Disable DFS Referral

Discussion in 'File Systems' started by UMH Tech, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. UMH Tech

    UMH Tech Guest

    We have a pair of 2k3 Standard SP2 boxes each with its own SAN for
    storage. I have setup DFS with a few of the shares on the "master" box
    (fs1) and added DFS namespace for it along with an extra root target for
    the second server (fs2). I then enabled replication and let it go on
    its merry way. There's about 1.5TB of data that needs to be replicated.

    We then started getting calls from users saying they were getting
    nothing but empty folders when attempting to access the UNC paths for
    FS1. I realized that referrals were enabled and it was bouncing them to
    FS2 which hadn't had its data replicated yet.

    I looked up how to disable referrals but the options just don't exist
    for me. If i right click on the namespace and go to properties I don't
    get a referral tab. Just "General, Replication, Publish".

    How can i disable referrals?

    Thanks in advance!
    UMH Tech, Sep 26, 2008
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  2. Hello,

    Please follow these steps:

    1. Open Distributed File System.

    2. In the console tree, click the DFS link that points to the target for
    which you would like to change the referral status.

    3. Click the desired target. On the Action menu, select Enable or Disable

    You can find more info at
    John Angel [MSFT], Sep 27, 2008
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  3. UMH Tech

    UMH Tech Guest

    Ok i see what we did. We had two DFS roots configured and replicating,
    no links. I don't believe you can disable referrals for a root target.

    If someone could point me in the right direction. Here's the

    We have a single file server hooked to a ISCSI based san. There are
    about ~25 shares on the server with varying visibility and security. We
    have a need to make the file server fault tolerant. We have a second
    server and SAN device. Both servers are Win2k3 SP2 Standard.

    If i create a new namespace, say //corp.com/data/{list of shares here},
    each of the shares being a new link under a single domain based DFS
    root. Then configure replication and disable referrers on the links
    until replication completes.

    1. Will the users still be able to access //server1/shares during this

    2. If users continue to utilize the unc path of //server1/shares and
    server1 fails (referrers are enabled at this point) will the client
    machines automatically use //server2/shares?

    Thanks in advance, we're a bit confused at this point.
    UMH Tech, Sep 27, 2008
  4. UMH Tech

    DaveMills Guest

    Yes, they will be able access \\server1\shares for ever. This path does not use
    the DFS namespace in any way
    No, DFS does not charge UNC shares it simply points to them. The access path
    must be via //corp.com/data for DFS referrals to be used.

    DFS Replication (R2) does not use the DFS namespace. It does not even use shared
    folders it uses the NTFS folder names.

    If you are wanting to use replication then R2 (DFSR) is so much better than pre
    R2 (FRS) it is very desirable.

    What you need to do is create the DFS namespace with links pointing the server1
    shares. Now change the drive mapping to //corp.com/data/{list of shares here} on
    all the clients. When this is done add the second targets to server2.

    If you want replication then set it up first but keep the links to server 2
    disabled until replication completes. In the mean time while you continue to
    change all the clients the replication engine can be working at getting fodders

    I would suggest you create a DFS link to {list of shares} with each DFS link
    pointing to ShareA$ instead of ShareA. While you change the clients the ones not
    yet moved to DFS will be using ShareA and the ones moved to DFS will be using
    \\corp.com\data\ShareA. Do not confused the DFS name with \\server1\ShareA which
    is a different pathname that points to \\server1\ShareA$.

    When all the clients are remapped you can remove Server1\ShareA (or change the
    share permissions to admin only) and wait to see who shouts. It is simple to
    permit access via \\server1\shareA again on a temporary basis. One need for this
    is clients with Offline folders enabled. They will continue to try to sync with
    \\server1\shareA un till told not to. The easy way to remove the offline folders
    on a client is to open the old share \\server1\ShareA and untick make available
    offline at the client. Then simply close the old share again and wait for the
    next person to shout.
    DaveMills, Sep 27, 2008
  5. UMH Tech

    UMH Tech Guest


    Thanks for the insight. I've started configuring as you've suggested.
    One thing i've noticed is i just enabled a pair of links to a share that
    all my users My Documents are directed to. This share is quite large
    with a huge amount of folders/files equaling some 400GB. I enabled
    replication but i haven't seen it begin to replicate anything yet. Does
    replication take some time to start actually replicating (Perhaps
    indexing the folder structure first)?

    Thanks again!
    UMH Tech, Sep 29, 2008
  6. UMH Tech

    DaveMills Guest

    I usually waited for the next day. Sometime I could see the first few after an
    hour or so but got bored looking. I just started it and went home. Mostly I
    started with the smallest folder while building confidence.
    DaveMills, Sep 29, 2008
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