DFSR Troubleshooting and considerations

When you have a few DFS servers, everything seems fairly manageable. Add a few more…Yeah… All good… Get an issue, oh joy! Look at all these servers I need to examine in minute detail!

So I’ll start with an MS Blog that deals with config mistakes

Common DFSR Mistakes and Oversights

Might be a few banged heads on the desk (your own!) when you read some of that!

And put together by my own fair hand, some troubleshooting from the DFSR Management tool and some useful DFSR Diag commands

DFSR Management Tool

Verify topology simply checks the servers are contactable, which is useful, but does not verify replication.

DFS Management includes the ability to run a propagation test and generate two types of diagnostic reports—a propagation report and a general health report:

Propagation test    Tests replication progress by creating a test file in a replicated folder.

Propagation report    Generates a report that tracks the replication progress for the test file created during a propagation test.

Health report    Generates a report that shows the health of replication and replication efficiency.

To create a diagnostic report for DFS replication

Click Start , point to Administrative Tools , and then click DFS Management .

In the console tree, under the Replication node, right-click the replication group that you want to create a diagnostic report for, and then click Create Diagnostic Report .

Follow the instructions in the Diagnostic Report Wizard.

Perform all 3 tests and save the resulting xml/html report file.


This is the command line tool for DFSR – useful commands are:

dfsrdiag ReplicationState /all – verbose output

pollad – checks in with Active Directory

List DFS replication groups:

dfsradmin rg list

List replicated folders in a replication group:

dfsradmin rf list /rgname:<REPL_GROUP>

List members of a replication group:

dfsradmin mem list /rgname:<REPL_GROUP>

List the local folders that correspond to replicated folders of a replication group:

dfsradmin membership list /rgname:<REPL_GROUP> /attr:RfName,MemName,LocalPath

Show backlog between 2 members of a replication group:

dfsrdiag backlog /rgname:<REPL_GROUP> /rfname:<REPL_FOLDER> /smem:<SRV_A> /rmem:<SRV_B> [/v]

dfsrdiag backlog /rgname:<REPL_GROUP> /rfname:<REPL_FOLDER> /smem:<SRV_B> /rmem:<SRV_A> [/v]

Using the ‘Replicate Now’ command within the GUI or command line, kicks off replication again but is more used for when you have a schedule and want to replicate out of that schedule, whereas we can use it to tell it to start replication again.

Within the DFSR GUI – choose the Replication group, choose the ‘Connections’ tab and right click the Sending Server (usually you have a specific server that’s authoritative, but you can choose the sending member to be whichever you believe is most up to date and Microsofts black magic algorithm will attempt to resolve any file conflicts) and choose ‘Replicate Now’

A huge problem in DFSR is when you have an issue with Conflicted, Deleted and pre-existing files. Thankfully if you do get a conflict and file loss, they become Deleted…And you can get them back. This is the MS blog on this, but a few years ago when I had to do this, it took a great deal of work. It’s not just about getting the files back – who’s going to know which one they were working on? Or which is the most up to date? You do end up needing end user involvement and for me personally, that was making the data recovered available for a certain amount of time with the users expressly informed that they needed to check it themselves and there was just no way of doing that for them.

Restoring Conflicted, Deleted and PreExisting files with Windows PowerShell

DFSR Setup and considerations

DFSR is actually relatively easy to setup.

There’s no need for me to re-invent the wheel or explain in tiny detail, as most of it has all been done before.

So, to start

MS blog about how it can work for you.

DFS Replication in Windows Server 2012 R2

How to set it up

DFSR Setup with screenshots

Another MS blog about how if you have a huge estate, you better use DFSRADMIN command line! (Yeah you’d better!)

DFS Replication and command line


Add multiple ESXi Hosts to vCenter (PowerCLI)

So if you’ve read some of my previous posts, you probably figured out that I’ve built a fair few environments from scratch and hate having to rinse and repeat manually. For my last infrastructure project I have some various scripts and tools to sort that out!

The following link lets you add ESXi Hosts to vCenter via PowerCLI, by Hostname range, IP Range, or text file/CSV. I used textfile and name using this method and it worked perfectly.

This ties in with DNS entry creation as well as it means you can quickly and easily add all your hosts and create the DNS entries for them as well.

Add Add multiple ESXi Hosts to vCenter with PowerCLI

DNS Bulk records creation

Horizon View Client Install – Windows

And now for something completely different.

I mean, now for the Horizon View Windows Install!

Download the Horizon View Client from the following site:



Now, you may not want USB redirection (or it may not work) and also it’s environment dependent whether you want to Log in as current user.


Enter your Default connection server


Continuing on from if you chose to log in as current user


Run the app, log in and go forth!

Horizon View Client Install – iOS

Next part of client installs – iOS

Search for and install the client from the App store


Press ‘Add Server’ and type in the server name



Tap the Cloud icon for the your server and if necessary, choose your appropriate desktop pool and then enter your given username and password. Domain should auto populate, but is add if required.


You can make changes to various settings, such as the resolution (if required) from the settings menu.


Enter username and password


You’ll either go straight in, or have options if you are entitled to more than one pool. Choose what you’re due and you’re in.
























Horizon View Client – Android Install

For most of us, it’s easy installing any kind of client app, or app on our phones. For others, it can be a little bit more challenging. I snipped (Love the snipping tool and PSR, but that’s another story) and borrowed some screenshots to build up a few documents for the client installs for View – as I couldn’t find anything official and I needed them for a project. Without further ado, here’s android – iOS and Windows follows later.

Search for and install the client from the App store




Add the View Connection Server address you need





Enter your given username and password


Choose the appropriate Desktop pool if given the option



AD Certificate Services

I hate certificates. Well, a nice wildcard cert deployed internally is fine, but when there’s a faff to replace certificates and it’s been so long, that you really cannot remember what you did in the first place…I just hate it. So imagine my childish delight when I had to build AD CS!

It’s not that bad in all fairness and it boils down to make server, add role, next next next and let AD do it’s magic for all machines you need sending the certificate to within the domain. That’s just reminded me about the VDM certificate for connection servers, which will come later on.

I followed the MS lab guides and also backed this up with a very nice blog post with pretty screenshots and all worked fine. Just remember to add in any subject alternative names if you have a mixture of FQDN and abbreviated server names within your domain.


Deploying Standalone Root CA (Server 2012)