DFS Distributed File System

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Good luck trying to Google any information on DFS or Distributed File System and get anything other than a bunch of references to REPLICATION. Forget about the useful part of DFS, referred to as NameSpace as of Windows Server 2003. And log files? HA! That's even more of a joke.

If there are inexplicable issues, look to DNS. Yes, unrelated to DFS, but still a really good place to start for mysterious problems. Remember, even if one creates a DFS Namespace with an IP Address or a NetBIOS name, the DFS service always uses the DNS name of the computer, even if it isn't displayed. The same for clients. One can map a DFS share via an IP Address, but once "inside" the DFS Folder, it uses the DNS Name of the DFS server (and never displays it or even give a hint that it's using that). So if DNS is messed up, then DFS won't work.

Want to try Googling for command line utilities again? Good luck. Here are the two most useful;



In the end, it's usually easier to crap can the entire configuration and create it from scratch. Below is a short cut;

  • dfsutil root export \\WhatEverServerName\WhatEverDfsShareName WhatEverExportFile.xml
  • crap can DFS in the GUI
  • create a new / 'blank' DFS Namespace
  • dfsutil root import merge WhatEverExportFile.xml \\WhatEverServerName\WhatEverDfsShareName