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By default, Windows will only use the secondary DNS address if the primary DNS address times out. Does anyone know of a way to get it to use the secondary DNS address if it gets a non-existent domain message from the primary DNS address?

The background is as follows: I'm working with a satellite office that uses DNS to access several of their servers. The local office's DNS server doesn't have these records so it returns NXDOMAIN. However, there are some records that both local and satellite DNSs have, and I need those to resolve to the local office. My current solution is to use netsh.exe as in this thread: Switching between DNS addresses easily but it would be really convenient if Windows could do this automatically.

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It is better to use DNS the way it was designed for.

An NXDOMAIN response is an authoritative answer, so it would be pointless to ask the same question again.

Move the servers into a different, more administratively appropriate, DNS domain and all will be well.

e.g. from to Make sure thses zones are properly delegated by

DNS domain organisation is not geographical, it is administrative. Normally the two coincide but if not, it is a mistake to follow geographic boundaries rather than administrative ones.

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You make a valid point - I'm really not using DNS the way it's meant to be used. They really are two separate administrative areas - as far as most users of this network are concerned, each DNS server is returning the correct answer. I'm just trying to put in a hack on my own PC to make my life easier, since I've been working with both areas. – John Walthour Aug 1 '12 at 21:13

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