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I need to move a DFS share to a new larger drive on the same server. What is the best/easiest way to accomplish this. The Server in question is running Windows Server 2003 R2.

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A couple of assumptions:

1) You're talking about a link target that has no links underneath it. The NTFS reparse points necessary to make link targets work won't copy with XCOPY (or, I believe, ROBOCOPY).

2) I am assuming that this not a DFS link that's subject to replication. That's a different ball of wax than the above procedure.

Copying the files is easy:

  • Create the destination directory and set the permissions on it.
  • Use XCOPY with the "/k /r /e /c /h /y /a" switches to copy from the source (XCOPY source*.* destination\ /k /r /e /c /h /y /a).

Changing the share without a lot of difficult involves a little hack. You can do this through "proper channels" in the GUI, but this involves as little mucking w/ DFS configuration as possible.

  • Edit the registry. Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanManServer\Shares, find the REG_MULTI_SZ entry that corresponds to the DFS share and modify only the "Path" line to refer to the new path.
  • Restart the "Distributed File System" and "Server" services (allowng "Net Logon" and "Comptuer Browser" to restart, as necessary).
  • Verify the share is accessible at the new location.

Since DFS refers to the share as a UNC, and not its physical path, DFS isn't even "aware" that the physical path of the folder changed.

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I would

  • Copy the existing files from your old location to the new one, preserving security
  • Create a new share to the new location with the same permissions
  • Edit your DFS folder in the DFS management interface and replace the old target with the new

All your users will immediately start using the new share (this is the beauty of DFS). Be sure to do this during off hours to be sure you capture all changed files during the copy/switch. Robocopy is a great utility to help you with this process.

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It's not clear from your question what you're really concerned about, here's how I would approach the problem:

  1. Schedule down-time, as while you move the data it will essentially be inaccessible (unless read-only)
  2. Disable access to the existing data, verify that it is no longer accessed
  3. Copy the data (using your favorite tool: xcopy, robocopy, ...)
  4. Verify permission settings for the new location, share it with the same name.

Et voilà.

Note: DFS locations are cached on the clients, it can take a while for this to be updated. (Obviously not a concern if you re-use the same share name.)

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