Configure DFS-Namepaces to use Fully Qualified Domain Names – (It’s not the default).

One thing that still puzzles me is the fact that DFS Namespaces (DFS-N) still have to be configured manually before installation to utilise Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDN’s).

The procedure is pretty painless but in the constant quest to eradicate WINS I do not know why this is not the default configuration.

Working with DFS in an environment without WINS

The default behaviour of DFS is to use NetBIOS names for all network shares that are configured in the DFS Namespace. This makes it possible for clients that support NetBIOS-only name resolution to locate and connect to targets in the DFS namespace. However, clients that do not use NetBIOS do not work in this environment. DFS can operate in a DNS-only environment, where all the computers understand fully qualified names.

The DFSDnsConfig registry key must be added and configured on each server that will participate in the DFS-Namespace for all computers to understand FQDN’s.


Value Name: DfsDnsConfig
Data Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 0 or 1

If you set the data value to 1, all roots added to the DFS-N tree use an FQDN.

Note:  if you already have configured a Domain based DFS-Namepace then to utilise FQDN’s the DFS-Namespace will need to be recreated after enabling the registry key (and the restarting of the DFS Service).

For the complete reference see Microsoft KB 244380

6 thoughts on “Configure DFS-Namepaces to use Fully Qualified Domain Names – (It’s not the default).

  1. Will this tweak work on a domain controller? is it safe to do? and are there any additional steps required?

  2. What’s not clear from this article is whether you need to set this registry entries on servers that being linked to from the DFS, and what if they linked server is not a Microsoft OS, like Samba or NetApp Waffle?

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