On Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, the built in shared folder named "Shared Folders"(located in "C:\\DFSRoot\Shared Folders") that contains a virtual folder(Not sure what the proper name is as it is not a shortcut) folders to the actual shared folders. This works fine with one exception, when the search server feature is installed and the indexing options include the actual shared folder there is a problem in how the indexing works with the client computers.


  • In dashboard we create a new share folder called "Company Files"
    • this creates a shared folder at "D:\\Shared Folders" and a virtual folder at "C:\\DFSRoot\Shared Folder\" named "Company Files"
  • There are now two ways to access this folder over the network
    • "\\Server\Shared Folders\Company Files"
    • "\\Server\Company Files"
  • Open "Indexing Options" and add the "D:\\Shared Folders\" to the indexing list and select "Index Properties and File Contents"
  • [problem] The users rely on the navigation tree in the navigation pane to traverse the folder structures and speed up there work flow. This is supported using the "Shared Folders" on client computers but not if they go directly to "\Server\Company Files".
    • If you login in to a client computer and go to the "Shared Folders" (the address that it uses is "\\Server\Shared Folders\Company Files") shortcut that was added to the client computer by the essentials installer then open the "Company Files" folder and search for a document it will not utilize the index on the server and will take a long time.
    • If you go directly to "\\Server\Company Files" and search in there it uses the index on the server and results are displayed very fast as it should.
  • [Work around] The only way I have been able to make it work is to make a group policy that maps a drive to "\Server\Company Files" and they get both the navigation tree and the server indexed search but the client computers that are laptops get the drive disconnected message when remote and it is confusing them and causing issues.

The question is how can I have the client computers search using the server index using the "Shared Folders" virtual folders?

[notes] - I have tried to include the "C:\\DFSRoot\Shared Folders" in the index as well but no luck. - Client computers are running Windows 10 Pro


I know that indexing services are not supported on DFS shares, which makes me wonder if the "Shared Folders" virtual folders you are talking about are somehow served via DFS "under the hood". It would make some sort of sense due to the nature of those directories

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