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You cannot create DFS links that point to a folder that is under a volume mount point in Windows Server 2003

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

SYMPTOMS
When you try to create a Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) link, and the link name points to a folder that is under a volume mount point, you receive an error message that resembles the following:
The following error occurred while creating the DFS Link: The specified path is invalid.
Additionally, events that resemble the following may be logged in the system event log:

Event Type: Error Event
Source: DfsSvc
Event Category: None
Event ID: 14503
Date: Date Time: Time
User: N/A
Computer: Computer_Name
Description: Dfs could not create reparse point for share Path_Name mapped to directory \??\Drive_Name\Folder_Name. The return code is in the record data. Data: 0000: 000000a1

CAUSE
This problem occurs because Windows Server 2003 does not support creating DFS links from folders that are under a volume mount.
WORKAROUND
To work around this problem, use one of the following methods:
  • Attach two disks together by using spanned volumes instead of using volume mount points.

    For more information about how to manage disks and volumes in Windows Server 2003, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    323442 How to use the Disk Management snap-in to manage basic and dynamic disks in Windows Server 2003
  • If you are running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, you can use multiple DFS roots to link to one another. For example, if you have a volume D and a volume E, you can mount each as a DFS root. Then, you can create DFS links from folders on volume D that point to folders on volume E.

Steps to reproduce the problem

Note You must have two computers to follow these steps.
  1. On a Windows Server 2003-based computer (Server1), create a folder structure that resembles the following:
    C:\DFSRoot\F1
  2. Open Disk Manager, and then mount a hard disk in the C:\DFSRoot\F1 folder.
  3. In the DFS snap-in, create a stand-alone DFS root. Set the root folder as C:\Data and use the following parameters:
    Server Name = Server1
    Root Name = DataFolder to Share = C:\DFSRoot
  4. Try to create a DFS link (DFS folder) from the DFS root that you created. Use the following parameters:
    Link Name = F1
    Path of target = \\Server2\Share (The target path can be any share. It is irrelevant to the scenario.)
Expected result: The DFS link is created.
Actual result: You receive the error message that is mentioned in the Symptoms section.

Note You cannot create a DFS link under a mount point. However, you can create a "DFS link target" to a folder that is at, under, or before a volume mount point. In other words, a "DFS link target" can be any UNC path that resolves to a directory. In order to demonstrate this scenario, consider the following example:
  • On Server2, you create a folder structure that resembles the following:
    C:\Data\F1
  • You open Disk Manager, and then you mount a hard disk in the C:\Data\F1 folder.
  • You create an additional C:\Data\F1\F2 folder under the mounted drive, and then you share C:\data, C:\data\f1, and C:\data\f1\f2 to the following corresponding shares on Server2:
    • \\server2\data
    • \\server2\f1
    • \\server2\f2
After you do this, "DFS link targets" will be created by using parameters that resemble the following:
Link Name = Link (Any valid link name may be used. It is irrelevant to the scenario.)

Path of target = \\server2\data or \\server2\data\f1 or \\server2\data\f1\f2 or \\server2\f1 or \\server2\f2
REFERENCES
For more information about DFS, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Properties

Article ID: 867712 - Last Review: 01/15/2009 22:01:04 - Revision: 3.0

Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition (32-Bit x86)

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