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Import the SYSVOL folder structure

Updated: March 2, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Use this procedure to copy the SYSVOL folder structure from another domain controller. The %systemroot%\SYSVOL folder is at the top of the folder tree for the Windows system volume. To properly import SYSVOL, you must copy the %systemroot%\SYSVOL folder and its contents.

To use this procedure, the default shared folder Admin$ must exist on the domain controller from which you plan to copy the SYSVOL folder structure. Some organizations remove this shared folder or rename it for security reasons. If this shared folder is not available, you must share the %systemroot% folder and name the share point Admin$. If you share the %systemroot% folder in order to complete this procedure, ensure that you remove the share point after the procedure is complete in order to maintain any security policies established on your network. If the Admin$ share has been renamed, then use the name assigned by your organization instead of Admin$ while completing this procedure.

Never copy information from the system volume on one domain controller to the system volume on another domain controller unless you have stopped the File Replication service and configured SYSVOL for a non-authoritative restore during startup. Failure to do so can cause invalid data to be replicated and cause the system volumes on various domain controllers to become inconsistent.

Administrative Credentials

To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Domain Admins group in Active Directory.

To import the SYSVOL folder structure

  1. Open Windows Explorer.

  2. Navigate to the existing %systemroot%\SYSVOL folder that you are rebuilding and delete it.

  3. Connect to the Admin$ share on the domain controller that you identified earlier as the replication partner from which you plan to copy the SYSVOL folder structure.

  4. Once you are connected to the Admin$ share point, verify that a folder labeled SYSVOL appears. Right-click the SYSVOL folder, and click Copy.

  5. In the same directory, find some blank space and right-click. Click Paste. You might see a dialog box stating that some files already exist and a prompt asking whether you want to continue copying the folder. At each such prompt, click No.

  6. Verify that the original SYSVOL folder and a new folder labeled Copy of SYSVOL both appear. Right-click Copy of SYSVOL and click Rename. Type SYSVOL2 and press ENTER.

  7. Open a command prompt. Change to the drive letter that represents the connection to the remote domain controller where you created the SYSVOL2 folder.

  8. Change the directory to SYSVOL2\sysvol.

  9. Type dir and press ENTER. Verify that <JUNCTION> appears in the Dir output and is followed by the name of the domain.

  10. You must update the path in this junction so that it points to the new location. Type the following command:

    linkd junctionname newpath

    where newpath is the new value you recorded in row 4 of the table in Gather the SYSVOL path information. Press ENTER.

  11. If the staging area has been relocated and is no longer inside the SYSVOL folder, skip steps 10 and 11 and proceed to step 12. At a command prompt, change the directory to \SYSVOL2\staging areas under the copy of SYSVOL that you created. Type dir to list the contents and verify that <JUNCTION> appears in the Dir output.

  12. Update the junction so that it points to the new location. Type the following command:

    linkd junctionname newpath

    where newpath is the new value that you recorded in row 5 of Table 1 while gathering system volume path information. Press ENTER.

  13. At the command prompt, change back to the %systemroot% for the domain controller that you are repairing.

  14. From the command prompt, use the Xcopy command to copy the contents of the \SYSVOL2 folder you created to a new SYSVOL folder on your local drive. Type the following command:

    xcopy drive :\sysvol2\*.* sysvol\*.* /s /e /h /c /y

    where drive is the letter representing the connection to the remote domain controller. Press ENTER.

  15. Verify that the folder structure copied correctly. Compare the new folder structure to the SYSVOL (not the SYSVOL2) on the remote domain controller. Open a command prompt and type dir to list the contents of the folders. Ensure that all folders exist.

  16. Remove the SYSVOL2 folder that you created on the remote domain controller.

  17. Disconnect from the remote domain controller. If you had to create a shared folder on that domain controller in order to connect to it, remove the shared folder. Some organizations consider it a security risk to retain shared folders that are not in use.

  18. Restart the domain controller in normal mode.

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