sometimes i think it's relevant to follow your own advice. of course, some lessons aren't learned by sedulous effort. often times, it requires moments of sheer languor. rtfm, rtfm, rtfm i tell myself! if you want to add conditional forwarders through command line, use this: dnscmd [servername] /zoneadd [zonename.com] /forwarder [primary ip address] [secondary ip address] the /forwarder statement is actually expressing what zone type you want (e.g. primary, secondary, etc). using /forwarder tells dnscmd that you're interested in adding conditional forwarders. this stuff rocks. by the way, this is only available on 2003 or later. here's the tfm if you're looking for all the details.