How to Migrate the DFS root to a new server in Windows Server 2008 R2 Environment

JesusFreak42 used Ask the Experts™
   We have 3 locations and three locations. We are decommissioning one of those locations. Therefore, we need to both Demote and remove the Domain controller at that location. This DC is also the DFS root. How do we migrate this to one of the other locations?
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kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

You should have the DFS namespace hosted by multiple servers for redundancy. I would recommend that you have a server at each location host the DFS namespace.

For instructions, see
To add a namespace server to a domain-based namespace
Click Start , point to Administrative Tools , and then click DFS Management .
In the console tree, under the Namespaces node, right-click a domain-based namespace, and then click Add Namespace Server .
Enter the path to another server, or click Browse to locate a server.

Remove the server to be retired from the namespace before demoting it. If the server is participating in DFS replication, you should remove that also before demoting the server.


Ok. Here's what it looks like:

- Server A (Location A)
   - Houses Shares A, B, and C
   - Runs DFS

- Server B (Location B)
   - Runs DFS
   - However, the location of the files on Server B is NOT Shared. This will be where we want to point people to after we are done.

- Server C (Location C)
   - Runs DFs
   - Don't want to change anything on this server.

So do I basically just need to do what you described above to server A and then share out the directories on Share B?
Network Engineer
I would like us to be more precise in the terminology, so I can be sure that we get you to what you want to accomplish.

There are two technologies called DFS. DFS Namespace (DFS-N) and DFS Replication (DFS-R).

DFS Root clearly means DFS-N. Do you also have DFS-R?

When you say that a server runs DFS, which kind(s) do you mean?

Which location is getting retired? A or B?

What do you want to change on server B? Move shares to it? Make it host the DFS Namespace? Both?

DFS-N doesn't house shares with files. It's just a way to abstract UNC paths. I don't know what you mean by "the location of the files on Server B is NOT Shared. This will be where we want to point people to after we are done". It sounds like maybe you want to move shares from server A to server B. You can do that, but it has NOTHING to do with changing which servers have the DFS-N root (which sounds like the original question). You can change the pointers in the DFS-N to new server/shares without changing the server(s) which hold the DFS-N. Those are separate operations.

Sorry to be so pedantic.


We are actually only using DFS-R
kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

Okay, so no DFS namespace. Can you please outline what directories you have replicating between which servers?

If you are just doing DFS Replication, which means that you should already have two copies of the files, you just need to add the third server to the replication group, wait for replication, and then remove the old server from the replication group.

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