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Last Updated November 19, 2003

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Distributed File System (Dfs)

Windows 2000's Distributed File System offers a lot of benefits to Administrators by allowing multiple servers and share points on a network to appear as a single mapped drive to the user community. This immediately limits user confusion and promises to cut down on the number of mapped drives a user may need. As a new feature in Windows 2000, it's sure to raise a lot of questions for Network Administrators. Here's our list of articles, books and Whitepapers we've found.

Where to Start...
Distributed File System  
Downloadable Whitepaper in Word format that presents a technical overview of Dfs and explains how this technology can help you manage your data more efficiently. Source: Microsoft.com

Dfs Introduction: Building a Single, Hierarchical View of Multiple File Servers and File Server Shares on a Network 
Dfs (Distributed File System) provides the capability of organizing file servers and their shares into a logical representation. The net benefit is that the physical location of data becomes transparent to users and applications thus providing significant administrative benefits. Source: Microsoft.com

DFS: When, Why, and How
Introduction to the Distributed File System. Source: BrainBuzz.com

Explore How You Can Use DFS
Dfs is an incredibly useful feature that lets you point all your physical network shares on any machine that runs the NTFS file system to one virtual share point. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine

How to Install Distributed File System (DFS) on Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 241452 -
Distributed file system (Dfs) is used to make files distributed across multiple servers appear to users as if they reside in one place on the network. Because of this, users no longer need to know or specify the actual physical location of files in order to obtain access to them

Step-by-Step Guide to Distributed File System (Dfs)  
The Distributed File System (Dfs) lets administrators create logical views of directories and files, regardless of where those files physically reside in the network. This guide describes how to use the Dfs Share Creation wizard. Source: Microsoft.com (updated March 7, 2000)

Using the Windows 2000 Distributed File System
A simple solution to time-consuming data management: the Windows 2000 DFS tree appears as one contiguous directory structure, regardless of the logical or physical location of the data. Source: EarthWeb (Oct 15, 2000)

UW Computer Science and Engineering Introduction to NT Dfs (Microsoft's Distributed file system)
Excellent Draft document that provides an overview of Dfs.

Windows2000FAQ.com Dfs FAQ
Quick answers to common questions on Dfs from Windows2000FAQ.com

Technical Articles worth reading...
Dfs Admin Guide
The Official documentation from Microsoft.

Dfs In-Depth: A Logical View of Physical Hierarchy
Dfs (Distributed File System) provides the capability of organizing file servers and their shares into a logical representation. The net benefit is that the physical location of data becomes transparent to users and applications thus providing additional administrative benefits.

DFS Scalability in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 232613 - 
This article discusses sizing issues for the deployment of the Distributed File System (DFS) service on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 servers. 

DFS and Software Distribution Interaction 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 285827 - In a multiple-site environment that uses Distributed File System (DFS - to host distribution points for Windows 2000 software distribution, if you are a roaming user, the client computer you are using may refer to its original site for software  

Dfs Scalability in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 232613, which discusses sizing issues for the deployment of the Distributed File System (DFS) service on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 servers.

Distributed File System: A Logical View of Storage
Microsoft Whitepaper on Dfs from the TechNet CD Online.

Distributed File System version 4.1 for Windows NT Server for Administrators Guide
Can't wait for Windows 2000, and gotta play with Dfs now? Get the documentation here. Microsoft's DFS File System version 4.1 for NT 4.0 is available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver

FRS Creates Unneeded Folders in DFS Root Alternates
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 265365 - Each time a Distributed File System (DFS) link is added, a morphed folder is created if the File Replication service (FRS) is enabled at the root of a distributed file system. This occurs because DFS creates the folders and FRS determines that the names collide on each of the root alternates. The extraneous folders have a suffix of the form "NTFRS_xxxxxxxx" added to the end of the folder name.

Disabling Site Awareness for Windows 2000 DFS in a Windows NT 4.0 Domain
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: In a Windows NT 4.0 domain, when you use Windows 2000 servers for Distributed File System (DFS), clients receive a 5-second delay before they can access the DFS resource .

How to Back Up and Restore the DFS Structure in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 269372 - This article describes how to back up and restore the DFS structure in Windows 2000.

How to Configure Dfs to Use Fully Qualified Domain Names in Referrals
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 244380 - A Windows 2000-based server that is using Microsoft Distributed File System (Dfs) replies to a Dfs "get referral" query with a NetBIOS name format (\\server\share) by default. This is necessary in certain environments in which NetBIOS is relied upon. Depending on the client's Domain Name System (DNS) configuration, the client may not be able to resolve the server name returned from the Dfs "get referral" query

HOW TO: Configure Microsoft DFS as the Filing System for IIS 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 313080 - This article describes how to use Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Distributed File System (DFS) as the filing system for Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0.

How to Enable Dfs Debugging in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 217146 describes how to enable Distributed File System (DFS) debugging in Windows 2000. This method uses the checked version of the Netapi32.dll file in conjunction with a registry entry to output DFS API debug statements to a debugger.

How to Force Deletion of DFS Configuration Information
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 224384 - Windows 2000 servers and domain controllers store DFS configuration information in the registry and the Active Directory. In some cases, it may be useful to return to a steady state. This article describes how to delete DFS configuration data 

How to Install Distributed File System (DFS) on Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 241452 - Distributed file system (Dfs) is used to make files distributed across multiple servers appear to users as if they reside in one place on the network. 

How to Force Deletion of Dfs Configuration Information
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 224384 Windows 2000 servers and domain controllers store DFS configuration information in the registry and the Active Directory. In some cases, it may be useful to return to a steady state.

How to Map Root using Microsoft Dfs
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 178631.The Microsoft Distributed File System (Dfs) can be used to simulate NetWare's MAP ROOT utility, allowing users to map a drive letter to a directory that is not itself shared. This is especially useful for mapping to users' home directories.

How to Migrate a Dfs Root Configuration to a Windows 2000 Cluster
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 224508 - Windows 2000 Advanced Server and DataCenter Server use server clustering and provide cluster failover capabilities for a standard Distributed File System (Dfs) root. 

How To Set File Permissions for Shares in DFS Replica Sets to Apply to All Replicas
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 308568 - When you define replica members for a Distributed File System (DFS) share in a Microsoft Windows 2000 environment, you must grant permissions on folders and files to maintain the correct security. 

Microsoft Distributed File System
Summary: Download Microsoft's Distributed File System Administrator's Guide for information about, installing and administering Dfs.

Pre-staging the File Replication Service Replicated Files on SYSVOL and Distributed File System Shares for Optimal Synchronization
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 266679 - This article describes the pre-staging process for the File Replication service (FRS) replicated files on System Volume (SYSVOL) and on Distributed file system (Dfs) shares for optimal synchronization. 

Updates to Dfsutil.exe
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 293114 - Dfsutil.exe is a utility that administrators can use to query and troubleshoot Distributed File System (DFS) at the command prompt. Dfsutil.exe is included with the Windows 2000 Support Tools in the retail version of Windows 2000. 

Windows 2000 Server Dfs Documentation
The distributed file system (Dfs) provides a mechanism for administrators to create logical views of directories and files, regardless of where those files physically reside in the network. Fault tolerance of network storage resources are also possible using the version of Dfs included with Beta 3 of the Microsoft© Windows? 2000 operating system.

Troubleshooting DFS: Known Bugs and Issues

How to Troubleshoot the File Replication Service and the Distributed File System 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 272279 - This article discusses how to troubleshoot the File Replication service (FRS) and the Distributed file system (Dfs). The main emphasis, however, of this article is to discuss a general procedure which can help you to troubleshoot FRS problems. 

%HOMEPATH% and %HOMESHARE% Variables Are Resolved Incorrectly
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 236813 - You can use Microsoft distributed file system (Dfs) to map drives directly to folders and subfolders in a Dfs share. If your home folder is on a Dfs share, the %HOMEDRIVE% variable is mapped only to the Dfs root and not to the complete path 

"Access Denied" Error Message When You Attempt to Set Dfs Replication Policy
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 261015 - When you try to set a replication policy for the domain Distributed file system (Dfs) link, the policy may not be set and the following error message may be displayed: 

Antivirus Problems May Modify Security Descriptors Causing Excessive Replication of FRS Data in Sysvol and DFS 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 284947 - The File Replication service (FRS) is a multi-threaded, multi-master replication engine that replaces the Lmrepl service in the 3..x and 4.0 versions of Microsoft Windows NT. Windows 2000 domain controllers and servers use FRS to replicate system policy and logon scripts that reside in the System Volume (Sysvol) for Windows 2000-based clients and earlier 

Cannot Create a Dfs Link Under a Current Dfs Link
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 227772 - There is no option to create a new Microsoft distributed file system (Dfs) link for any current Dfs link in the Distributed File System snap-in. You cannot create links under current links; you can create only replicas. 

Cluster Server DFS Root Resource Does Not Pass Status Check
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 232478 - When you are reviewing a system event log on a node in a server cluster, the following error messages may appear even though no resource problems appear in Cluster Administrator: 

Console and Terminal Services Access to Dfs Share Ignores Site Preference
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 274411 - When you are connected to the console, or in a Terminal Services session, you may be referred to a distributed file system (Dfs) replicant even though the local Dfs share is a closer resource and a better choice. 

"DFSCMD /BATCH" Command Cannot Handle Spaces in Share Names 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 278884 - If you are running a Distributed File System (DFS) server on Windows 2000 and some of your share names contain spaces, the share names are not enclosed in quotation marks when you export the configuration by using the dfscmd /view /batch command. 

DFS Site Information Is Not Updated When You Move Server to a New Active Directory Site
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 260857 - After you move a server that is a replica member of a Domain Distributed File System (DFS), client computers that connect through the DFS namespace seem to disregard the relocation of a server to a different Active Directory site. 

Distributed File System Links May Not Be Visible When You Connect to the Distributed File System Root Share
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 290075 - When you view the Distributed File System (DFS) root in the Distributed File System snap-in, all the DFS links are listed. However, when you connect to the DFS root share, none of the DFS links may be visible. When you browse the DFS root folder on the server, the local file system placeholders that represent the DFS links may be missing. 

Documentation Error in Distributed File System Help
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 276017 - Distributed File System (DFS) Help contains the following documentation errors in the "How to" section:

"Error 53" Error Message When You Try to Connect to a Windows 2000 Domain-Based DFS Share
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 242001 - When you attempt to connect to a Windows 2000 domain-based Distributed File System (DFS) share using a Windows NT-based client, you may receive the following error message: System error 53 has occurred. The network path was not found.

Error Message Occurs When You Create a Distributed File System Root
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 288399 - When you use the Distributed File System (DFS) Wizard to create a new DFS root, you may receive the following error message when the wizard is finished: 

Error Message When You Attempt to Access a Domain-Based DFS Share in Office 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 272230 - When you attempt to open or save a domain-based Distributed File System (DFS) share, you may experience the following problems: 

Error Message: The Internal Database Maintained by the Dfs Service Is Corrupt
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 261122 - On a computer that is configured with either a stand-alone or domain-based Microsoft distributed file system (Dfs) root, adding or deleting links by using the Dfs snap-in in Microsoft Management Console (MMC) or by using the Dfscmd.exe command 

Folders Are Created Once an Hour If FRS Is Enabled in a DFS Root 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 259281 - Multiple redundant folders may appear in the root of a Distributed File System (DFS - share if the File Replication service (FRS - is enabled at the DFS root. 

Unable to Create DFS Replication Policy with Missing Administrative Shares
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 272702 - When you try to create a Distributed File System (DFS) replication policy for a replica set, you may receive the following error message: 

Users Are Accessing a DFS Root Replica in a Remote Site
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 282071 - In several circumstances, users are accessing a Distributed File System (DFS) root replica in a remote site and not in their own site. 

You Cannot Connect to Domain-Based DFS Root When You Log on with Cached Credentials
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 282080 - After you log on to a Windows 2000-based computer with cached credentials, and then you connect to a network (either by using remote access or by re-attaching the network cable) while you attempt to connect to a domain-based Distributed File System (DFS) root, you receive either of the following error messages: A Duplicate Name Exists on the Network or The Network Name could not be found

You Cannot Take DFS Replica Members Offline 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 320661 - If you try to take a Distributed File System (DFS) link replica member offline while the server that hosts the replica member is not available, the operation may not succeed. The replica appears to be offline in the DFS Administrator tool, but referrals to the replica set still include the unavailable server.

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