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DFSR Not Replicating 1 Sub-Folder

Posted on 2014-03-31
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Last Modified: 2014-04-09
This deserves an award for weird!  

We’re running Windows Server 2008 R2 on multiple virtual servers using DFSR to replicate folders.  And all is well except for one folder that’s not replicating.  This folder used to be a high level folder directly on the root of a drive but was later moved under another replicated folder.  I searched for issues such as this and found a very interesting article that applied to Windows Server 2003 that matched my problem (KB 948833).  However, I haven’t found anything that stipulates Server 2008 R2.

OK. So I decided to do a manual copy.  That’s when the fun started.  From the source server, I selected the source folder and then selected the destination server/directory and said copy.  To my surprise, the system came back and said it found existing folders there, do I wish to replace them.  I looked again at the destination folder and they didn’t show there, and there were no filters in place to hide them.  So I cancelled the copy operation and said, let me create the folder on the destination server.  Right clicking within the directory on the destination server, I said Create Folder, and gave it the name I desired.  To my surprise, it kept the name New Folder.  Thinking I had fat fingered it, I attempted to rename that folder once again to the desired name only to get the same result.

It appears that the destination system is aware of the folder that can’t be seen.  However, if I attempt to use Windows Explorer to pull up that folder, it can’t find it.   So, how can I “see” this folder, replicate it or remove it?  Are there some DFSRDIAG commands I can use to reveal what’s going on under the covers?  The Server Manager console interface doesn’t show any replication for the folder that was once a high level folder and the folder that now contains that subfolder is being replicated properly except for the desired subfolder.  And there are no errors present in the event viewer.  Any ideas?  How about an award for this weird one!!
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Question by:ejefferson213
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39966703
Can you check on source and destination server in compmgmt.msc\Shares that shared folder with same name is already exists there pointing to different folder on server?

OR

It might be remains in the DFS registry or shares registry for which you may be unaware of

Try workaround in below article
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/517d79cc-a245-47fe-b7c2-a8a253a9876b/adding-member-to-dfs-replication-group-error?forum=winserverfiles

Also check below article
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977511


Mahesh.
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Author Comment

by:ejefferson213
ID: 39966984
Thank you for your assistance.  I looked in the destination server's management console and there are no shares by that name.  Also, there are no hidden replication or namespaces by that name.  I looked in the registry and nothing there along with ADSIEdit and that folder/name doesn't appear under dfs-configuration.  Strange indeed!!
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39967178
Have you tried to create DFS replica in different drive ?

Can you please post exact error here please

Also download Tree size professional free version to find out any folder not showing through normal eyes

Mahesh.
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Author Comment

by:ejefferson213
ID: 39969914
As you suggested, I downloaded and execute Treesize but it didn't find the "hidden" folder on my destination server.  And as far as as error messages, the only error I get is when I try to do the copy and you get the traditional "folder already exists do you wish to replace" type of message.

I will try replicating it, as you suggested, to another drive.  I suspect that will work (because I just successfully created the folder) but unfortuanately it won't answer why this is happening.
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39970278
You know that folder is not there with destination, so if you allowed it to replace, what is happening ?

Mahesh.
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Author Comment

by:ejefferson213
ID: 39970318
The destination I desire (server 2), on the correct drive (drive 1) is the problem.  I cannot copy/replicate the folder (from server 1) to this location (server2/drive1). I can create a folder with the proper name on drive 2 of server 2.  However, I just realized a problem.  The folder I need replicating is a sub-folder to another folder being replicated.  And I don't believe that I can setup a replication for the sub-folder.
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39970386
Always setup replication between root folders only instead of setting up between sub folders that is already getting replicated

Since parent folder is already replicating on the destination, why you want to create additional replica for sub folders ?

This will generate unexpected results and conflicts

Just create one new root folder on source and destination server, move your data from sub folder to that root folder and then establish two way replication between two folders

Please take backup of all DFS replica folders before you do that

Mahesh.
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Author Comment

by:ejefferson213
ID: 39970408
Thanks for you follow-up.  I set this up by replicating root folders and it was working perfectly.  However, months into it, it was necessary for me to relocate one of the root folders (let's call it B) underneath another replicating folder (let's call it A).  Root folder A continues to replicate properly to this day but now sub-folder B is not replicating.  And this mirrors identically the problem I mentioned I found on MS website regarding an issue with Windows Server 2003 howerver this is 2008 R2.  If I simply try to copy it to the destination server manually, I can't even create the folder on the destination server.  However it I do a copy operation from the source server, it says the folder is already on the destination server which cannot be seen through Windows Explorer or the Treesize application mentioned earlier.
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39970436
If you want to relocate one root replicated folder in to another replica, you should 1st disable and remove replication on the replica that you wanted to move
Note that deleting replica from DFS will not delete actual Data on the server under replica, it will ask you about data deletion but according to me it never deletes data stored in replica

Then you need to simply copy \ cut paste data from replica root to sub folder in another DFS replica

The another DFS replica should \ will take care of DFS replication automatically

Mahesh
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Author Comment

by:ejefferson213
ID: 39970482
Thanks for that suggestion, I will try that.  However, it may not be until later this week/early next week but I'll post the results.
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Author Comment

by:ejefferson213
ID: 39983266
So I deleted the replication for that folder, ensured that directory synchronization had occurred to the other domain controller and reestablished the replication for the folder.  Unfortunately, it still doesn't replicate the subfolder.  I went in again and tried to manually create the subfolder and it won't accept the name, it reverts the name back to New Folder.  Any other suggestions?  Thank you!
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Accepted Solution

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Mahesh earned 500 total points
ID: 39983421
No, if you look my earlier comment, after you deleting replica from DFS you need to copy sub folder in that replica to another working replica, note that replication is already enabled on another replica
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Author Comment

by:ejefferson213
ID: 39984073
Unfortunately, I cannot relocate the subfolder to another place, it has sensitive information and needs to stay where it is.  I'm convinced this is a bug in the DFS logic and I guess I'll need to contact MS to get it fixed...
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Author Closing Comment

by:ejefferson213
ID: 39989987
Good suggestions; very appreciative of the help but problem remains unsolved.
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