DFS Replication Failure
I have an environment that heavily leverages DFS, and recently one of the replication member servers had to be restored from a VEEAM backup. Typically VEEAM is great and doesn’t cause any issues, in this case though DFS completely broke. I got a TON of SCOM alerts, and the event log was littered with them as well.
The DFS Replication service failed to recover from an internal database error on volume D:. Replication has been stopped for all replicated folders on this volume. Additional Information: Error: 9214 (Internal database error (-1605)) Volume: D: xxxxxx Database: D:\System Volume Information\DFSR
Event 2212, DFSR
The DFS Replication service has detected an unexpected shutdown on volume D:. This can occur if the service terminated abnormally (due to a power loss, for example) or an error occurred on the volume. The service has automatically initiated a recovery process. The service will rebuild the database if it determines it cannot reliably recover. No user action is required.
Error 2104, DFSR
The DFS Replication service failed to recover from an internal database error on volume D:. Replication has been stopped for all replicated folders on this volume.
Error: 9214 (Internal database error (-1605))
Database: D:\System Volume Information\DFSR
The important error here is 2104, noting the database issue. There are multiple topics out there that talk about this, but they all end up linking back to this support article.
In the end, essentially the database that is used by DFS replication becomes corrupted. It is a system-generated database so all you need to do is disable the replication service, delete the database, and start the replication service back up. Easy? No. There are a myriad of issues with doing this, mostly because the database is hosted in “System Volume Information” on the volume that hosts the DFS Root folder, or wherever you’ve placed the replication targets. Luckily for you, I hit my head against a wall for hours on end and figured out the solution.
Step 1: Stop DFSR service (stop-service DFSR)
Step 2: Grant yourself visibility to the “System Volume Information” folder. This entails flipping the radio button in explorer to “view hidden files”, as well as unchecking the box for “hide all system protected folders”.
Step 3: Grant yourself proper permissions to the “System Volume Information” folder. Go to the root of the volume that holds the replication targets eg. D:\. You will now see a grayed-out folder with a lock on it called “System Volume Information”. Go through the normal rigamaroo to grant “Administrators” full control over the folder. You should then be able to open it up, before it would have said “Access Denied”.
Step 4: Delete or rename the “DFSR” folder inside “System Volume Information”. Unfortunately, that’s not easy. Based on what I saw, it was because the file names in the database folder exceeded the limitations of explorer ( https://thetechl33t.com/2014/04/22/varying-file-name-too-long-issues ). Here the easiest thing to use is the wonderful Robocopy /MIR! Create an empty folder in the root of the drive and copy it into the DFSR folder using the /mir flag in robocopy. This will “mirror” the source folder into the destination folder.
Now the DFSR folder should be completely empty.
Step 5: Start the DFS Replication service (start-service DFSR)
Step 6: Check for validating event logs.
Event 4102, DFSR
The DFS Replication service initialized the replicated folder at local path D:\xxxxxx and is waiting to perform initial replication. The replicated folder will remain in this state until it has received replicated data, directly or indirectly, from the designated primary member.
Replicated Folder Name: XXXXXXX
Replicated Folder ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Replication Group Name: XXXXX\XXXX
Replication Group ID: XXXXXXXXXX
Member ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXX
Event 4412, DFSR
The DFS Replication service detected that a file was changed on multiple servers. A conflict resolution algorithm was used to determine the winning file. The losing file was moved to the Conflict and Deleted folder.
Original File Path: D:\XXXXXXX
New Name in Conflict Folder: XXXXXXXXXXX
Replicated Folder Root: D:\XXXXXXXX
File ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Replicated Folder Name: XXXXXXXXXXXX
Replicated Folder ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Replication Group Name: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Replication Group ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Member ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
There you go! You’ve done it! Microsoft said you had to contact their support to fix it, but you crafty devil – you’ve gone and done it yourself.
I hope I’ve made your day at least a little bit easier.