-Jul-200715:56x64SP2Not Applicable
Ww03a2409.dll5.2.3790.4106453,63213-Jul-200715:56x86SP2WOW
STATUS
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
MORE INFORMATION

The SerialNo object

The DNS server maintains a serial number that is associated with the primary zones of the DNS server. When a primary zone changes, the corresponding serial number of the zone increases. The DNS server uses this serial number as a quick check to decide whether the secondary copy of the zone is synchronized with the primary zone. This serial number is stored in a SerialNo object that is named as follows:
SerialNo-ServerName
Active Directory implements the SerialNo object as a child object of the zone object.

When the DNS service is stopped, the DNS service obtains the serial number of the primary zone that the DNS server owns. And then, the DNS server creates the SerialNo object in the Active Directory if this SerialNo object does not exist.

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates
REFERENCES
For more information about a similar problem in Microsoft Windows 2000, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
843514 Your Active Directory database size increases because of many SerialNo objects
DNS, SerialNo
Properties

Article ID: 940262 - Last Review: 01/15/2015 17:20:16 - Revision: 2.0

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition for Itanium-Based Systems
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition
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