2016 DFS server Issues after updating folder target


I have a DFS server which I am decommissioning and have moved all the files from it to a new 2016 server which will be replacing it. I have installed the necessary DFS components and have created an additional folder target in my DFS Manager to the new location.

After I robocopied the files making sure to retain the permissions, I Enabled the new folder target and disabled the original target.

Since that time. I left the referrals to update over a weekend and then tested my dfs structure using dfsdiag. dfsdiag was not reporting any issues with my infrastructure so I thought I was good.

Most of my computers have updated and pulled the DFS Folder without issue, However there are some problem children that are not seeing the new location and instead are defaulting to the old location. This is the same behavior seen when accessing the location though either a mapped drive or direct unc to the DFS folder location.

Please assist me In troubleshooting this issue if you are an expert in DFS
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NVITEnd-user supportCommented:
I'm not an expert but... have you tried rebooting those computers?
disable old folder targets

Check clients with issue if their ip / subnet is assigned to same AD site as new folder target?

if not you will likely face issues as DFS is AD site aware app and depends on sites and services config

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ITguy565Author Commented:
the computers have been rebooted and that didn't appear to resolve the issue.


The old folder targets were disabled before I let it run for the weekend. As for the ip/subnet belonging to the same AD site, I am not sure, I will get back to you on that shortly.
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ITguy565Author Commented:
ip / subnet is assigned to same AD site as new folder target?
Confirmed they are all on the same AD site.
If you have disabled DFS folder target, machine should not be able to locate that

If they do, check if they actually connected to share folder directly through server actual share path instead of DFS path


if they are using offline cached version of folder target, you may need to reinitialize offline folder cache in that case
ITguy565Author Commented:
If you have disabled DFS folder target, machine should not be able to locate that
@mahesh :: That is exactly what I thought:

Disabled : Folder target 1 old location \\domain.com\departments\billing pointed to \\serverA\billing$
Enabled : Folder target 2 new location \\domain.com\departments\billing pointed to \\serverB\billing$

However, if you Flush the DNS on the workstation, and then try to navigate to \\serverB\billing$ you get the proper location.

If you go to \\domain.com\departments\billing$ you go to the serverA location rather than the serverB location
ITguy565Author Commented:
note: this only happens on maybe 30 out of 500+ machines
then reboot the client computers in order to flush dns cache

also you can disconnect map drives and reconnect them
ITguy565Author Commented:
you mentioned " if they are using offline cached version of folder target, you may need to reinitialize offline folder cache in that case "

can you provide steps on how to accomplish this.. I think I know but I want to make sure.
don't do that if simply reboot solves your purpose..

There are two stuffs in case of offline cache

one is for DFS referral / target
dfsutil /pktflush
dfsutil /purgemupcache

for above to work, you need to install RSAT with dfs management tools on client and use dfsutil

if actual share folder (data folder) is mapped with old dfs link as offline target, then you need to reinitialize offline folder cache on machine with registry twick

use 1st method in article

Both above paths are not required if only DNS creating problem, you can either flush local dns cache or simply reboot workstation and it should solve your problem
ITguy565Author Commented:
@mahesh. I will have to give it a try tomorrow as the machine is inaccessible at the present time.. Thanks for your assistance with this as I have a few things to try.

On the reboot however, I had already flushed the DNS earlier as well as initiated a reboot and it didn't appear to resolve the issue. That doesn't mean that it won't tomorrow. I will give it a try first thing in the morning.
Ben Personick (Previously QCubed)Lead SaaS Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
Are your problem children windows 2003/2008/xp/Vista/7/rando-'nix boxes by any chance?
ITguy565Author Commented:
A simple reboot did not fix the issue, however flushing the cache and remapping the drives after a reboot appears to have resolved the issue at least for the present time.

Thanks for your assistance all
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