FRS to DFS-R Migration

Understand FRS to DFS-R Migration Stages
From MOC 6425C p12.70 – 12.73

Because SYSVOL is critical to the health and functionality of your domain, Windows does not provide a mechanism with which to convert from FRS to DFS-R replication of SYSVOL instantly. In fact, migration to DFS-R involves creating a parallel SYSVOL structure. When the parallel structure is successfully in place, clients are redirected to the new structure as the domain’s system volume. When the operation has proven successful, you can eliminate FRS.

Migration to DFS-R therefore consists of four stages or states:

0 (start). The default state of a domain controller. Only FRS is used to replicate SYSVOL.

1 (prepared). A copy of SYSVOL is created in a folder called SYSVOL_DFSR and is added to a replication set. DFS-R begins to replicate the contents of the SYSVOL_DFSR folders on all domain controllers. However, FRS continues to replicate the original SYSVOL folders and clients continue to use SYSVOL.

2 (redirected) SYSVOL share is redirected to SYSVOL_DFSR for client use.
SYSVOL is still replicated by FRS for failback.

3 (eliminated). Replication of the old SYSVOL folder by FRS is stopped. The original SYSVOL folder is not deleted. Therefore, if you want to remove it entirely, you must do so manually.

You move the DCs through these stages or states, by using the DFSMig command. You will use three options with dfsrmig.exe:

  • getglobalstate state
    The setglobalstate option configures the current global DFSR migration state, which applies to all domain controllers. The state is specified by the state parameter, which is 0–3. Each domain controller will be notified of the new DFSR migration state and will migrate to that state automatically.
  • getglobalstate
    The getglobalstate option reports the current global DFSR migration state.
  • getmigrationstate
    The getmigrationstate option reports the current migration state of each domain controller. Because it might take time for domain controllers to be notified of the new global DFSR migration state, and because it might take even more time for a domain controller to make the changes required by that state, domain controllers will not be synchronized with the global state instantly. The getmigrationstate option enables you to monitor the progress of domain controllers toward the current global DFSR migration state.

If there is a problem moving from one state to the next higher state, you can revert to previous states by using the setglobalstate option. However, after you have used the setglobalstate option to specify state 3 (eliminated), you cannot revert to the earlier states.

To migrate SYSVOL replication from FRS to DFS-R, perform the following steps:

1. Open the Active Directory Domains and Trusts snap-in.
2. Right-click the domain and choose Raise Domain Functional Level.
3. If the Current domain functional level box does not indicate Windows Server 2008, select Windows
Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 from the Select an available domain functional level list.
4. Click Raise. Click OK twice in response to the dialog boxes that appear.
5. Log on to a domain controller and open a command prompt.
6. Type dfsrmig /setglobalstate 1.
7. Type dfsrmig /getmigrationstate to query the progress of domain controllers toward the Prepared
global state. Repeat this step until the state has been attained by all domain controllers.
This can take 15 minutes to an hour or longer.
8. Type dfsrmig /setglobalstate 2.
9. Type dfsrmig /getmigrationstate to query the progress of domain controllers toward the
Redirected global state. Repeat this step until the state has been attained by all domain controllers.
This can take 15 minutes to an hour or longer.
10. Type dfsrmig /setglobalstate 3.
After you begin migration from state 2 (prepared) to state 3 (replicated), any changes made to the
SYSVOL folder will have to be replicated manually to the SYSVOL_DFSR folder.
11. Type dfsrmig /getmigrationstate to query the progress of domain controllers toward the
Eliminated global state. Repeat this step until the state has been attained by all domain controllers.
This can take 15 minutes to an hour or longer.
12. For more information about the dfsrmig.exe command, type dfsrmig.exe /?.


More info on migration steps:

SYSVOL Replication Migration Guide: FRS to DFS Replication

Migrate a Domain-based Namespace to Windows Server 2008 Mode – Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2
“To migrate a domain-based namespace from Windows 2000 Server mode to Windows Server 2008 mode, you must export the namespace to a file, delete the namespace, recreate it in Windows Server 2008 mode, and then import the namespace settings. To do so, use the following procedure.”

Why Migrate?

1. “Access-based enumeration- Access-based enumeration allows users to see only files and folders on a file server to which they have permission to access. This feature is not enabled by default for namespaces (though it is enabled by default on newly-created shared folders in Windows Server 2008), and is only supported in a DFS namespace when the namespace is a standalone namespace hosted on a computer running Windows Server 2008, or a domain-based namespace by using the Windows Server 2008 mode.”

Above quoted from:
Distributed File System – Why migrate?

Enable Access-Based Enumeration on a Namespace
2. Cluster support - DFS Namespaces in Windows Server 2008 supports creating stand-alone namespaces on a failover cluster from within the DFS Management snap-in. To do so, specify a failover cluster on the Namespace Server page of the New Namespace Wizard.

3. Improved command-line tools – DFS Namespaces in Windows Server 2008 includes an updated version of the Dfsutil command and the new Dfsdiag command, which you can use to diagnose namespace issues.

Changes and improvements to Dfsutil:


4. Windows Server 2008 mode domain-based namespaces – Windows Server 2008 includes the ability to create a domain-based namespace in Windows Server 2008 mode. Doing so enables support for access-based enumeration and increased scalability. The domain-based namespace introduced in Windows® 2000 Server is now referred to as “domain-based namespace (Windows 2000 Server mode).”

To use the Windows Server 2008 mode, the domain and domain-based namespace must meet the following minimum requirements:
     – The forest uses the Windows Server 2003 or higher forest functional level.
     – The domain uses the Windows Server 2008 or higher domain functional level.
     – All namespace servers are running Windows Server 2008.

If your environment supports it, choose the Windows Server 2008 mode when you create new domain-based namespaces. This mode provides additional features and scalability, and also eliminates the possible need to migrate a namespace from the Windows 2000 Server mode.

For information about migrating a namespace to Windows Server 2008 mode, see
Migrate a Domain-based Namespace to Windows Server 2008 Mode.

5. Content Freshness – DFS Replication in Windows Server 2008 has a new feature called Content Freshness, which prevents a server that was offline for a long time from over-writing fresh data when it comes back online with stale (out-of-date) data.

6. Improvements for handling unexpected shutdowns – In Windows Server 2008, DFS Replication now allows for quicker recovery from unexpected shutdowns. Unexpected shutdowns can occur because of the following reasons:
     – Unexpected shutdown of DFS Replication: This could occur if the DFS Replication process crashes, is ended, or stops because there are insufficient resources.
     – Unexpected shutdown of the computer: This could occur if the computer crashes or loses power while DFS Replication is running.
     – Unexpected shutdown of the volume: This could occur if the volume hosting a DFS Replication content set loses power, is disconnected, or is forced to dismount.
Unexpected shutdowns of the computer and the volume can cause the NTFS file system to lose changes which have not been copied to disk. Therefore the DFS Replication database can become inconsistent with the on-disk file system state.

On Windows Server 2003 R2, an unexpected shutdown may force DFS Replication to perform a complete database rebuild, which can be very time consuming. DFS Replication in Windows Server 2008 usually does not need to rebuild the database following unexpected shutdowns, and thus recovers much more quickly.

7. DFS Replication performance improvements – DFS Replication in Windows Server 2008 includes the following performance improvements:
     – Faster replication both for small and large files.
     – Initial synchronization completes faster.
     – Better network bandwidth utilization on LANs and high latency networks such as WANs.

8. Propagation report – DFS Management in Windows Server 2008 includes a new type of diagnostic report called a propagation report. This report displays the replication progress for the test file created during a propagation test.

9. Replicate now – DFS Management now includes the ability to force replication to occur immediately, temporarily ignoring the replication schedule.
     To force replication immediately
       1. In the console tree, under the Replication node, select the appropriate replication group.
       2. Click the Connections tab.
       3. Right-click the member you want to use to replicate, and then click Replicate Now.

10. Support for Read-Only Domain Controllers – In Windows Server 2008, DFS Replication supports Read-Only Domain Controllers (RODCs).
For more information about RODCs, see

11. SYSVOL replication using DFS Replication – DFS Replication replaces the File Replication Service (FRS) as the replication engine for replicating the AD DS SYSVOL folder in domains that use the Windows Server 2008 domain functional level.



I hope this helped you to easily configure your time service and what to do if it didn’t work.

Ace Fekay
MVP, MCT, MCSE 2012, MCITP EA & MCTS Windows 2008/R2, Exchange 2013, 2010 EA & 2007, MCSE & MCSA 2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
Microsoft Certified Trainer
Microsoft MVP – Directory Services

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