When we migrate our production DCs to Server 2008 I would also like to move away from FSR to DFS-R for SYSVOL replication. My problem is that I setup a quick lab to test it out but it's not going as planned. I'm sure I'm just overlooking something obvious but I can't seem to figure out what :)

Here's what I'm doing 1. Installed two server 2008 machines (R2) and promoted them to domain controllers - with Server 2008 (Not R2) being the forest and domain functional levels.

  1. Verify that standard replication is working by placing some stuff in SYSVOL and make sure it ends up on the second domain controller.

  2. I then attempt to start the DFS-R migration process but dfsrmig.exe /setglobalstate 0 or dfsrmig.exe /setglobalstate 1 both report that I'm already at stage 3 ('Eliminated')..

So what am I missing?

3 Answers 3


From the SYSVOL Replication Migration Guide: FRS to DFS Replication


Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 use File Replication Service (FRS) to replicate SYSVOL, whereas Windows Server 2008 uses the newer DFS Replication service when in domains that use the Windows Server 2008 domain functional level, and FRS for domains that run older domain functional levels.

So... the error message is right, you're already using DFS :)

  • I was hoping this was the answer - just couldn't find any documentation to prove it :) .. Thanks.
    – GNUix
    Jun 12, 2009 at 7:22

Your lab is not accurately simulating your production environment, unless I'm missing something.

You refer to migrating to 2008 DCs, implying that you are currently running 2003 or below, so your lab should be configured with 2003 DC(s) and then add one or more 2008 DCs.

  • correct - however I'm not trying to simulate my production environment. I'm only trying to simulate moving from FRS to DFS-R for SYSVOL replication. It is my understanding that even in a 100% server 2008 environment FRS is used by default, is this not the case?
    – GNUix
    Jun 12, 2009 at 6:18
  • If the domain is running at the 2008 functional level, then it's using DFS-R for SYSVOL. If you had just dcpromo'd your 2008 servers and not raised the domain/forest functional level, you would've been using FRS for SYSVOL replication. Jun 13, 2009 at 7:55

If you create a new domain and the DC that you create on is running Windows 2008 or higher, then the SYSVOL replication is done via DFS-R; if the DC you create on is running Windows 2003 R2 or lower, the SYSVOL replication is done via FRS.

If you later add Windows 2008 or higher DCs to a domain created on a 2000/2003/2003R2 DC, and remove the DCs that are below 2008, you can raise the domain functional level to 2008 (or higher), but this does not change the SYSVOL replication; it continues to be done via FRS. You have to migrate SYSVOL migration using the dfsrmig tool.

If you want to do this in a lab, you will need to create the domain using Windows 2000, Windows 2003 or Windows 2003 R2, then add a 2008/2008R2/2012/2012R2 DC, then remove the original DC from the domain and then raise the DFL to 2008 or higher. This will give you a domain at 2008 DFL but replicating SYSVOL via FRS. This will then let you test the dfrsmig tool to migrate to DFS-R replication.

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