DFS / FRS replication problem with domain-based DFS root targets on single file server

Hi xperts,

I have been battling with this problem for some time now and I have finally reached the end of the road !

We have a server (Windows 2003 R2 SP1) running DFS.  This server hosts a single domain-based DFS namespace with 4 target folders.  Of course it was replicating with other DFS servers in our domain orginally but we had replication issues and had to remove the referral partners - so DFS runs only on this one box at the moment.  

We have been having issues with this server and we need to do some maintenance work on the box and this will involve some downtime / outage.  The problem is that this is a production file and print server so we need to somehow migrate the DFS namespace (or at least the target folders) to a different server "on the fly" whilst the users are still accessing the data.

 What we tried to do was create new target folders for each target folder to a different server (which works ok) then enable replication between the original server and the new target folders on the other server.  Sound ok ?  We thought this would work but the problem is that every time we create the replication group we get this error in the event log:

The DFS Replication service failed to initialize replicated folder F:\Apps because the service detected that one of its private folders overlaps with an existing File Replication service (FRS) replica set. This is an unsupported configuration.
Additional Information:
Overlapped Folder: \\.\F:\Apps
Replicated Folder: F:\Apps
Replicated Folder Name: Apps
Replicated Folder ID: 9200543E-8F2C-4F9D-B942-7A499E6D2823
Replication Group Name: ion.corporg.net\users\apps
Replication Group ID: B83FB4B8-D6FC-487C-9463-1BEB8E6ADEFB
Member ID: CFD983A2-D729-4040-9035-CAF44D8E9E67
FRS Folder Name:F:\Apps
FRS AD Subscriber Object ID: 9A6DA1B2-2FBE-4578-9CE8-CD958C485C1B
FRS AD Subscriber Object DN: CN=Users|Apps\0ACNF:9a6da1b2-2fbe-4578-9ce8-cd958c485c1b,CN=Users,CN=fc9a67e5-af6b-4e20-baeb-c60b55e2d7f3,CN=DFS Volumes,CN=NTFRS Subscriptions,CN=NGSRVWOKN002,OU=File/Print,OU=Servers,OU=ION,DC=ion,DC=corporg,DC=net

For more information, see Help and Support Center at

Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Sounds to me like you've got something configured in FRS still which is upsetting the DFS replication - R2 introduced DFS replication which is far better than FRS (it does bit level replication), but FRS is still there for AD replication. Its quite easy if you use the old msc plugin rather than the new DFS Management console to setup an old style FRS replication schema - is it possible this is what you did before? If so it should be easy enough to remove it and create a new DFS replication set.
richardstuartpowellAuthor Commented:
Hi Keyguard

I'm not sure what it is that you are suggesting here - are you referring to the File Replication Service snap-in ?  I have used this before but there is no way to view existing FRS replica sets (or replication at all for that matter) with this tool is there ?!

At the moment I am focusing on trying to remove the original / old FRS replica set from the AD (I think I've found it) - what do you think of this suggestion ?

Am I correct in stating that it's just that FRS still thinks it is replicating this folder (but it isn't) so it won't "release" it for DFS replication ?

I had to do a bit of experimenting to remind myself what I was on about, I just remember getting confused by this in the past. If you go to Admin tools - Distributed File System you can see your DFS targets, right-click on one and "Show replication information", then in the right-hand pane you should get a "File Replication" column. If that says "Enabled" then FRS is definitely replicating it, you can right-click and disable replication but I'm not sure if that will be enough. Should that not do it then I think your best bet would be to remove the the targets and namespace then recreate it from scratch in the new "DFS Management" console, which is much easier to use all round. Either way you need to make sure you configure your replication in "DFS Management" not "Distributed File System".

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
richardstuartpowellAuthor Commented:
Hi Keyguard

Thanks for this - you are absolutely correct !
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2003

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.