FRS Overview

Published: October 22, 2009

Updated: January 8, 2015

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

File Replication Service (FRS) is a technology that was originally introduced on Windows 2000 Server to replicate Distributed File System (DFS) folders and the SYSVOL folder on domain controllers.

FRS has been replaced in Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2008 R2 by DFS Replication for replicating DFS folders and for replicating the SYSVOL folder. Beginning with Windows Server 2012 R2, it is no longer possible to use Windows PowerShell or Server Manager to create new domains with a Windows Server 2003 domain functional level. This means that new FRS deployments are now blocked and DFS Replication will always be used for SYSVOL replication in new domains. For more information about FRS support in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 R2, see File Replication Service (FRS) Is Deprecated in Windows Server 2008 R2.

To manage a Distributed File System namespace that uses FRS to replicate content, open the Distributed File System snap-in on a computer running Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 Server.

In Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2008 R2, the only thing that FRS can do is replicate the SYSVOL folder on domain controllers. Non-SYSVOL FRS replicas are disabled on servers that have been upgraded to Windows Server 2008 R2 or later. We recommend immediately migrating all FRS replicas to DFS Replication. For more information, see SYSVOL Replication Migration Guide: FRS to DFS Replication and DFS Operations Guide: Migrating from FRS to DFS Replication and also the blog post The End is Nigh (For FRS).

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