Symptoms

The size of the Active Directory database directory information tree (.dit) files increase significantly over time. If you track the change by using the repadmin /showchanges command, you see that most of the growth in file size is contributed by deleted DNS objects.


This may occur in the following scenario:

  • You install the Active Directory Domain Services role and the DNS Server role on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2003.

  • The computer hosts one or more Active Directory-Integrated DNS zones.

  • The Dynamic Updates setting on the General tab of the Properties page of locally held Active Directory-integrated DNS zones is set to Secure only.

  • The same DNS records are registered and deregistered frequently. For example, the same DNS records are registered and deregistered several hundred times per day.


Note The size of the NTDS.dit file may increase faster in the Active Directory database path because of the following factors:

  • Large values for the Tombstone Lifetime setting

  • Large volume of dynamic update record registration that is caused by large populations of Windows and third-party DNS clients, short DHCP lease durations, or code defects that cause third-party devices to register records too often

  • The enabling of the Active Directory Recycle Bin feature

Cause

The issue occurs because of incorrect Active Directory tombstoning of DNS objects.

DNS clients should reuse the existing DNS objects that are marked to be deleted when they register DNS records. The existing DNS objects are usually referred to as “reanimating objects.” However, currently the DNS server service creates a new object for these DNS clients and moves the existing DNS object to the deleted objects container. Over time, this behavior causes the Active Directory DIT file size to increase significantly.

Resolution

After you install the following hotfix, DNS clients can reuse the existing reanimating DNS objects when they register their DNS record.

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 the problem that is described in this article. 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 website:

http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support 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.
Mainstream support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 13, 2010. A hotfix for this issue exists but is not publicly available. Please review the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy.

Extended Support

The Extended Support phase follows Mainstream Support for Business and Developer products.
At the supported service pack level, Extended Support includes:

  • Paid support

  • Security update support at no additional cost

  • Non-security related hotfix support requires a separate Extended Hotfix Support Agreement to be purchased (per-fix fees also apply)

Please note:

  • Microsoft will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes, or new features during the Extended Support phase

  • Extended Support is not available for Consumer, Hardware, or Multimedia products

Please contact Microsoft Support for information on how to obtain the hotfix.

Prerequisites

To apply this hotfix, you must be running one of the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2)

  • Windows Server 2008 R2

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

Additionally, you must have the DNS Server role installed. For more information about how to obtain a Windows Server 2003 service pack, 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

For more information about how to obtain a Windows Server 2008 R2 service pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

976932

Information about Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

Registry information

To use the hotfix, you do not have to change the registry.

Restart requirement

You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Note If you stop the DNS Server service before you install this hotfix, you do not have to restart the computer.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.

File information

The global version of this hotfix installs files that have the attributes that are listed in the following tables. The dates and the times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The dates and the times for these files on your local computer are displayed in your local time together with your current daylight saving time (DST) bias. Additionally, the dates and the times may change when you perform certain operations on the files.

Windows Server 2003 file information notes
  • In addition to the files that are listed in these tables, this hotfix also installs an associated security catalog file (KB2548145.cat) that is signed with a Microsoft digital signature.

For all supported x86-based versions of Windows Server 2003

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

SP requirement

Service branch

Afd.sys

5.2.3790.4898

150,528

17-Aug-2011

15:38

x86

SP2

Not Applicable

Dns.exe

5.2.3790.4928

451,584

03-Nov-2011

14:21

x86

SP2

Not Applicable

Dnsperf.dll

5.2.3790.4460

11,776

17-Feb-2009

08:12

x86

SP2

Not Applicable

Dnsperf.h

Not Applicable

6,642

08-Jul-2010

18:34

Not Applicable

SP2

Not Applicable

Dnsperf.ini

Not Applicable

11,597

08-Jul-2010

18:34

Not Applicable

SP2

Not Applicable

Mswsock.dll

5.2.3790.4318

257,024

20-Jun-2008

19:01

x86

SP2

Not Applicable

Tcpip.sys

5.2.3790.4573

400,896

15-Aug-2009

08:27

x86

SP2

Not Applicable

Tcpip6.sys

5.2.3790.4662

248,640

10-Feb-2010

15:51

Not Applicable

SP2

Not Applicable

W03a3409.dll

5.2.3790.4715

44,544

09-Jul-2010

04:25

x86

SP2

Not Applicable

Wdnsperf.dll

5.2.3790.4460

11,776

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x86

SP2

WOW

Wmswsock.dll

5.2.3790.4318

234,496

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x86

SP2

WOW

Ww03a3409.dll

5.2.3790.4715

44,544

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x86

SP2

WOW

For all supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

SP requirement

Service branch

Afd.sys

5.2.3790.4898

292,352

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x64

SP2

Not Applicable

Dns.exe

5.2.3790.4928

780,800

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x64

SP2

Not Applicable

Dnsperf.dll

5.2.3790.4460

14,336

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x64

SP2

Not Applicable

Dnsperf.h

Not Applicable

6,642

04-Nov-2011

07:03

Not Applicable

SP2

Not Applicable

Dnsperf.ini

Not Applicable

11,597

04-Nov-2011

07:03

Not Applicable

SP2

Not Applicable

Mswsock.dll

5.2.3790.4318

493,056

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x64

SP2

Not Applicable

Tcpip.sys

5.2.3790.4573

798,208

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x64

SP2

Not Applicable

Tcpip6.sys

5.2.3790.4662

396,032

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x64

SP2

Not Applicable

W03a3409.dll

5.2.3790.4715

45,056

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x64

SP2

Not Applicable

Wdnsperf.dll

5.2.3790.4460

11,776

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x86

SP2

WOW

Wmswsock.dll

5.2.3790.4318

234,496

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x86

SP2

WOW

Ww03a3409.dll

5.2.3790.4715

44,544

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x86

SP2

WOW

For all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2003

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

SP requirement

Service branch

Afd.sys

5.2.3790.4898

584,192

04-Nov-2011

07:03

IA-64

SP2

Not Applicable

Dns.exe

5.2.3790.4928

1,151,488

04-Nov-2011

07:03

IA-64

SP2

Not Applicable

Dnsperf.dll

5.2.3790.4460

26,624

04-Nov-2011

07:03

IA-64

SP2

Not Applicable

Dnsperf.h

Not Applicable

6,642

04-Nov-2011

07:03

Not Applicable

SP2

Not Applicable

Dnsperf.ini

Not Applicable

11,597

04-Nov-2011

07:03

Not Applicable

SP2

Not Applicable

Mswsock.dll

5.2.3790.4318

789,504

04-Nov-2011

07:03

IA-64

SP2

Not Applicable

Tcpip.sys

5.2.3790.4573

1,336,320

04-Nov-2011

07:03

IA-64

SP2

Not Applicable

Tcpip6.sys

5.2.3790.4662

802,688

04-Nov-2011

07:03

Not Applicable

SP2

Not Applicable

W03a3409.dll

5.2.3790.4715

43,520

04-Nov-2011

07:03

IA-64

SP2

Not Applicable

Wdnsperf.dll

5.2.3790.4460

11,776

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x86

SP2

WOW

Wmswsock.dll

5.2.3790.4318

234,496

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x86

SP2

WOW

Ww03a3409.dll

5.2.3790.4715

44,544

04-Nov-2011

07:03

x86

SP2

WOW

Windows Server 2008 R2 file information notes

Important Windows 7 hotfixes and Windows Server 2008 R2 hotfixes are included in the same packages. However, hotfixes on the Hotfix Request page are listed under both operating systems. To request the hotfix package that applies to one or both operating systems, select the hotfix that is listed under "Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2" on the page. Always refer to the "Applies To" section in articles to determine the actual operating system to which that each hotfix applies.

  • The files that apply to a specific product, milestone (RTM, SPn), and service branch (LDR, GDR) can be identified by examining the file version numbers as shown in the following table:

    Version

    Product

    Milestone

    Service branch

    6.1.760
    0.20xxx

    Windows Server 2008 R2

    RTM

    LDR

    6.1.760
    1.21xxx

    Windows Server 2008 R2

    SP1

    LDR

  • The MANIFEST files (.manifest) that are installed for each environment are listed separately in the "Additional file information for Windows Server 2008 R2" section. MANIFEST files and the associated security catalog (.cat) files, are very important to maintaining the state of the updated components. The security catalog files, for which the attributes are not listed, are signed with a Microsoft digital signature.

For all supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

Cache.dns

Not applicable

3,198

10-Jun-2009

20:31

Not applicable

Dns.exe

6.1.7600.20969

696,832

19-May-2011

05:54

x64

Dnsserver.events.xml

Not applicable

609

10-Jun-2009

20:31

Not applicable

Cache.dns

Not applicable

3,198

05-Nov-2010

01:52

Not applicable

Dns.exe

6.1.7601.21730

697,344

19-May-2011

05:49

x64

Dnsserver.events.xml

Not applicable

609

05-Nov-2010

01:52

Not applicable

Workaround

To work around the issue, change the value of Security updates to None or to Nonsecure and secure in the DNS server zones.

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More Information

Administrators should install this fix on Windows Server 2003-based or Windows Server 2008 R2-based DNS servers that host Active Directory (AD)-integrated copies of primary zones that receive client updates. Give priority to installing this fix on Windows Server 2003-based and Windows Server 2008 R2-based DNS servers that host AD-integrated primary zones updated by clients over DNS servers whose zones are not updated by clients.

Windows Server 2003-based and Windows Server 2008 R2-based DNS servers that host the RODC role, that host AD-integrated primary zone that has aging enabled, or that host file-based copies of DNS zones are not subjected to this bug and do not require or benefit from this fix because they never adopt the at-risk configuration. 

Installing this hotfix on the relevant servers prevents additional NTDS.DIT growth caused by an accumulation of deleted DNS records on record re-registration. Microsoft recommends that you wait for Active Directory to gracefully purge records as part of the garbage collection process as opposed to reducing the tombstone lifetime setting to accelerate the garbage collection of tombstoned DNS objects.

For more information about the repadmin showchanges command, go tothe following Microsoft website:

General information about the repadmin subcommandFor more information about DNS tombstone issues, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 952087: Customized permissions that are applied to DNS records are reset to the default value when these records are deleted and tombstoned on a Windows Server 2003-based DNS server

For more information about the tombstone lifetime for the forest, go tothe following Microsoft website:

Determine the tombstone lifetime for the forestFor more information about software update terminology, 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

Additional file information

Additional file information for Windows Server 2008 R2

Additional files for all supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2

File name

Amd64_065d593d9101b797f01c2ac02576fe8e_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21730_none_6394a86100881bf7.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

710

Date (UTC)

19-May-2011

Time (UTC)

20:55

Platform

Not applicable

File name

Amd64_7013e66b791e7749ad22c529a3fdca2d_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.20969_none_2104ff898fe07770.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

710

Date (UTC)

19-May-2011

Time (UTC)

20:55

Platform

Not applicable

File name

Amd64_microsoft-windows-dns-server-service_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.20969_none_aa9e1e66094f5eb9.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

158,131

Date (UTC)

19-May-2011

Time (UTC)

18:38

Platform

Not applicable

File name

Amd64_microsoft-windows-dns-server-service_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21730_none_ac9be896066592c3.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

158,131

Date (UTC)

19-May-2011

Time (UTC)

19:12

Platform

Not applicable

File name

Update.mum

File version

Not applicable

File size

2,371

Date (UTC)

19-May-2011

Time (UTC)

20:55

Platform

Not applicable

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