SYSVOL Migration Series: Part 3 – Migrating to the ‘PREPARED’ state

Previous articles in this series contained an introduction to the SYSVOL migration procedure and explained how the Dfsrmig.exe tool can be used for SYSVOL migration. Keeping this background information in mind, we’re now ready to start the actual SYSVOL migration process. This article explains how to migrate replication of the SYSVOL share to the ‘PREPARED’ state. If the term ‘PREPARED state’ draws a blank, head on over to this post for a quick review of the SYSVOL migration process.

Before we begin …

The domain functional level needs to be raised to ‘Windows Server 2008’ domain functional level before SYSVOL migration can commence. Therefore, the first step in the SYSVOL migration process is to upgrade all domain controllers to Windows Server 2008. This can be done in a phased manner. Once all domain controllers have been migrated to Windows Server 2008, the domain administrator is ready to raise the domain functional level to ‘Windows Server 2008’ domain functional level.

In order to raise the domain functional level to ‘Windows Server 2008’:

a)       Open the ‘Microsoft Management Console‘ (MMC).

b)       Navigate to the ‘File‘ menu and select ‘Add/Remove Snap-in…’.

c)       Add the ‘Active Directory Domains and Trusts‘ snap-in.

d)       Select the domain whose functional level is to be raised from the left hand side pane and select ‘Raise domain functional level‘ from the right click menu.

e)       Select ‘Windows Server 2008‘ from the drop down list and click the ‘Raise‘ button to raise your domain functional level to Windows Server 2008.

Figure 1: Raise the domain functional level to ‘Windows Server 2008’. Continue reading


SYSVOL Migration Series: Part 1 – Introduction to the SYSVOL migration process

he File Replication Service (FRS) is used for replicating the contents of the SYSVOL share between Windows domain controllers. However, Windows Server 2008 domain controllers, which are operating in the Windows Server 2008 domain functional level, can use the DFS Replication service for replicating the contents of the SYSVOL share. A new Windows Server 2008 feature makes it possible for administrators to migrate replication of the SYSVOL share from FRS to the more reliable and efficient DFS Replication service.

This series of blog posts describe the procedure for migrating the replication of the SYSVOL share on Windows Server 2008 domain controllers from FRS replication to the DFS Replication service.

NOTE:  The Windows Server 2008 SP2 release includes a couple of important bug-fixes in DFS Replication that address a few customer reported issues in SYSVOL migration. If you plan to migrate replication of the SYSVOL share to DFS Replication, it is highly recommended that you upgrade to Windows Server 2008 SP2 first.
The RTM release of Windows Server 2008 R2 includes these bug fixes.

Why migrate?

The DFS Replication service offers several advantages over the older File Replication Service (FRS). Some of the advantages that accrue from using the DFS Replication service are:

a)       Efficient, scalable and reliable file replication protocol which has been tested extensively to ensure data consistency in multi-master replication scenarios.

b)       Differential replication of changes to files using the Remote Differential Compression (RDC) algorithm, which enhances efficiency in branch office scenarios.

c)       Flexible scheduling and bandwidth throttling mechanisms.

d)       Self-heals from USN journal wraps and database corruptions – end user intervention and monitoring requirement is minimal.

e)       Provides a new UI management tool (MMC snap-in) for ease of administration.

f)        Provides built in health monitoring tools for ease of monitoring deployments.

g)       Improved support for Read Only Domain Controllers.

It is hence highly recommended that customers migrate replication of the SYSVOL share to the DFS Replication service.

Migration – in a nutshell Continue reading