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Using and mapping to \\domain.local to sustain connection to data even if DC goes down

Hello!

We have two DC's (DC1 & DC2) running Windows 2003.

Upon login to a workstation (running either XP or Vista) the login script uses several tools which are stored in a shared folder on DC1. If DC1, however, is off-line the login script cannot use these tools and various functions fail. I am going to improve the code within the login script to handle the situation better but wondered if I could use the following method.

Rather than access files from DC1 by using "\\DC1\System" is there any problem using "\\domain.local\System"?

I thinking that by using the domain path which ever DC is 'online' will handle the request?

When browsing to \\domain.local I see two folders 'Netlogon' and 'Sysvol'. I'd assume I could add an additional folder but where would I store it and then share it? And how would I set the replication to the other DC?

I'm effectively trying to keep data in sync between the DC's and avaliable to workstations should either DC go offline.

And lastly....I used to map the R: drive to \\DC1\System but I've changed this to map R: to \\domain.local\netlogon. Has anyone done this?

Sorry for all the questions :) Thanks!
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Boyderama
Asked:
Boyderama
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3 Solutions
 
TheCapedPlodderCommented:
Create a sub-folder under the Netlogon share (which is actually \sysvol\domain.local\scripts) to contain your tools.  Active Directory already this location and will keep your the folder in sync for you.

Then you can map to \\domain.local\netlogon\subfolder with no issues, and we do this all the time so it does work.

Cheers,

Plod
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TheCapedPlodderCommented:
Sorry that should say:

Active Directory already relpicates this location and will keep your the folder in sync for you.
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TheCapedPlodderCommented:
Haha typo-tastic afternoon!

That should have said:

Active Directory already relpicates this location and will keep the folder in sync for you.
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BoyderamaAuthor Commented:
Thank you for such a rapid response. I understood you but thanks for correcting yourself...twice lol.

I've done as you've said and mapping works a treat. I'll start altering my login script code to use this path as it will ensure to keep on working even if one DC fails.

Being inquisitive I took a look at where that folder is stored on the DC's and also saw the following folders:

domain
staging
staging areas
sysvol <---- Shared as SYSVOL and contained within is a folder called 'Scripts' which is shared as 'NETLOGON'.

Where could I find more info as to what the additional folders are for?

Also, is there any way to create an additional folder within the \\domain.local share or is it hard coded to only show two shared system folders?
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DrDave242Commented:
This should give you some more info on what those folders are for:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324175

It sounds like you've got it working, but FYI, if your servers are running the R2 version of 2003, and especially if you've got a lot of them scattered across different sites, you may want to look into DFS Namespaces (DFS-N) and DFS Replication (DFS-R) for this sort of thing.  DFS-R is much more efficient than the old FRS, which is what is still used for SYSVOL replication (and has to be - don't try to use DFS-R to replicate SYSVOL).

An overview of the R2 DFS is here:
http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/f9b98a0f-c1ae-4a9f-9724-80c679596e6b1033.mspx?mfr=true
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
The NETLOGON and Sysvol folders are special folders which do automatically replicate between DC's, assuming hey are properly replicating but mapping is done to a physical machine. Perhaps what you should be looking at is DFS (Distributed File System) which allows you to create a virtual file structure which is replicated between multiple locations. One one is not available the other/s are.
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Windows2003-Distributed-File-System.html
For the record Server 2003 R2 version has improved the replication efficiency.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Sorry DrDave242, i didn't read all of your last post, and didn't mean to duplicate.
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BoyderamaAuthor Commented:
Thank you all very much. Have split the points as you all helped me out.
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