DFS-R Prestaging

I need to prestage a Branch Office server for file replication and I need to do this as soon as possible.  We currently have 50-60GB of data and the link between the two sites is slow.  I can have them send the server to me and I can connect it to the local network and prestage the data that way, but this will take the branch office server down for at least 4 or 5 days.  My question for today is, can I copy all the data to an external hard drive send the drive to the Branch office and have them connect it to the server?  At that point I can copy the data to the applicable direcotories and configure DFS-R.  Will this scenario work?  
tamarackcomputersAsked:
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NJComputerNetworksConnect With a Mentor Commented:
source: http://blogs.technet.com/matthewms/archive/2006/02/13/419436.aspx

Q: What is the best way to stage the setup Distributed File System (DFS) when you have new servers and already populated directories?
A: Probably the best way to reduce replication traffic needed for initial replication of new data, you can pre-stage the branch servers by using a restored backup. DFS Replication can use RDC and cross-file RDC to reduce the bandwidth required to replicate any new files or portions of changed files.

Also there is a great white paper here: http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/Library/1aa249c0-40f3-4974-b67f-e650b602415e1033.mspx 

The following table describes how pre-staged files are handled during initial replication.

File on Primary Member
 File on Non-Primary Member
 Result
 
File A.doc is identical to File A.doc on the non-primary member.
 File A.doc is identical to File A.doc on the primary member.
 The file is not replicated to the non-primary member. Minimal metadata is replicated, however, to update the DFS Replication database on the non-primary member.
 
File B.doc is more up-to-date than the version of File B.doc on the non-primary member.
 File B.doc is outdated compared to the version of File B.doc on the primary member.
 The primary member's version of File B.doc is considered authoritative. The version of File B.doc on the non-primary member is moved to the Conflict and Deleted folder. File B.doc from the primary member is replicated to the non-primary member. RDC and cross-file RDC can be used to replicate portions of the file to the non-primary member.
 
File C.doc does not exist on the primary member.
 File C.doc exists on the non-primary member.
 File C.doc on the non-primary member will be moved to the member's Preexisting folder at the end of initial replication.
 
File D.doc is outdated compared to the version of File D.doc on the non-primary member.
 File D.doc is more up-to-date than the version of File D.doc on the primary member.
 The primary member's version of File D.doc is considered authoritative. The version of File D.doc on the non-primary member is moved to the Conflict and Deleted folder. File D.doc from the primary member is replicated to the non-primary member. RDC and cross-file RDC can be used to replicate portions of the file to the non-primary member.
 
File E.doc does not exist on the primary member.
 File E.doc is created on the non-primary member while initial replication is taking place.
 File E.doc is replicated to the primary member after initial replication completes.
 
File G.doc is identical to File G.doc on the non-primary member.
 File G.doc is deleted on the non-primary member while initial replication is taking place.
 If File G.doc from the primary has not replicated to the non-primary member before the delete occurs, the delete does not replicate.

Otherwise, the delete replicates because the delete occurs on the primary member's version.
 


 

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NJComputerNetworksCommented:
yes...

but you need to do a few steps more:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/266679/?sd=RMVP&fr=1
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tamarackcomputersAuthor Commented:
Your link to MS site refers to the Windows 2003 DFS and FRS.  We are using the Windows 2003 R2 DFS-R and I haven't been able to find anything on the different ways for prestaging data on the BO.
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