You Must Rename the SYSVOL Member Object to Rename a Windows Server 2003 Domain Controller


When you use the File Replication Service (FRS) to replicate SYSVOL content throughout an enterprise, the replication of SYSVOL may not work.


This issue may occur if a new domain controller in the forest uses the original computer name of a renamed domain controller.

During promotion, the Active Directory installation wizard creates objects in Active Directory based on the domain controller's current NetBIOS computer name. The NTFRSmember object that the File Replication service (FRS) uses to replicate the contents of SYSVOL between domain controllers in the same domain is an example of such an object. Similarly, enabling the FRS replication of a Distributed File System (DFS) root or link in the DFS snap-in (Dfsgui.msc) creates NTFRSmember objects, but its NTFRSMember object uses a "rename-safe" alpha-numeric GUID.

In Windows Server 2003, administrators can change the computer name of a Windows Server 2003 domain controller by using My Computer or Netdom.exe, but neither method renames the domain controller's corresponding NTFRSmember object for SYSVOL from the old computer name to the new computer name.

The difference between a domain controller's NetBIOS name and the common name for its NTFRSmember object does not break any functionality until a new domain controller is promoted into the forest with the old NetBIOS name of the renamed domain controller. When this behavior occurs, the new domain controller deletes the existing (duplicate) NTFRSmember object and recreates a new NTFRSmember object for itself. The renamed domain controller that originally created the NTFRSMember object ends up without an NTFRSmember object.

When they rename the computer name of a Windows Server 2003 domain controller, administrators must also rename the NTFRSMember object for the SYSVOL replica set. There are two benefits to updating the NTFRSMember object to match the domain controller's new computer name:
  • You can easily map NTFRSMember objects to their corresponding computer names.
  • When you add to the domain a new computer that has a computer name that is the same as the computer name of a previously renamed domain controller, the NTRFSMember objects of the renamed domain controllers are not overwritten.
If the NTFRS member object for a renamed domain controller was overwritten, you must manually re-create it.

For additional information about how to do this, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
325379 How to Upgrade Windows 2000 Domain Controllers to Windows Server 2003


To resolve this issue, for each Windows Sever 2003 domain controller whose computer name (the first label of the computer's DNS name) is being renamed, update the computer name of the SYSVOL NTFRSmember object. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Record the original computer name for the Windows Server 2003 domain controller that you are renaming. To verify the computer name, right-click My Computer, click Properties, and then click the Computer Name tab.
  2. Rename the domain controller using either of the following methods:
    • Right-click My Computer, click Properties, click the Computer Name tab, click Change, type the new name in the Computer name box, and then click OK.
    • Use the Netdom.exe utility to rename the computer. For additional information about how to use the Netdom.exe utility to rename a computer in Windows Server 2003, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
      325354 HOW TO: Use the Netdom.exe Utility to Rename a Computer in Windows Server 2003
  3. Start Active Directory Users and Computers, and then click Advanced Features on the View menu.
  4. Locate the SYSVOL NTFRSmember object for the renamed domain controller. To do so, expand System, expand File Replication Service, expand Domain System Volume (SYSVOL share), and then click name of domain controller before the change.
  5. Right-click the NTFRSmember object, click Rename, and then type the new name. Use the same name that you used in step 2.

Article ID: 316826 - Last Review: Jan 7, 2008 - Revision: 1