Server 2012 R2 not Replicating SYSVOL from Server 2012

I recently added a Windows Server 2012 R2 machine to my domain and moved the FSMO roles to it from the old Server 2012 machine. However, when I opened Group Policy Management on the destination, it kept throwing up an error. I eventually ran dcdiag, and saw this complaint about “advertising”:

Testing server: Default-First-Site-Name\\MARS
Starting test: Advertising
Warning: DsGetDcName returned information for \\\\SVR2012.mydomain.local, when we were trying to reach SVR2012R2. SERVER IS NOT RESPONDING or IS NOT CONSIDERED SUITABLE.
……………………. SVR2012R2 failed test Advertising

Following the helpful advice in this SpiceWorks thread, I noticed that C:\Windows\SYSVOL was empty—the GPOs were not getting replicated. The thread advised setting DNS on the destination to point to the source, but that didn’t fix it.

DFSR Warning

Eventually, I realized that the culprit was an obscure warning in the DFS Replication log on the source server:

Log Name:      DFS Replication
Source:        DFSR
Event ID:      2213
Task Category: None
Level:         Warning
Keywords:      Classic
The DFS Replication service stopped replication on volume C:. This occurs when a DFSR JET database is not shut down cleanly and Auto Recovery is disabled. To resolve this issue, back up the files in the affected replicated folders, and then use the ResumeReplication WMI method to resume replication.
Additional Information:
Volume: C:
GUID: F83647D3-3447-11E2-93ED-706E6F6E6963
Recovery Steps
1. Back up the files in all replicated folders on the volume. Failure to do so may result in data loss due to unexpected conflict resolution during the recovery of the replicated folders.
2. To resume the replication for this volume, use the WMI method ResumeReplication of the DfsrVolumeConfig class. For example, from an elevated command prompt, type the following command:
wmic /namespace:\\root\microsoftdfs path dfsrVolumeConfig where volumeGuid="F83647D3-3447-11E2-93ED-706E6F6E6963" call ResumeReplication

I think this "unclean shutdown" must have come from when I used Hyper-V manager on the host to shut down the OS. (I thought that did a clean shutdown.) Once I ran the suggested WMIC command, replication started working again and I got this sweet message on the destination machine:

Log Name:      DFS Replication
Source:        DFSR
Event ID:      4604
Level:         Information
Computer:      SVR2012R2.mydomain.local
The DFS Replication service successfully initialized the SYSVOL replicated folder at local path C:\Windows\SYSVOL\domain. This member has completed initial synchronization of SYSVOL with partner SVR2012.mydomain.local.  To check for the presence of the SYSVOL share, open a command prompt window and then type "net share".
Additional Information:
Replicated Folder Name: SYSVOL Share
Replicated Folder ID: 070701AB-BC97-4ACD-B244-516223229E60
Replication Group Name: Domain System Volume
Replication Group ID: E2F2E9F6-7E96-4E50-8A04-9EA9B6CB7A53
Member ID: 22979D37-87D5-4EA1-8263-1A4FBDA33B63
Sync partner: SVR2012.mydomain.local

Now dcdiag on the destination computer reports “passed test Advertising" and I can run Group Policy Management without errors.

4 thoughts on “Server 2012 R2 not Replicating SYSVOL from Server 2012

  1. RaimunD

    Had similar trouble recently. SYSVSOL and NETLOGON disappeared after restarting the DFSR service. I recreated them with an authoritative restore. (Simply adding them as a new share produced nonsense!). But the directories remained empty and were not refilled by replication. Fortunately I succeeded to copy all files from the “old” DC to the “new” 2012 R2 DC (manual replacation) . /BTW bothe DCs are running as VM under Hyper-V.)
    After that advertising and other DC stuff worked fine again.
    What I wonder is, if both DCs needed trusted anchoring to perform replication properly.? Did you try to run the BPA with ServerManager? This will show not a few findings, some of them very misleading…

  2. Mark Berry Post author

    Raimund – I can’t remember if BPA was showing errors. Probably. When replication is not working, the server is not happy ;). Thanks for the thought about doing “manual replication” as a workaround.

  3. Yves

    thank you really helped me, finally found the fix why sysvoldomain is empty, really dont want to recreate domain, 50 users and join dejoin computer, that problem was a 16hours headhache!
    thank you!

  4. Allen Murray

    Thanks for this. Fixed the same issues for me with Server 2012 and 2016. Had to run command on Server 2012.

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