How to identify the replication technology in use by Active Directory

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Since Windows Server 2003 the SYSVOL replication which includes Group Policies, Scripts, and so forth has been done through FRS (File Replication Services), however starting on Windows Server 2008 the focus shifted to use DFS (Distributed File Service).

If your current domain was created before Windows Server 2008, then you environment probably is using FRS, however if your current domain was created on Windows Server 2008 or later then it most likely that you are using DFS.

In the upcoming Windows Server 2016 the FRS is being deprecated, which makes a good time to move from FRS to DFS. We are going to cover this process in a future article, for now we are going to use this Tutorial to check it out which technology is being used to replicate SYSVOL on your network.


By default, the SYSVOL data can be found on the C:\Windows\SYSVOL folder. An easy way to check is to use ADSIEdit.msc, expand Default naming context, expand the domain, and then click expand CN=System, and then get properties of CN=DFSR-GlobalSettings.


In the new window, look for the msDFSR-Flags attribute, and if the value is 48 then the DFS is being in use. If the value is one of these (null/empty, 0, 16 or 32), then you are in a transition or FRS mode.


Written by Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian MVP in Cloud and Datacenter Management, and Office Server and Services, besides the Microsoft Award he also holds a Solutions Master (MCSM) in Exchange and several other certifications. Anderson has been contributing to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, twitter, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor here at,, and Anderson (Portuguese).

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