The File Replication Service May Delete Files, What Can I Do

Because NTBackup is failing on that server, I built a DFS to migrate some files to a new server more quickly. However, the event log states it may erase files on the HDD. What?! I've never had DFS remove files before?! What exactly does this mean? If it deletes those files, I'm screwed because I don't have a backup. A user accessing a share on Server1Home isn't supposed to be affected by this.

Best Answered by

Dany· Answered on Oct 18, 2023

Yes, DFS can delete files. When you first configure it, you choose a master, and all files are duplicated to the other server. There is no "master" after the initial replication; it operates on the most recently updated attribute. If you delete a file on one server, it will be replicated on the other to keep both servers' file sets consistent.

That message is simply a standard Windows caution. If you have Folder A on Server 1 (the source) and Folder B on Server 2, this will normally happen (if Server 1 is set as the primary or in an initial mesh setting). Folder A contains all of the files you require. Whatever is in Folder B will most likely be replaced once the contents of Folder A are duplicated into Folder B. Following the first configuration, anything deleted or created from either mesh will be deleted or copied on the other.

To transfer files from one server to another (or from old to new), you can use Microsoft's free File Server Migration Wizard. Here is the quick instruction for the application:

  • Create a "project,"
  • Select the old and new servers and shares
  • Optionally set it up as a DFS Namespace so that the existing mappings continue to operate
  • Then let it copy all the files (and their characteristics and ACLs).

You can do that portion multiple times in multiple passes, so you could start it on a weekday night and let it copy over the weekend, then wait until everything else is done, rerun it and let it copy only new/changed files from the last run, and then the final step, Finalize, is when it takes the old share offline, validates all the permissions and attributes and sets them on the destination accordingly, and then turns on the share on the new server.

If you delete the files mistakenly or if the file is lost due to server errors, you can try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for help, which enables you to quickly recover deleted files, even recover files from emptied Recycle Bin.

Use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover deleted or lost files easily and quickly.

Tutorials on how to recover lost, deleted, or formatted data from HDD, SSD, USB, SD card, or other storage media on Windows and Mac.

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