Antivirus, backup, and disk optimization programs that are compatible with the File Replication Service


This article lists programs that interoperate correctly with the NTFS file system and with the File Replication Service (FRS).

The FRS is a multi-threaded, multi-master replication engine that replaces the LANMan Directory Replication service (LMRepl service) on domain controllers that run Microsoft Windows NT version 3.x or 4.0. Windows 2000-based domain controllers and servers use the FRS to replicate system policy and logon scripts for Microsoft network clients. The FRS can also replicate content between Windows 2000-based and Windows Server 2003-based servers that host the same fault-tolerant Distributed File System (DFS) root or child targets.

More Information

The Update Sequence Number (USN) journal is a log of fixed size that records all changes that occur on NTFS partitions. The FRS monitors the NTFS USN journal files and uses the "file close" event to initiate the replication of files and folders in folder trees for which FRS replication has been enabled. "File close" events that can trigger replication include creating or deleting a file, a version change to an existing file, or resetting the permissions on a file or folder.

Some disk optimization programs, file-system backup programs, and antivirus programs modify files or folders, or their metadata, in the file system. These modifications may cause "closed file" events in the NTFS file system that trigger FRS replication. Because such programs frequently scan every file and folder in an FRS-replicated tree, this interaction is similar to requesting a full synchronization of all the files and folders from every server or domain controller that is running the interacting program. Administrators may see the following symptoms in their environments:
  • Files in Sysvol and DFS shares are replicated too much with no noticeable change to the files.
  • Network traffic between replication partners consume too much network bandwidth; the FRS is the responsible service.
  • Files may be replicated at off-peak hours, or at regularly occurring times if the interacting program is scheduled to run at specific times, or during periods of low server usage.
  • The number of files in the staging folder constantly grows. The staging folder may be emptied after the interacting program completes, or after the FRS schedule opens to allow replication. (Note that this is independent of a change in the version of FRS that is included with Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 and later that leaves staging files in the folder for one week before they are removed.)
  • The number of files in the staging folder constantly grows. The staging folder is never emptied if changes to downstream partners cannot be replicated either because of network connectivity problems or because the number of modified files that need replication cannot be replicated.

Programs that do not trigger FRS replication

The following programs were tested and found not to modify files in a way that triggers FRS replication. However, note that this list will not be maintained. If you have questions about the compatibility of any one of the products that are listed, contact the corresponding third-party vendor.


  • Computer Associates eTrust Antivirus build 96 or later with the "NTFS incremental scan" feature disabled
  • Computer Associates eTrust 7.0
  • Eset Nod32 version 1.199.16
  • Grisoft AVG Antivirus 7.0
  • McAfee/NAI NetShield 4.50 with the NetShield Hotfix Rollup
  • Norton AntiVirus 7.6 or later
  • PowerQuest V2i Protector Desktop Edition 2.01
  • PowerQuest V2i Protector Server Edition 2.01
  • Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition 8.1
  • Trend Micro ServerProtect for Microsoft Windows/Novell Netware
  • Trend Micro OfficeScan 7.0

File and system state backup

  • Legato Octopus/Replistor 5.2.1

Disk optimization

  • PowerQuest Drive Image 7.01
The third-party products that are discussed in this article are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.