DFS-R - Delete members/groups then re-add them

Posted on 2012-08-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-01-25
Good afternoon, I was using DFS-R to replicate a volume between two SANs. Last Friday, both of the SANs had three Hard Drives fail, breaking the Array and making the array unrecoverable. I received new hard drives and restored one array, and am about to restore the other.

How do I go about setting up the replication again?

Can I delete the members and groups and then re-add them?
Question by:Rex-Prince
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Expert Comment

by:Todd Gerbert
ID: 38331322
The servers and folders aren't still setup in DFS Management?
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Assisted Solution

by:Todd Gerbert
Todd Gerbert earned 750 total points
ID: 38331334
That is, I've never encountered this particular situation, but I would expect that once the arrays were re-built and the volumes accessible again, that DFS-R would simply resume replicating as it had prior to the failures.

If they're no longer setup in DFS Management, then they'll need to be re-setup using the same steps you initially used; failing that, you can delete and re-add them (which I have done), though without being familiar with the details of your environment I can't really recommend that as a first course of action.

Author Comment

ID: 38331363
I restored all of the data to Array1's volume. I just brought up Array2, so it is empty right now. I just checked DFS Management and the Members and Groups are still there, just disabled. Actually, this is setup for a namespace, but we were not using the namespace.

Is it possible to just blow this away and start fresh?
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Author Comment

ID: 38331368
I was trying to research this and found this guy's article, so I got a little worried:

LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Todd Gerbert
ID: 38331412
Yes, some caution is warranted - and you should always make sure you have a good backup. But, since your members are "Disabled," not deleted, you should be able to re-enable them (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/961655). In addition to backing up, I might consider manually copying the data to Array2.

Accepted Solution

megs28 earned 750 total points
ID: 38406952
I just realized this question is old the original poster doesn't need the info anymore...but I will post my answer anyways:

Since you have 2 replication targets and Array 2 is completely empty I would blow the DFSR replica and start over by doing the following:

1 - Disable folder target redirection to the empty share on Array2 (this is in the namespace, NOT the replica.  DFS-N and DFS-R are two very different things.  You don't need to recreate the namespace)
2 - Delete the replication group.  MAKE SURE AD replicates these changes!
3 - Delete the hidden DFSRPrivate folder from Array 1 and array 2 (although nothing should be there).  Very important that you do this...
4 (optional) - Preseed array 2 (see notes below)
5 - Recreate the replication group & sit back and wait.  It will create a new DFSR database so no concerns that you have invalid entires.  It will also ask you which server should be the "primary".
6 - Once initial sync is completed, enable the folder target for the namespace again.

***I recommend steps 1 and 6 so your users don't ask why there is data missing. Just remember your clients need to have their cache refreshed before these changes appear to them.***

If you had array 3 this process would not be optimal.  However, since you just have 2 this would be the safest way to do it.  You are basically setting up a brand new DFS replica group.  Keep an eye on your event logs, c:\windows\debug\DFSr......log logs, bandwidth/CPU/memory utilization.  When you're done, check the Conflicted & deleted and preexisitng fodlers in the DFSRprivate on each array.  They SHOULD be empty if you didn't preseed....

Preseed notes:
If you want to preseed use a backup program or robocopy.  Copy/Paste DOES NOT keep the necessary values in the file system, and everything will be replaced during the initial sync, thus making it a complete waste of your time  :)  I've used backup exec to successful preseed.  MS doesn't recommend, but it works fine for me.  The backup data to restore should be from the first array's backup, not the second array's.

With regards to disabling your replica members per 961655, that seems rather unrelated as you did not delete the replica members.  REMEMBER - DFSR syncs file deletions!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38819243
Both answers have good info regarding this situation. I did end up starting fromn scratch with Array1 DFS-R to Array2, with no preseeding. Took a week for the initial replication to finish, but it did fine.

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