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Configuring DFS on Windows 2000 Server

Working complete PC Running Windows 2000 Server
Working complete PC Running Windows 2000 Professional
Working complete PC Running Windows 98
Network connectivity between the three PC's
Blank Diskette
Student Diskette, "New Boot A Ver 2.0+"
Student CD-ROM, "Room 6359"
Student CD-ROM, "Windows 2000 Server OEM"
Student CD-ROM, "Windows 2000 Professional OEM"
Student CD-ROM, "Windows 98 OEM"
The student will become familiar with:
The Windows 2000 Distributed File System,
The Windows 2000 Domain Network Architecture,
Windows 2000 Server DFS Configuration Planning,
Windows 2000 Server DFS Configuration Procedures.
The student will learn the nature, function and relationship to the rest of the server and network of the Distributed File System and how to implement DFS on the Windows 2000 Server operating system including how to design an effective DFS layout and then how to configure the system to use the layout.

The student should already be familiar with the standard manual installation of the Windows 2000 Server operating system from the OEM CD-ROM. In this module the Distributed File System will be explored indepth including the nature, function and relationship to the rest of the server system and the network and how to design and implement DFS on the server's domain.

The Distributed File System is a method of consolidating network shares across the network into a single location on the network. Dfs will appear in the root of the Domain in the Network Neighborhood of Windows 98 or My Network Places of Windows 2000. When the user opens the Dfs root share all network shares that have been added to it will appear within it despite the fact that each one could actually be on a different source computer. As such Dfs can serve to consolidate large numbers of shares on a network spread across many different host machines into a single share folder for easy access by the end user. Furthermore and system that needs o map a network drive letter can map it to the Dfs root share and then refer to any share network-wide that has been added to it as a subdirectory of the Dfs root share. This consolidates network drive mapping from potentially more letters than there are in the alphabet down to one.

The Dfs runs as a service on the server and these shares scattered across the network are not physically copied to the server at all. Dfs simply presents a single share on the network that users can access. Within it are other systems shares. When the user chooses to access one of these the server redirects the request to the actual host of that share. The Dfs root share is then a virtual share folder full of pointers to the actual shares distributed across the network, hence the name.

To perform the following procedures a Windows 2000 Domain Controller, Windows 2000 Professional member of the Domain and a Windows 98 member of the Domain will be needed. Use Ghost to set up the three systems and configure them accordingly. Create a new Domain User named FFRED. Create a folder named "Roshare" in the root of the Windows 2000 machine named "PC01" Rename the Windows 98 machine if necessary to PCW98. The domain controller in this example is named SVR6. Create a folder named "FFRED" in the root of the domain controller and add User FFRED with Full Control rights to it then remove the group Everyone (effectively revoking all rights) from the folder's share permissions. At this point the procedures can begin.

Procedures - Setting up DFS on the Server
  1. At the server click Start > Programs > Administrative Tools > Distributed File System. This opens the Dfs MMC Snap-in. Click on the Distributed File System item in the left-hand window pane then click the Action menu in the top left corner of the MMC and select New Dfs Root... This opens the wizard, click Next.

  2. In this screen be sure to choose "Create a Domain Dfs Root" rather than "Create a Standalone Dfs Root" Dfs is a large network solution since it is meant to consolidate large numbers of network shares. In large enterprise networks there will more than likely be more than one domain controller. Windows 2000 domain controllers will replicate all domain information between them providing domain fault tolerance in the event that any number of domain controllers goes offline and network load balancing in which functions that other servers can perform when others are busy will be taken up by them. By choosing to create a domain Dfs root, the Dfs root itself become a domain object that will be replicated to all domain controllers on the network. This means that any domain controller can provide the share and its contents to any requesting workstation of the domain so it will be fault tolerant and the servers can also distribute the servicing of the Dfs through network load balancing. A standalone Dfs root would be hosted by this server only. In the event that server goes offline, all of the Dfs root shares will become unavailable. Click Next:

  3. On the next wizard screen be sure that the domain of your server is listed in the textbox and click Next.

  4. On the next wizard screen be sure that the full network name of your server is listed in the textbox and click Next.

  5. In the next wizard screen, pause for a moment and open My Computer > C: Drive and create a new folder in the root of the C: drve named DFSROOT. Close the My Computer window and now in this wizard screen click "Create a New Share" Type C:\DFSROOT in the Path textbox and type NETDIRS in the share name textbox, then click Next:

  6. In the next wizard screen be sure that the Dfs root name is NETDIRS and type "All files on the network are in here" (no quotes) into the comment textbox and then click Next.

  7. In the Completing the wizard screen review all information then click the Finish button. The wizard disappears and the Dfs MMC snap-in now has the network UNC path name object under the Distributed File System object in the left hand window pane. Click this and a new toolbar will appear under the standard toolbar of the MMC console. Right click the new Dfs root object (\\\NETDIRS) and select New Dfs Link...:

  8. Type DOCS in the Link name textbox and type "Read-Only Documentation" in the comments textbox. Click the Browse button and open the [+] series: Entire Network > Microsoft Windows Network > Room6359 > PC01 then click on the share named Roshare. Now click OK on the Browse window and then OK on the New Dfs Link window:

  9. Repeat the procedure and create a new Dfs Link for the folder named FFRED. Make the link name = FFRED and the comment = Fred's Home Directory, browse to it on the server's C: drive and click OK to create the link. At this point the new Dfs Root structure contains two different shares. One on the server's drive and the other on the Windows 2000 Professional domain workstation's C: drive. Now startup and logon to the domain as FFRED from the Windows 98 PC.

  10. Procedures - Using DFS from the Workstation
  11. At the Windows 98 PC's desktop click Start > Run > "\\" (no quotes) > OK. This will open the root of the Domain:

  12. Right click on the folder named NETDIRS and select Map a Network Drive... Accept the default offerings in the window and click OK. The new mapped drive letter will open in a new window displaying the contents. Note that both shares from both machines are present. So from this single drive letter mapping services, applications and the user can access files spread throughout the network:

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