Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

On Tuesday we had a Server 2008 R2 DFS-R node go offline unexpectedly. DFS did the right thing and started routing requests to a different node, which was in a remote site. This is by design, because even though it's slow, at least it's still working.

We had the local DFS-R node back online within an hour, and it had synced all its changes 10 minutes after that.

3 of the 5 terminal servers reset themselves to the local DFS node, but the other two stayed pointing at the remote DFS node for three days, until someone finally piped up about how slow requests were.

DFS Namespace Properties

  1. What reasons could there be why some, but not all, of the server reverted?
  2. Is the currently active DFS node for a namespace exposed anywhere in the OS (WMI, or even scripts) so that we can monitor the active nodes?
share|improve this question
How do you have DFS configured to handle client redirection? – MDMarra Sep 7 '12 at 0:13
@MDMarra - I've updated the question with a screenshot, is that what you're after? – Mark Henderson Sep 7 '12 at 0:16
It's OK. Most 8-bit cats can't even read or write. You're at the forefront of your species. – MDMarra Sep 7 '12 at 0:24
up vote 2 down vote accepted

As for question 2: The DFS tools can be installed on W2K8 and W2K8R2 and used to run DFSUTIL on the client machine. Running "dfsutil /oldcli /PKTINFO" from a command line (after you've installed the DFS tools) should give you the info you're looking for. Here's a hopefully helpful link:

share|improve this answer
That works for me! I've posted an answer for #1 myself. – Mark Henderson Sep 7 '12 at 0:20
As an aside, there's probably a better way to accomplish number 2, but as I haven't worked with DFS in W2K8 and W2K8R2 I always go back to what I know from W2K3, which is to use dfsutil. – joeqwerty Sep 7 '12 at 0:21
I've decided to use dfsutil diag viewdfspath [path] as the output can be easilly grepped or parsed with a regex – Mark Henderson Sep 7 '12 at 0:28
I've rolled out dfsutil diag viewdfspath [path]|find /I "resolves to" to all our hosts as a monitoring item with a trigger when it changes. I think this is going to work well now. Thanks for the prompt help! – Mark Henderson Sep 7 '12 at 3:34
Glad to help... – joeqwerty Sep 7 '12 at 3:35

So, if I had read what was right under my nose, I would have seen that DFS Clients fail back to preferred target was un-checked:

DFS Failback Checkbox

joeqwerty's answer is great for question #1.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.