FRS to DFSR Migration on Domain Controllers

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Users and organizations preparing to deploy Server 2016 domain controllers need to transition from File Replication Service (FRS) to Distributed File System Replication (DFSR). Older Server versions used FRS to replicate changes to the SYSVOL directory to all domain controllers. However, Server 2008 R2 deprecated FRS and instituted DFSR as the preferred method for keeping folders synchronized across multiple servers. Many organizations didn’t transition, however: FSR still worked until release 1709 on Server 2016. The transition to DFSR is long overdue, but not complex. A series of PowerShell commands can migrate server controllers from FRS to DFSR.

Log in to the domain controller and launch PowerShell. Enter the command dfsrmig /getglobalstate. Microsoft recommends running this command only on the PDC emulator. Running on another domain controller can cause inconsistencies in data due to replication latency. Once you run this command, it will output the current migration state for the domain from the database’s local copy. If the output says “DFSR migration has not yet initialized,” then you need to undergo the FRS to DFSR process. If it says nothing, then you are already migrated to DFSR.

Step 1

If you need to migrate and are ready to do so, input the command dfsrmig /setglobalstate 1 to set the global migration state to prepared. Run dfsrmig /getmigrationstate to ensure that all domain controllers are now in prepared state. Do not enter any further commands until all domain controllers are in prepared state.

Step 2

Once all domain controllers are in prepared state, run dfsrmig /setglobalstate 2. This will set domain controllers to the Redirected state. Run dfsrmig /getmigrationstate again, and wait to proceed until all domain controllers are in the Redirected state.

Step 3

Be sure that your data is backed up in case of error, because there is no rollback from the next state. Once you are ready, run dfsrmig /setglobalstate 3, which will migrate to the Eliminated state. Now use dfsrmig /getmigrationstate again, and confirm that all domain controllers are in the Eliminated state.

As easy as 1-2-3, your FRS to DFSR migration is complete, and upgrades to Server 2016 can proceed as planned.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.


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