Problem Mapping Drives to DFS shares over VPN

Posted on 2005-04-25
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
I have seem be having a problem with accessing network services via a VPN connection to my Win2k3 network.

When my users (using WinXP Pro SP2) make a VPN connection to the network they have problems mapping drives to the DFS folders.
For Example, if they map a to the DFS root (\\Domain\DFSRoot) they cannot connect. But if they map the drive to the full path (\\Server\Share) it works fine.

I have tried tracking down the problem:
1.     Ensure Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP  -  OK
2.     Ensure “Enable LMHOSTS Lookup” is checked and LMHOST is correct   -  OK
3.     Ping PDC and BDC with NetBios Name  -  OK
4.     Ping other servers not listed in LMHOST with NetBIOS Name  -  OK

5.     netdiag.exe, however every time I ran it the problem disappeared till the next logon…
6.     dfsutil.exe, this seems to point out that the computer has not synchronised with the network, so if I wait for about 5 to 10 min after connection via the VPN and then try and map the drive everything works…

Can anyone help me? Is there a way to force the sync to happen earlier? Or with the command line?


Question by:Sindric1
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I'm not a guru here but had a problem with this myself.  Activating the slow link setting in Group Policy for my VPN users group fixed it for me.
    If its more that that I'm probably not your tech here.
    Best of luck


    Author Comment

    thanks for the link,

    i looked into it, but it seems to be automaticly applied in Win2k3 and WinXP.
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution


         Jill Zoeller [MSFT]
    Try restarting the Workstation service on the client to populate the list of
    domains that the client keeps cached. Normally the clients populate this
    cache every 15 minutes, which could explain the delay you are seeing.

    For more information about the client process behind this, see the DFS
    technical reference up on Go to the "How DFS Works"
    page and then search for "How Clients Update the Domain Cache."

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    "Bob Williamson" <Click here to reveal e-mail address> wrote in message
    news:Click here to reveal e-mail address...
    [Original message clipped]
    Not my work but it makes sense
    this one belongs to Jill at MSFT
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    If that works just write a batch with
    net stop workstation /y
    net start workstation /y
    net start browser /y

    then put it on the client's desktop and train them to use it after connected


    Author Comment

    I split the points 100 to the link “How DFS Works” because there is a lot of good info in there. I also found from it that you can add a registry entry DfsDcNameDelay to change the time it checks for Domain Controllers with Root info. I also found that this was in Group Policy Admin Template Computer\Network\Sets How Often a DFS Client Discovers DC’s. The default minimum is 15 minutes, I managed to change it to 1. While this can make a difference it will also increase the demand on the connection and overall network traffic.

    So I gave the other 400 points to the stop and start of services. It work for the most part, but you have to make sure you grant the user the right privileges to do so. I used Group Policy Computer\Windows Settings\System Services and granted the local users the ability to start, stop and pause the specified services.

    Thanks for your help.


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