I am trying to configure DFS with replication for my employer. We are primarily using Windows 2008 and 2008 R2 servers. I'm getting an error in my DFS Management Console. It is saying "ERROR \domain.local\xxxx: The namespace cannot be queried. Element not found" This may be due to the fact this DFS namespace was created a while back and some of the domain controllers that used to host this namespace are no longer in service. How do I go about fixing this issue?

Thanks, Ryan


are you sure its not a dns issue, it could be a domain controller that's not been dc promo'd down cleanly

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  • +1. It very well could be a DNS issue as I've seen that before but my guess is that it has something to do with the original servers being decommissioned. – joeqwerty Oct 28 '10 at 17:26

Had this problem, I found that just re-creating the DFS namespace using the same name \SERVER\Profiles$ resolved the problem. Richard.

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Perhaps this will help:


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Hopefully you still have a server that the DFS console works on. If you do, go to each namespace, right-click it, hit properties, then go to the 'referrrals' tab. Make sure the "Ordering Method" is NOT set to "Exclude targets outside of the client's site". If it is, change it to something like 'least cost', wait for the changes to replicate (I waited an hour) then try the DFS console on a working server.

If you don't have a working DFS console anywhere, there might be a CLI command you can use to fix it (dfsutil or something), but I've never run into it.

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For anyone else happening upon this question, in my case the cause was the removal of a DFS name server without transferring resolution. My namespace was domain based, so it still existed as a domain object, but DNS servers are not used to resolve it, instead dedicated DFS namespace servers need to be defined. So I installed the DFS console on a remaining replicating node.

Install-WindowsFeature "RSAT-DFS-Mgmt-Con", "FS-DFS-Namespace"

And from this node I then created the same namespace (as Richard suggested above), but with the Domain-Based namespace, i.e. my.domain\dfs

note: although the question is Windows Server 2008, this still applies at Windows Server 2019.

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