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Does Anyone know DFS? I really need some help trying to figure this out.

Posted on 2006-07-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-07

I have 2 servers connected thru a Dedicated line between 2 locations.
Both are setup as DC's

Named as this:

Server - Main Server running SQL, Exchange, Web Sites
Server2 - 2nd location just a plain server.

I have Sonar installed on both servers.

On server when I run the software it connects to Server, but Fails on Server2
On Server2 when I run the software it connects to Server and Server2 just fine.

The error it says on Server about connecting to Server2 is:

[server2] Failed
SCM:  The RPC server is unavailable.

RPC is running on both Servers and set to Automatic.
I need help trying to find out what's wrong.
Both Servers on AD, but have DNS.

If you need anymore information please let me know.

Question by:ITRick
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 17066120
What are you trying to do?  Has it ever worked?

I'll assume a few things from your description... Your AD is replicating changes both ways just fine.  However, you are trying to replicate data between the two servers using FRS and it works only one way.

I've had this problem before and was forced to upgrade to Windows Server 2003 R2 and implement DFSR on my replicated folders which by the way has been extremely reliable and stable.

Before I implemented DFSR however, FRS was giving me many headaches.  I just concluded (as Microsoft did too) this technology was broken and in need of a refresh.  It would inexplicably stop and sometimes, restarting the FRS service would fix it for a bit and then fail again.  Finally, it failed and never came back at which point I gave up and installed R2 and DFSR.  Problem solved.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 17066492
Deactivate Sonar.  Your router firewalls should be adequate for this task. You do not need a software firewall as well, or windows firewall, unless you want to filter peoples logins between the 2 DCs.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 17066669
I didn't see firewalls mentioned in the original post and I am not sure that deactivating Sonar would gain us anything since it's supposed to just monitor Dfs/FRS... ITRick, has Sonar given you any clues besides the RPC error and has it helped at all?  You might also try repadmin.exe.
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Author Comment

ID: 17066792
Can I upgrade to Windows 2003 R2 without any troubles?  Or will it wipe out everything?
I read somewhere you can upgrade the AD then just install disc 2? or is it better to just do a upgrade on both servers?

No other errors, but I do think it might be a DNS error. The server2 doesn't have DNS running on it because I think it started giving me errors for some reason. SVHOST error.

LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 17066870
If these are 2000 DCs, you need to PREP them before upgrading to 2003, otherwise all the DC functions will still point to the old server, and it wont work.

However, seeing you are having problems, I would do a clean install, just to get everything working right.  If there are DNS problems or software problems, they will likely inherit to the new setup.  Remember, windows forget what it should remember, and remembers what it should forget.

See here for the upgrade if that is what you want to do --

LVL 10

Accepted Solution

plemieux72 earned 1000 total points
ID: 17067567
<<If there are DNS problems or software problems, they will likely inherit to the new setup.>>   very true!

I wouldn't upgrade anything until DNS is fully working and no errors are occuring.  You may want to read up on DNS and fully understand it before doing anything else.  The best text I ever read and what allowed me to deploy DNS and AD with no errors in multiple occasions is chapter 7 of Mark Minasi's Mastering Windows Server 2003 book.  Before reading this chapter, I thought I understood DNS but I really didn't!  That chapter is mandatory reading for ANY IT person working with Windows as far as I am concerned.

Anyway, besides that, check your even logs and google the specific errors and event IDs.  It may give you clues as to what's wrong.  I wish I could tell you exactly but there is too many things that could go wrong and SVCHOST is very generic...

One more thing, if you are just wanting to do Dfs with no replication, R2 is not really necessary since Dfs works just fine in Windows 2000 and 2003.  If you want replication to work, then you will have to get R2 and DFSR or some other 3rd party replication software like Double-Take or EMC Replistor...

Author Comment

ID: 17067694
scrathcyboy ,

I would do a clean install, but I would have a mess on my hands!  The main server runs:

Exchange Server
Web Sites

Most are easy to backup, BUT exchange is a NIGHTMARE to backup and restore without any problems. And saving users is a mess too... I've tried this before and it never worked right.

Both Servers are Windows 2003 Ent. Servers.
The problem I'm having is the second server I installed I connected to the Domain and it never installed DNS on it and when I tried to install it I got SVHOST errors and from what I've figured out in the event log is both server were fighting to be the DC Master.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 17068817
"what I've figured out in the event log is both server were fighting to be the DC Master."

This is absolutely CLASSIC for MS, they do this kind of thing all the time.  And yes, with excahnge and SQL, I would not recommend a reinstall.

Why dont you look at the DNS setup.  I dont have the right server in front of me at the moment, but I will tell you how to do this on XP, see if you can find the server equivalent.  It is in the DC setup, not where I am going to point you --

Network properties, local area connection, properties, TCP/IP properties, DNS tab, and what do you see?

On the server you want to be subordinate, click add, and put in the IP number of the other DC server.  
You can also append the custom DNS suffixes there too, if you want to specify extrnal DNS addresses.  Then make sure you check both bottom boxes, or check one, then the other, until the one without DNS adopts the DNS settings from the other one, it sometimes takes a day to fully take if a large network.

Author Comment

ID: 17074164
I'm going to need help where to start...

Server has DNS
Server2 Has no DNS

Should I install DNS on Server2?  if so how should I set that up?

LVL 44

Assisted Solution

scrathcyboy earned 1000 total points
ID: 17074839
DNS needs to be on all windows servers -- see these step by step --


Those will get you started.

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