Microsoft KB Archive/250545

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Knowledge Base

SYSVOL Directory Is Slow to Synchronize, Delays Creation of SYSVOL Share and Domain Controller Registration

PSS ID Number: 250545

Article Last Modified on 10/11/2002

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server

This article was previously published under Q250545

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


Replica or backup Windows 2000 domain controllers may be slow to synchronize the contents of the system volume, which may delay the registration of a promoted computer as a domain controller.


The File Replication service (FRS) is a multiple-master replication engine for replicating files and folders in the system volume, and optionally, distributed file system (Dfs) root and child replicas. Initial SYSVOL replication begins when the the Dcpromo wizard has sourced Active Directory and the computer has been rebooted. Successful SYSVOL replication is critical for the domain controller to apply the default policy and become a fully functioning domain controller.

Replica domain controllers attempt to source the SYSVOL tree from the same server that is used to source the domain-naming context during Active Directory promotion by reading the "Replica Set Parent" (reg_sz) registry entry under:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CCS\Services\NTFRS\Parameters\SysVol\SysVol Seeding\Domain System Volume (Sysvol Share)

After the computer is rebooted, FRS connects to the DCPROMO source DC in order to replicate the contents of the SYSVOL. Typically the SYSVOL replication completes fairly quickly (less than 10 minutes). However, in 2195, FRS can fail to establish this post-reboot connection to the DCPROMO source computer. This is because Frs.exe attempts a Remote Procedure Call (RPC) to the \\ path, resulting in an "RPC unavailable" error message. This error message appears in the Ntfrs_000x.log files. The RPC call fails because of the presence of the two leading backslashes in the computer name. Until this initial SYSVOL replication has completed, FRS is preventing NETLOGON from announcing this computer as a domain controller.

Eventually, the Active Directory replication topology generator (KCC) will generate connection objects in the DS to incorporate this computer into the replication topology for the domain.

After the connections have been created and sufficiently replicated, FRS will use these automatically generated connection objects built by the KCC to source the SYSVOL tree from a replica DC in the same domain. After this initial replication is done, FRS notifies NETLOGON which now announces the computer as a DC.

The KCC evaluates the replication topology every 15 minutes by default, and typically builds the necessary connections in 15 to 30 minutes after Dcpromo reboots the computer. On occasion, initial SYSVOL replication may be delayed by 2 to 4 hours before the necessary connection objects exist.

If FRS is slow to begin SYSVOL replication after the first Dcpromo reboot, you can use one of the following methods:

  • Wait until the KCC builds automatic connection objects.
  • Stop FRS (type net stop ntfrs) on the new replica domain controller. Remove the double backslashes from the "Replica Set Parent" registry entry, and then restart the service (type net start ntfrs).
  • Use the Check Replication Topology command in Dssites.msc to cause the KCC topology generation to build automatic connection objects between the new replica and an existing domain controller in the same domain.
  • Build manual connection objects between the new replica domain controller and an existing domain controller in the same domain. Delete duplicate connections between replica members because they block SYSVOL replication.

Additional query words: FRS NTFRS W2000FRS

Keywords: kbenv kbinfo w2000frs KB250545
Technology: kbwin2000Search kbwin2000Serv kbwin2000ServSearch