If you, like me, have found your server’s DNS service unreliable or unresponsive after upgrading to Lion, you may need to clear out the files and start fresh. Unfortunately, Server Admin doesn’t provide an easy way to do so, but it’s actually quite easy.
I recommend doing this via a keyboard and mouse connected directly to the server if at all possible, as stopping the DNS service could make a remote connection become unreliable.
Please also note that this procedure will remove all of your forward and reverse zones, and you will need to manually reenter them. If you have a lot of zones and records, I recommend taking notes or screenshots.
Step 1: Stop the DNS service. This is done in Server Admin
Step 2: Navigate to /var/named
Step 3: Delete the files for each forward zone, named similar to db.example.com
Step 4: Delete the files for each reverse zone, named similar to db.0.0.10.in-addr.arpa
NOTE: DO NOT delete the localhost.zone, named.ca or named.local files from /var/named
Step 5: Delete /etc/named.conf
Step 6: Reboot for good measure
Step 7: Place a default copy of named.conf in /etc/ (available here).
Step 8: Repair permissions on named.conf. This can be done by running a permissions repair using Disk Utility, or if you prefer a more surgical approach, by issuing the following commands in terminal:
sudo chown root:wheel /etc/named.conf
sudo chmod 755 /etc/named.conf
Step 9: Open Server Admin, and reconfigure DNS, and start the DNS service.