Knowledge Base

How to Reinitialize a DFS-Replicated SYSVOL Folder on a Windows Domain Controller



Article Summary: This article provides information on how to reinitialize a DFS-replicated SYSVOL folder on a Windows domain controller.


As documented in this article, the BurFlags registry setting is used to reinitialize the SYSVOL hierarchy on a domain controller if SYSVOL is replicated using the File Replication Service (FRS). However, Distributed File System Replication (DFS-R) has been the recommended mechanism for replicating SYSVOL since the advent of Windows Server 2008, as it provides significantly improved performance over FRS. There is not a registry setting equivalent to BurFlags for reinitializing a SYSVOL folder that is replicated using DFS-R, but there is a procedure that will achieve the same outcome.

As is the case with FRS, a SYSVOL folder replicated using DFS-R can be reinitialized authoritatively or non-authoritatively, and it is important to understand the difference:

  • A non-authoritative reinitialization requires that the SYSVOL folder be complete and shared on another domain controller (DC) in the domain, as it will be copied to the DC undergoing the reinitialization.
  • An authoritative reinitialization implies essentially the opposite: the copy of SYSVOL on the DC undergoing the reinitialization must be complete and up to date, as it will be copied to all other DCs in the domain. This procedure can result in data loss if the SYSVOL folder on the DC undergoing reinitialization is incomplete or out of date.

To perform a non-authoritative reinitialization of a DFS-replicated SYSVOL folder on a DC:

  1. Open the ADSIEdit console (adsiedit.msc), expand the default naming context, and locate the SYSVOL subscription object for the DC in question:
    CN=SYSVOL Subscription,CN=Domain System Volume,CN=DFSR-LocalSettings,CN=<DC_name>,OU=Domain Controllers,DC=<domain>
  2. Right-click the CN=SYSVOL Subscription object and select Properties.
  3. In the Attribute Editor tab of the properties window, set the msDFSR-Enabled attribute to FALSE and click OK to close the properties window.
  4. Force AD replication throughout the domain and verify that it is successful.
  5. From an elevated command prompt, type dfsrdiag pollad. The DFS Replication event log on that DC should now contain event ID 4114, indicating that SYSVOL is no longer being replicated. Other informational events may also appear, but this step should not result in any warnings or errors appearing in the log.
  6. In the ADSIEdit console, at the same location as in steps 1 and 2, set the msDFSR-Enabled attribute to TRUE.
  7. Force AD replication throughout the domain again and verify that it is successful.
  8. From an elevated command prompt, again type dfsrdiag pollad. The DFS-R event log on the DC should now contain event IDs 4614 and 4604, indicating that SYSVOL has been initialized and replicated.

To perform an authoritative reinitialization of a DFS-replicated SYSVOL folder on a DC:

  1. Open the ADSIEdit console (adsiedit.msc), expand the default naming context, and locate the SYSVOL subscription object for the DC in question:
    CN=SYSVOL Subscription,CN=Domain System Volume,CN=DFSR-LocalSettings,CN=<DC_name>,OU=Domain Controllers,DC=<domain>
  2. Right-click the CN=SYSVOL Subscription object and select Properties.
  3. In the Attribute Editor tab of the properties window, set the msDFSR-Enabled attribute to FALSE and set the msDFSR-Options attribute to 1. Click OK to close the properties window.
  4. Locate the SYSVOL subscription objects for the other DCs in the domain. Refer to the DN in step 1 but substitute the names of the other DCs in the CN=<DC_name> portion.
  5. Modify the properties of each SYSVOL subscription object in step 4 and set the msDFSR-Enabled attribute to FALSE.
  6. Force AD replication throughout the domain and verify that it is successful.
  7. Type dfsrdiag pollad at an elevated command prompt on all DCs. Their DFS Replication event logs should contain event 4114, indicating that SYSVOL is no longer being replicated. Other informational events may also appear, but this step should not result in any warnings or errors appearing in the log.
  8. On the DC designated as authoritative, use ADSIEdit to set the msDFSR-Enabled attribute to TRUE at the location in steps 1 and 2. Click OK to close the properties window.
  9. Force AD replication throughout the domain and verify that it is successful.
  10. On the DC designated as authoritative, run dfsrdiag pollad from an elevated command prompt. Its DFS-R event log should now contain event ID 4602, indicating that SYSVOL has been initialized.
  11. On the SYSVOL subscription objects of the other DCs (see steps 4 and 5), set the msDFSR-Enabled attribute to TRUE.
  12. Force AD replication throughout the domain and verify that it is successful.
  13. On all DCs besides the authoritative one, type dfsrdiag pollad at an elevated command prompt. Their DFS-R event logs should contain event IDs 4614 and 4604, indicating that SYSVOL has been initialized and replicated from the authoritative DC.

Note that the steps in the second section have all other DCs performing a non-authoritative reinitialization immediately after the selected DC performs its authoritative reinitialization. This is important, as failure to follow all of these steps will result in conflicts.

Source: Microsoft Knowledgebase article KB2218556




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Article ID: SLN156015

Last Date Modified: 09/03/2014 12:45 PM


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