Migrate DFS Namespaces from 2000 to 2008 mode

Recently I had a client whom I had migrated AD services from 2008 R2 to 2012 R2. That part of the project went well and when completed, I needed to upgrade their DFS infrastructure to 2008 Mode.

There were issues though and I had to do a few things that I didn’t really like to do. Let’s just say that when you have to use ADSIEDIT.MSC, it’s always a cause for concern!

Image result for distributed file system

Here are a few of the references that I used:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753875.aspx – procedure for upgraded DFS Namespaces to 2008 from 2000

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/d77b1057-7854-45a8-9449-20f64bcc2f48/tried-migrating-dfsr-namespace-from-2000-to-2008?forum=winserverfiles – Use ADSIEDIT.MSC to clean up DFS in AD.

https://blog.workinghardinit.work/2011/05/24/move-that-dfs-namespace-to-windows-2008-mode/ – Good article on the process

These are the steps that I took to upgrade the DFS with errors and the remediations that I found needed to be used.

1: Open an admin CMD prompt:

  • Dfsutil root export \domain.localxyz c:xyz.xml

2: Write down the path for each namespace server:




3: In DFS Management, right-click the namespace and then click Delete

  • Could not delete the entire DFS. Server03 gave an error about the element not being found – DFS – The namespace cannot be queried. Element not found


  • Bounced the DFS services on all three DCs
  • Able to delete the DFS Namespace but gave an error on Server03, red X on the namespace
  • Deleted Namespace from the AD using ADSIEDIT.MSC


  • Open ADSIedit.msc.
  • Connect to Default Naming Context (the domain name)
  • Expand and locate the container, which show the DFS root information
  • CN=<name_of_the_DFS replication group>,CN=DFSR-GlobalSettings,CN=System,DC=<name_of_your_domain>


4: In DFS Management, recreate the namespace with the same name, but use the Windows Server 2008 mode

  • At first, gave additional error about Server03 – Access is denied.
  • Could not stop and restart DFS, access is denied
  • Rebooted Server03
  • Now about to stop and start DFS
  • Added namespace back to the DFS successfully


5: Import the namespace from the export file

  • Dfsutil root import merge c:pps.xml \Domain.localxyz

Now, all appears to be well.

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