Server 2003 R2 DFS-R Replication Issues

Monday, October 20, 2008 3:21:50 PM

I have been heavily investing in Domain DFS (Distributed File System) to help simplify our storage management. Microsoft's DFS really helps, providing the ability to store static files at each branch office and replicate changes to the local site using DFS-R (DFS Replication), that way the user will have quick access to them regardless of where they are. Another benefit of this combination is that you can create a warm failover by replicating the data throughout the day to your main site and then setting it as the primary DFS path if the branch server fails.

While implementing this solution and setting up my replication I came across some pretty big issues, such as file counts between the source and destination being off by thousands (more on the source side). After visiting forum after forum I have finally learned that this was due to the files having the Temporary NTFS attribute set on them, which DFS-R will not schedule for replication. In looking at a large sampling of the files using fsutil (fsutil usn readdata <Filename>)they all contained this attribute as noted by the attribute being greater than 0x100 (The Temporary attribute). For example, 0x180, 0x120, etc. Most of these files were PDF files. I have not found any documentation yet regarding why the PDF files might have this attribute set, but I am going to keep looking.

To solve this problem I created a C# project that would scan the filesystem looking for these files and removing this attribute. A bit of a brute force approach, but there aren't very many legitimate uses for this in our environment. The source of the code is here.

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