How to set the /insite option on the Distributed File System (DFS) root on a Windows Server 2003-based computer

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Article ID: 947724 - View products that this article applies to.
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You have multiple sites in the Active Directory directory service, and you are using a domain-based Distributed File System (DFS) namespace. After you set the /insite option on the DFS root on a Windows Server 2003-based computer, clients may be unable to receive referrals for the DFS namespace in certain Active Directory sites.

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Domain-based DFS namespaces can have multiple root targets. (Root targets are also known as root replicas.) If a site has no root target for a given DFS domain-based namespace and if the /insite option is set on the root, clients will not receive any referrals for the namespace. Clients will receive referrals only for roots that have set the /insite option or for the same site that includes the client. This decision is made by the domain controller that is servicing the client computer.

To guarantee that all clients can access a root, make sure that every Active Directory site has a root target when you set the /insite option. If you cannot do this, consider enabling the /insite option on the links under the root instead of on the root itself.

This issue reflects a design change for DFS between the release of Microsoft Windows 2000 Server and the release of Windows Server 2003.


Article ID: 947724 - Last Review: January 16, 2015 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
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