I have two fileservers (Windows Server 2012 R2) that have joined my domain, namely filesrv01 & filesrv02. These fileservers should both contain exact copies of the user data, and if one fails; the other one should take its place.

I have made a GPO that maps the folders from the first server and activated DFS replication between the two fileservers. The data is now successfully replicated between the sites, but my GPO is only statically mapping to the first fileserver. So if the primary fileserver goes offline, the drive maps get lost. I would like to have the drive maps updated to the secondary fileserver, should the primary fileserver go offline, or alternatively have one path to both destinations.

What would be a practical way of getting this to work the way I intend to?

  • That's way outside the scope of GPO, this seems practical: support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/301588
    – Sum1sAdmin
    May 16, 2016 at 13:01
  • 1
    This article is about using DFS with a file server cluster. A bit over the top for the environment described.
    – Sam Erde
    May 16, 2016 at 13:06
  • 1
    Your drive mapping should map to the DFS namespace, not the server name of a particular server.
    – joeqwerty
    May 16, 2016 at 13:09

1 Answer 1


You're halfway there if you already have DFS replication set up! What you need to do is configure a DFS namespace. The namespace will give you a single share name that your GPOs can map to, and the DFS service will direct the client to either one of the file servers. (If you have multiple Active Directory sites, one of the functions that it typically does is try to send the user to the closest file server in the DFS namespace.)

There are many guides out there on how to do this, and I think you'll find it fairly straightforward. Here are a few to get you started:

Once your DFS namespace is created, you will want to use the GPO to point drive mappings at it. Feel free to follow up here if you still have any questions about implementing this.

  • this is a good answer, I'd also make the fileserver redundant as well, which would also boost thruput on windows 8+ clients
    – Jim B
    May 16, 2016 at 17:55
  • I have successfully created the new DFS Namespace and it's available when typing the path manually, so the DFS namespace actually works. Our GPO for mapping folders looks like the following: General tab: Action: Create Location: \\SolvikIndredningar8.nsa.his.se\filesrv\Homes Reconnect: Checked Drive letter, Use: H Common tab: Run in logged-on user’s security context (user policy option) Item-level targeting: Group containing all users The GPO is linked to the appropriate OU. I can't get it to map using the GPO though, any input would help.
    – user354579
    May 17, 2016 at 9:29
  • @user354579, you might try the following. My bet is that changing the first or second will fix your problem. (1) Change the action to 'Replace'. (2) Make sure the preference is set in the User Configuration section of the GPO. (3) Make sure the H drive mapping does not conflict with the user accounts' home folder property in Active Directory.
    – Sam Erde
    May 19, 2016 at 13:37

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