Recovery from accidentally root DFS deletion

22 Mar

Someone from 1st line support had accidently deleted one of the root DFS. This caused an outage which prevent all users from accessing their home drives and group folder areas (because they all referred to that root DFS).

We have tried to restore DFS root from a backup copy of our DfsUtil XML dump. However, due an orphaned (decommissioned, we only found out later) server in the DFS metadata, the restore was unsuccessful.

The next step then was to perfrom a restore of the DFS namespace object from our AD backup. The namespace is located in “CN=Dfs-Configuration, CN=System, CN=Domain, DC=Company, DC=com”. (see

You can either do an authoritative restore or use a third party like Quest to restore the namespace object.

After restoration, the following keys need to be manually added to each DFS root server and the DFS service restarted.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\microsoft\dfs\roots\domain\<your dfs namespace>
LogicalShare   REG_SZ      <share name>
RootShare     REG_SZ    <share name>

You would have noticed that I highlighted “DFS service restarted”. This is a very important step if not this could lead to an intermittently working DFS root server.

One of the root server, which we have restored service but never restarted the DFS service, started to exhibited intermittent issues. Some users would failed to map to the root during logon via our logon script, but when we tested to root on the user’s workstation again, we had no issues. Also after a log off and log on again, there was not issues. There was also no errors or warnings from that server.  It was only after some continuous testing against this server and the other root servers did we find out that that was the one being intermittent.

We rebooted the server and when it came up, DFS was not working! Upon checking the registry key, we found it missing. This lead me to believe there was some registry corruption that caused this. After manually added the registry keys again and restarting DFS service, all returned to normal.


1 Comment

Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Windows



One response to “Recovery from accidentally root DFS deletion

  1. Random IT Dude

    October 30, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you sir. Just got an issue with decomissioned server that was the namespace server for a namespace.
    Anyway. This tiny thing did the trick. Thanks a lot for your article.


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