Thursday, October 27, 2011

Windows 2003: extending the Schema to R2 for DFS-R

Recently I have been trying to install a DFS Replication Group on two brand new Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise boxes belonging to a pretty old Windows 2003 Active Directory Domain.

Nothing specially tricky in this activity, apart the fact that the AD Schema must be extended before we define a new replication group. This is due to the fact that DFS-R stores its configuration info in the domain partition. The aim of this blog post is to share my quick procedure to do it, in case somebody should face the same situation, as I am sure there are still many Windows 2003 Domains around.

First thing is "Don't panic". The Schema extension is pretty straightforward and it doesn't need you to reboot any of your precious DCs. You can do it without actually upgrading the Operating System on your DCs.

Just keep in mind that some parameters will be added to you Active Directory in order to DFS-R to work. These are, for instance:
  1. msDFSR-DfsPath
  2. msDFSR-ReplicationGroupGuid

If you don't update the Schema, you won't be able to set-up any Replication Group and you will receive the following error when trying to create a Replication Group:

" The Active Directory schema on domain controller cannot be read. This error might be caused by a schema that has not been extended, or was extended improperly. See Help and Support Center for information about extending the Active Directory schema. A class schema object cannot be found."
DFS-R R2 error when the Schema has not been updated

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