"The system cannot find the file specified" error message when deleting DFS Root target

Author:

Dmitry Korolyov MVP

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SYMPTOMS

If you use Distributed File System mmc console to manage DFS, and attempt to delete a DFS root target, you may receive the following error message:
 
The following error occurred during deleting the DFS root on SERVERNAME.
Do you want to forcibly remove the DFS root?
The system cannot find the file specified.
 
If you answer "Yes" to the question, DFS root target removal succeeds.

CAUSE

You may experience this situation if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) DFS root target was created on a server with default DFS configuration, using server NetBIOS name in referral
(2) Server hosting the DFS root target you want to delete was configured to use FQDNs in referrals, according to Knowledge Base article 244380
 
The error message occurs after configuring DFS service on the server hosting the root target to use Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs) in referrals. Since the old referral name stored in DFS configuration was created using NetBIOS server name, it does not match the current setting of the DFS service and therefore an error is raised.

RESOLUTION

The behavior is by design. You can safely ignore the error and answer "Yes" to the question about forced removal. DFS root target will be successfully deleted.

MORE INFORMATION

For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
 
 How to Configure Dfs to Use Fully Qualified Domain Names in Referrals
Properties

Article ID: 555181 - Last Review: 14 Feb 2017 - Revision: 1

Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)

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