Activate unregistered site

I have both a corporate account, and a private account that I would like to use for testing zone changes. I copy the zone from the corp account to my private account, (same name), and it is placed on a different pair of servers as expected, however, I cannot query these servers by address, because the registrar shows the zone on the corp servers. How do I force activation of the zone on the host servers, or is there a pair of servers meant for this type of testing? Thanks!!

What TLD is it? Typically it should be enough to change the nameserver. If it is a European registry you might need to contact support.

I cant change the NS recs on the registrar, as that would just put the new zone data into play. Im looking to keep the original zone active on the corp account, but test the same (modified) zone on a different nameserver

That is not possible. A domain can only be active on one account. You could briefly switch, in which case the domain should remain active on the original account, but you should switch back soon as it would be deactivated otherwise.

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A domain can only be active on one account because cloudflare checks the registrar to see what nameservers are currently assigned to it. The duplicate zone is on different nameservers, so if they were active, I could query them direccly by name or IP. The purpose is to test for correct responses, and after validation, switch the nameservers on the registrar.

I am not quite sure what you are asking. Can you provide examples of what is not working? And what is the domain?

Account1 = corp
Account2 = private
Account1.zone = myzone.com (hosted on seth,zoe)
copy myzone.com to local storage, and modify it.
send modified myzone.com to Account2.myzone.com (hosted on grace,nash)
dig @seth should return answer from Account1.myzone.com
dig @grace should return different answer from Account2.myzone.com

You’d need to post the actual domain.

But again, you won’t be able to have the domain on different nameservers/accounts.

Right, because CF checks the registrar and only activates the zone on the whois response.

The domain is only active for the account with the right nameservers.

Test in the corp account. You aren’t doing anything valuable by testing in your personal account prior to changing the nameservers.