WMI (Win32_DfsTarget) not returning instances remotely

This one is a little strange, and not sure if this is the right forum.  We have two main 2008 R2 DFS namespace servers that also host a number of links / targets to various shares.  One of them currently has all namespaces and links disabled.
No matter what script or WMI utility I use to browse the instances of Win32_DfsTarget remotely on the disabled server, I get no results.  However, if I run any of those scripts or utilities locally on the same server all of the instances show up.  Running the same against the enabled server, returns all of the instances locally or remotely.
All other WMI classes seem to respond fine from that server, it seems specific to Win32_DfsTarget.  The end goal is to enumerate the targets on either server remotely, but this is obviously a snag in that plan.  It won't be much use if we don't get the disabled links.  Has anyone seen this before, or have any suggestiosn on why this class does not appear to work remotely when the targets are actually in a disabled state?
Extra bonus points if somone can point me in the right direction for a WMI method or COM object that would let me enable/disable DFS links or namespace server via script.  Thus far I think I'm stuck wrapping a script around DFSUtil to accomplish anything like that.

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jillmarkhamAuthor Commented:
Update on the issue...
  • Setup to brand new 2008 R2 virtual servers
  • Created brand new Namespaces and Links on both servers
  • Left everything enabled on both sides
Same results as the production servers where one side is disabled currently. I get different results from each server running any WMI utility against Win32_DfsTarget remotely. If I run the same utility locally on each server, I get all instances as expected.

Anyone have any thoughts? I'm not even sure if this is a 2008 R2 issue, it could just be something with this class. I unfortunately don't have any other server version to test, but I may build something if I can't sort this out.

Jim P.Commented:
This is a dumb thought, but in Win 2003 you could suppposedly disable NETBIOS/WINS but a lot of things still depend on it. Could this be an issue?
jillmarkhamAuthor Commented:
Not a bad idea, as the Computer Browser Service is disabled by default in 2008.  I tested again this morning on both of my temporary VM servers, and oddly enough I am getting different results this morning.  Not expected results, but different...

Yesterday some of the targets were displayed on each of the two servers, event though they are both hosting the same things.  This morning, one server displays everything and the other returns no instances remotely.  These results are similar to what I get in production, but there all of the links are disabled on the one server.

I did take your suggestion and enable / start the Computer Browser Service on the one showing no results, but unfortunately it didn't change anything.  I'll give it some time to let the service catch up and try again later.  Otherwise than that NETBIOS/WINS is enabled on the server.
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Jim P.Commented:
Could it be an issue with the dsquery?

If you use the DSQuery functions do get any return?
jillmarkhamAuthor Commented:
I'm not sure I follow...  do the DFS classes in WMI use dsquery to get or populate the data?  Running dsquery commands does work fine and return data, even if I look at DFS-configuration and DFSR-GlobalSettings.

The issue is that WMI from the DFS server will not return the correct number of instances for DFS targets when connecting to WMI remotely.   However, if you connect to WMI locally on that samw server with the same credentials, you get all of the instances back from the WMI query.  All other WMI classes appear to work correctly either locally or remotely.

I have had one other person confirm they get the same results on a 2003 server, and I will be building a 2003 R2 server here shortly.  Could anyone else test pulling instances from Win32_DfsTarget on a few DFS servers remotely, to see if this is just something inherent in the DFS WMI classes?  I've gone so far as to open up DCOM permissions completely on the server, and I guess I should mention that the Windows firewall is disabled on these boxes too.
jillmarkhamAuthor Commented:
Getting the exact same results on 2 newly built 2003 R2 servers with the same WMI class.  I've had someone at another company check their results on 2003 servers, and they get the same thing.  Anyone have any thoughts on why the DFS WMI classes behave so strangely when connecting to WMI remotely?  It's almost like it does a DFS referral for WMI...   however locally on the server you always get all of the information.

Anyone have thoughts or suggestions?  Anyone able to test and confirm on their servers if the results are the same?
jillmarkhamAuthor Commented:
Ok, for anyone actually keeping score (and if anyone cares) this appears to be some sort of bizzare OS client/server quirk.  

The WMI classes work remotely if you are coming from a Vista client or higher, but here is another fun part of the catch...  ONLY if you are going to a 2003 (or R2) server.  Connecting upwards to 2008 R2 still fails.  I haven't been able to check to a straight 2008, as I don't have one.  It also works going from 2003 R2 to 2003 R2.  Running from an XP workstation gets mixed results no matter what server OS you are connecting to.

Anyone have any clues if there is a way to make this WMI class compatible on other systems?  Pretty much makes the class useless unless you are running the right combination of server/client OS.
Jim P.Commented:
When you run from the workstation what user ID is being used? The System/Network Service id or running as MyDomain\Admin type user?
jillmarkhamAuthor Commented:
I've tried various accounts on both sides, but always keep the same ID on server and client when testing.  Majority of my tests are Domain\User.   All the way from lowly Domain User to Enterprise Admin accounts.
jillmarkhamAuthor Commented:
Bueller?   ...anyone?
jillmarkhamAuthor Commented:
I should make mention that MSDN does list minimum server/client requirements of Vista and Server 2003.


However, it appears that 2003 R2 is also the maximum supported server level, or Vista is the maximum supported client.  This doesn't work from Windows 7 to 2008 R2 either.  Not to mention from 2008 R2 to 2008 R2.  At least from any testing I've been able to do here with various servers/clients.

I don't understand why there is such a small window of supported server/client for this WMI class.  I guess at this point, we just need to drop any effort of making use of it.  A little sad that is the case, as it would be nice to actually create some monitoring for DFS and DFSR for those of us that don't have SCOM.

Thankfully there is a seperate WMI namespace for DFSR, but it's upsetting we can't get consistent results from Win32_DfsTarget.

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Windows Server 2008

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