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Active Directory

DFS and Windows Server 2008 Mode

Monday, September 14, 2015 in Active Directory (Views: 3207)
There is a little confusion about this whole "Server 2008" mode with DFS. First off, it's the year 2015, why do we care? Because 2008 mode is the latest available.

Just in case you are the last to actually upgrade your domain and forest functional levels, DFS in Windows 2008 mode only requires a Windows Server 2003 forest functional level, although obviously if you had a higher functional level, this would work just fine. You do, however, need to be at a Windows Server 2008 domain functional level.

So, how do you move the DFS to 2008?

1. Your lab domain is lab.test and your namespace is called Namespace1.
2. You are using the root of C: as your export area
3. You have a file server named File1 you are converting. Of course, you may have more if you come from the real world. I later add an example of "File2".


  • Insure your forest functional level is 2003
  • Insure your domain functional level is 2008

  • First, run the dfsutil root export command like this. This will export the below namespace to a file.

  • Dfsutil root export \\lab.test\Namespace1 c:\Namespace1.xml

    Your output file will look like this:

  • If you have more than one namespace server, take a moment to note the names. These have to be manually recreated as for some reason dfsutil cannot recreate these namespace servers.
  • Next, we will be deleting the namespace with this command:

  • Dfsutil root remove \\lab.test\Namespace1

    Once it completes, you'll see if you refresh the DFS console, you cannot display the namespace.

    Don't remove the Namespace from display, instead…
  • We need to create the new namespace again (true Microsoft fashion, no easy process to upgrade, just delete and rebuild). You use a command as the following:

  • Dfsutil root addDom \\File1\Namespace1 v2

    Note: I couldn't get the namespace to refresh correctly in the DFS console, but restarting the console worked – another Microsoft innovation. You will also notice post refresh that the Type switched to Windows Server 2008 Mode by going to the namespace properties.

  • Now, import your XML from before

  • Dsfutil root import merge c:\Namespace1.xml \\lab.test\Namespace1
    Note: If you don't want to wait for a bigger namespace, best idea would be to run this on the actual server, in this case File1.

  • Lastly, if you had any extra namespace servers, like FILE2 for example, you would add them manually using dfsutil as such

  • Dfsutil target add \\File2\Namespace1


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