SYSVOL Migration to DFSR

Venkat SureshArchitect
A Step-by-Step process to migrate your domain SYSVOL from File Replication Service (FRS) to Distributed File System Replication (DFSR).

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, 2008R2 and 2012

If your domain have only Server 2008 and above as Domain Controllers (DC) and never had server 2003 as DC then this article is not for you. If not this article is for you. Continue..

After demoting and performing Metadata Cleanup for last Server 2003 in the domain, it is time to minimize Active Directory Monitoring with regards to SYSVOL. As stated in the SYSVOL Replication Migration Guide (link below), and to get rid of Journal_Wrap errors, "to improve the performance, scalability and reliability of SYSVOL replication, use DFS Replication (DFS-R) to replicate the SYSVOL folder, which stores Group Policy objects and logon scripts." DFSR Migration requires minimum Domain Functional Level is Server 2008.


1. Check Active Directory health using DCDiag and Repadmin and make sure there are not errors.
2. Use Windows Server Backup and take SystemState on the Primary Domain Controller.
3. Take SYSVOL backup and check for SYSVOL related errors on all the DCs in FRS eventviewer.
4. Use net share from elevated command prompt on all DCs to check Netlogon and SYSVOL share status.
5. Change Domain Functional to Server 2008 atleast (User domain.msc in 2008 and ADAC in 2012).
6. Make sure DFS Replication service is up and running in Automatic state on all  Domain Controllers.
7. Make sure all the changes are applied on all Domain Controllers.

Required Tools:

DFSRMIG.EXE (Tool for SYSVOL migration to DFSR)
Repadmin (To check and update replication status of the domain)
DFSRDIAG (To perform diagnostic tests of DFS Replication)
CMD (run as Administrator)

Migration Process Levels:

State 1:      Prepared (GlobalState 1)
State 2:      Redirected (GlobalState 2)
State 3:      Eliminated (GlobalState 3)

There are 3 States to migrate SYSVOL to SYSVOL_DFSR. They are:
State 1:      Prepared,
State 2:      Redirected,
State 3:      Eliminated.

Every state has a reason to perform. You can directly perform State 3: Eliminated but you cannot rolling back migration in case things are not working as expected. So lets go with the process as Microsoft suggested.

Note: Take time to perform one command after the other depend upon SYSVOL size.

C:\>dfsrmig /setglobalstate 1

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After you hit Enter button, DFSR global state will change from "Start" to "Prepared" and DFSR Service will copy the content of SYSVOL to SYSVOL_DFSR (C:\Windows\Sysvol\Sysvol to C:\Windows\SYSVOL_DFSR\Sysvol)
C:\> repadmin /syncall /AdeP

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After you hit Enter button, this command will force Active Directory replication on the domain controllers.
C:\> dfsrdiag pollad

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After you hit Enter button, this command wil force DFS Replication service to poll Active Directory.
C:\> dfsrdiag /getmigrationstate

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After you hit Enter button, this command will tell you current state of migration state. Now at this stage you'll see SYSVOl and SYSVOL_DFSR folders in C:\Windows path.
C:\> dfsrmig /setglobalstate 2
                      C:\> repadmin /syncall /force
                      C:\> dfsrdiag pollad
                      C:\> dfsrdiag /getmigrationstate
                      C:\> Net Share
                      C:\> dfsrmig /setglobalstate 3
                      C:\> repadmin /syncall /force
                      C:\> dfsrdiag pollad
                      C:\> dfsrdiag /getmigrationstate

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At this point SYSVOL folder will disappear and only SYSVOL_DFSR will be found in C:\Windows.

If process is completed sucessfully File Replication Service will be Disabled automatically.


SYSVOL Replication Migration Guide: FRS to DFS Replication

SYSVOL migration from FRS to DFSR - Whitepaper Released

Verifying File Replication during the Windows Server 2008 DFSR SYSVOL Migration

DFSR SYSVOL Migration FAQ: Useful trivia that may save your follicles

Introduction to Administering DFS-Replicated SYSVOL

NOTE: Please test this process in test environment before you apply it on production server.

Comments (1)

Venkat SureshArchitect


Hi Experts

I found this link very useful whoever is working on SYSVOL Migration to DFSR. Check this out..

DFSR SYSVOL Migration FAQ: Useful trivia that may save your follicles

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