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I have an Active Directory setup with two sites and three DC's - call them 1A, 1B, and 2. DCs 1A and 2 are Win2008R2 and DC 1B is Win2k. So the domain functional level is Windows 2000 native. The two sites are connected via IP transport/VPN tunnel.

I recently promoted DC 2 so that I could have a DNS server at site 2 and ensure name resolution even if the VPN tunnel failed. Everything has gone to plan except for this pesky error I have been seeing occur every 15 minutes:

Preferred bridgehead servers have been selected to support intersite replication with the following site using the following transport. However, none of these preferred bridgehead servers can replicate the following directory partition.

This error occurs twice, once for ForestDNSZones and once for DomainDNSZones.

Now, I did a little Googling and it seems like this is a common error for "remote DC" setups but I am pretty much lost as to do about it. One thing I did try was to make DC 2 its own preferred IP/SMTP bridgehead server as well as DC 1A its own, and leave 1B with no preferred status on transports. This seems to have had no effect.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Looks like your chosen bridgeheads (BH) are not running DNS. So they wont have those partitions. But other DCs in the same site as bridgehead are running DNS. But they haven't been configured as a possible bridgehead.

In most customer environments I have seen, the need to configure bridgeheads was not present. Therefore, I would suggest you not configure any preferred bridegeheads.

If all DCs can talk to all DCs direct (say you logon to one DC and ping any other DC and it works) then you dont need to really assign preferred bridgeheads. I am also assuming there are no performance issues forcing you to assign preferred bridgeheads. Let AD handle it all for you automatically.

Just configure the site links and let AD assign BH and make autoconections. Avoid creating manual connections between DCs and assigning bridgeheads.

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