DFS folder deeply hidden, invisible


It's another time when I'm working on Windows Server 2012 and discover something really odd and poorly documented. This time it was about DFS replication. I set it up between two servers in two remote AD sites. All according to regular manuals. It was working fine: the folder was claimed to be replicated, there were no issues reported by the Event Viewer and I was able to mount the share associated with the replicated folder on the remote server  So what was wrong? The folder was invisible in the file system on the remote server.

I was able to access it in the Windows Explorer only when specifying a full path into it. The content was just displayed fine then. The same as for the command line, even when running it as the Administrator user. After disabling the DFS replication the folder was still invisible. So what was wrong? After deep troubleshooting and looking for a solution in the Internet I finally found a clue that the DFS replicated folders have hidden and system attributes set up by default. That's why the don't appear in the filesystem! That's what's called deeply hidden folders.


In order to make the DFS replicated folders visible in the filesystem back, type the following command from the Windows CLI:

attrib -r -h -s [path to the folder]

Well done! The folder is visible in the filesystem back. Just not sure why isn't it clearly stated and documented? I hope that the above quick CaseStudy will help some abashed sysadmins like me to save a lot of time spent on troubleshooting strange behavior of Microsoft products.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent! I had the same issue and this worked like a charm. Thanks for posting!