Knowledge Base

How to Reinitialize FRS Replica Sets with the BurFlags Registry Setting


Article Summary: This article provides information how to repair Active Directory File Replication Service replica sets, such as the SYSVOL hierarchy, by using the BurFlags registry setting.

Any Active Directory domain that was created using domain controllers running Windows Server 2003 or earlier will use the File Replication Service (FRS) for SYSVOL replication until it is migrated to Distributed File System Replication (DFS-R). This is true even if there are no longer any Windows Server 2003 DCs in the domain and the domain functional level is at Windows Server 2008 or above. Various issues can cause FRS replica sets to stop replicating between DCs. The most common symptom of this is the lack of a SYSVOL share on one or more DCs in a domain.

Note: This article deals with SYSVOL replication, not Active Directory replication. They use two separate mechanisms, and it is possible for one to work perfectly and the other to fail.

The BurFlags registry key allows an FRS replica set to be reinitialized in one of two ways: authoritatively or non-authoritatively. Determining the correct method to use involves determining whether there is a valid copy of the SYSVOL hierarchy already shared on a DC in the domain:

  • A non-authoritative reinitialization requires that at least one DC in the domain have a valid SYSVOL share, the contents of which will then be copied by FRS to the affected DC and shared.
  • An authoritative reinitialization is typically performed when there is only one working DC remaining in the domain or when no DC has a valid SYSVOL share. The SYSVOL folder structure must be intact on the DC on which an authoritative reinitialization is performed, as it will become the master SYSVOL replica for the entire domain when the procedure is performed. Performing an authoritative reinitialization on a DC with an incomplete SYSVOL folder can result in a domain-wide loss of Group Policy objects (GPOs) and/or logon/logoff/startup/shutdown scripts.

To perform a reinitialization of the SYSVOL replica set on a DC:

  1. Start the Registry Editor. (Click Start, then Run, then type regedit.)
  2. Search through the Registry to the following location: HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\NtFrs\Parameters\Backup/Restore\Process at Startup
  3. Find the BurFlags Registry Key.
  4. Stop the File Replication Service (net stop ntfrs).
  5. Change the value of the BurFlags registry key to D4 (authoritative) or D2 (nonauthoritative).
  6. Start the File Replication Service (net start ntfrs).
  7. Look for event ID 13566 and 13516 in the File Replication Service event log to see that the process is complete.
  8. Run net share to verify that the SYSVOL folder is shared.

For more information on this procedure, refer to Microsoft KB article 290762 - Using the BurFlags registry key to reinitialize File Replication Service replica sets.
For more information on FRS and the SYSVOL share, refer to the following Microsoft KB articles:


For information on the equivalent procedure if the SYSVOL share is replicated with DFS-R, refer to Microsoft TechNet Article ID 2218556 - How to force an authoritative and non-authoritative synchronization for DFSR-replicated SYSVOL (like "D4/D2" for FRS).




Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN163614

Last Date Modified: 10/23/2014 03:16 AM


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