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DFS-R Fails To Replicate Some Files

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 1:14:44 PM

DFS-R fails to differentiate “long” filenames with filenames that appear as 8.3 short names. While this is rarely an issue, and even less so as our older files become obsolete, I have seen it happen in a couple situations. For example, take these two files:

   Notification Procedures.doc
   Notifi~1.doc

To reproduce this fully, create a new folder on a replicated volume. Create a new document with the first filename and wait for it to replicate. Now, from the command prompt, type in ‘dir /x <Source Directory>’ and note the 8.3 filename is “NOTIFI~1.DOC”. Type in the same command but use the destination directory this time. You will note that it, too, has the same 8.3 filename. Next we need to create the second file. Create a new document and save it as “Notifi~1.doc”. You should not see this file replicate. If you now run the ‘dir /x’ command for the two directories you will see that the first document on the source has been changed to “NOTIFI~2.DOC” however on the destination this change has not been made. DFS will note that the file exists in both locations and no replication will occur.

Again, this isn’t an issue unless you have a large collection of legacy filenames especially those that only maintained their short name.

One workaround that I have found, which will work after the fact, is to disable 8.3 filename creation on your NTFS volumes. You can do this on Server 2003, XP and Vista using the command ‘fsutil.exe behavior set disable8dot3 1’. For Windows NT and Windows 2000 you need to make a registry change. For more information on this change you can reference this Microsoft article.


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