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How can I change the SYSVOL location? PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Noel-Davies   
SYSVOL is a crucial Active Directory (AD) component, and you might sometimes need to move SYSVOL to another location. One method for moving SYSVOL is to demote the domain controller (DC) to a regular member server, then rerun Dcpromo, promoting the server to a DC and specifying an alternate folder for the SYSVOL location. However, this procedure requires checking that the DNS configuration, the site, and so on have been removed cleanly, and results in the unavailability of the DC for a possibly significant amount of time.

Alternatively, you can set the path of SYSVOL via the KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters\SysVol registry subkey. However, there are other factors to consider, such as replication and staging. Microsoft has an “Active Directory Monitoring Guide” that lists many common AD scenarios, including moving SYSVOL.

Moving SYSVOL Manually

Except where noted, perform these steps on the domain controller that contains the system volume that you want to move. Procedures are explained in detail in the linked topics.

Warning: This procedure can alter security settings. After you complete the procedure, the security settings on the new system volume are reset to the default settings that were established when you installed Active Directory. You must reapply any changes to the security settings on the system volume that you made since you installed Active Directory. Failure to do so can result in unauthorized access to Group Policy objects and logon and logoff scripts.

1.

Identify replication partners.

2.

On the replication partners, check the status of the shared system volume. You do not need to perform the test on every partner, but you need to perform enough tests to be confident that the shared system volumes on the partners are healthy.

3.

Verify that replication is functioning.

4.

Gather the SYSVOL path information.

5.

Stop the File Replication service.

6.

Create the SYSVOL folder structure.

7.

Set the SYSVOL path.

8.

Set the Staging Area path. If you have moved the Staging Area folder to a different location already, you do not need to do this step.

9.

Set the fRSRootPath.

10.

Prepare a domain controller for non-authoritative SYSVOL restore.

11.

Update security on the new SYSVOL.

12.

Start the File Replication service.

13.

Check the status of the shared system volume.

Moving SYSVOL with the Active Directory Installation Wizard

Use the following procedures to remove and reinstall Active Directory in order to move SYSVOL. For more information about installing and removing Active Directory, see "Managing Installation and Removal of Active Directory" in this guide. Procedures are explained in detail in the linked topics.

1.

View the current operations master role holders to see if any roles are assigned to this domain controller.

2.

If this domain controller is listed as hosting either the schema master or domain naming master roles, then transfer the forest-level roles to another domain controller in the forest root domain. Any domain controller in the forest is capable of hosting these roles but it is recommended that they remain in the forest root domain. Ensure that you place the domain naming master role on a global catalog server.

3.

If this domain controller is listed as hosting the primary domain controller (PDC) emulator, infrastructure master or relative identifier (RID) master roles, transfer the domain-level roles to another domain controller in the same domain. Do not place the infrastructure master role on a global catalog server unless all of the domain controllers host the global catalog or unless only one domain exists in the forest.

4.

Determine whether a domain controller is a global catalog server and ensure that other domain controllers are configured as global catalog servers before continuing.

5.

Verify DNS registration and functionality.

6.

Verify communication with other domain controllers.

7.

Verify the existence of the operations masters on the network.

Note: If any of the verification tests fail, do not continue until you identify and fix the problems. If these tests fail, the decommissioning operation is also likely to fail.

8.

Remove Active Directory.

9.

Delete the server object from a site.

10.

Verify DNS registration and functionality.

Note: If the verification test fails, do not continue until you identify and fix the problems. If the test fails, then installation is also likely to fail.

11.

Install Active Directory. Provide the wizard with the new location for SYSVOL when prompted.

12.

Verify the site assignment for the domain controller.

13.

Move a server object to a different site if the domain controller is located in the wrong site.

14.

Perform final DNS configuration for a new domain controller that is located in the forest root domain:

1.

Create a delegation for the new domain controller in the parent domain of the DNS infrastructure if a parent domain exists and a DNS server hosts it. If a DNS server does not host the parent domain, then follow the procedures outlined in the vendor documentation to add the delegation for the new domain controller.

2.

Configure the DNS client settings.

Or

Perform final DNS configuration for a new domain controller that is located in a child domain:

3.

Create a delegation for the new domain controller in the forest root domain.

4.

Create a secondary zone.

5.

Configure the DNS client settings.

15.

Check the status of the shared system volume.

16.

Verify DNS registration and functionality.

17.

Verify domain membership for the new domain controller.

18.

Verify communication with other domain controllers.

19.

Verify that replication is functioning.

20.

Verify the existence of the operations masters.

 
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