What can cause clients to be referred to unexpected targets?
Even when least expensive or same-site target selection is enabled,
clients might still access high-cost or out-of-site targets. Also, when
default target selection is enabled, a client computer might access a target
server outside of its own site, even though a same-site target exists. These
problems are typically caused by one of the following situations:
.. The same-site target is temporarily unavailable (due to server or network
issues), and the client fails over to the next target, which could be
outside of the client’s site.
.. DFS uses the IP address-to-site mappings in Active Directory to determine
the site of a target. If a target’s IP address is not mapped to its current
site, DFS cannot properly order that target in a referral. Incorrect site
mappings can occur when subnets are not configured correctly or when a
server or domain controller is moved to another site in the Active Directory
Sites and Services snap-in, but the server’s or domain controller’s IP
address still maps to the subnet of the previous site. Incorrect site
mappings often occur when domain controllers are not moved to the site that
corresponds to their IP address or when domain controllers are left in the
default first site or the site where they originally belonged.
.. If no same-site targets exist and a client unexpectedly chooses a
high-cost target, it might be caused by an incorrect site cost setting.
.. The client’s IP address is not in a subnet that is defined in Active
Directory and so DFS cannot obtain site information about the client.
.. The target’s IP address is not in a subnet that is defined in Active
Directory and so DFS cannot obtain site information about the target.
.. DNS lookup issues on the DFS root server are causing DNS name-to-IP
address mappings to fail. The problem might be caused by DNS issues or when
a server has multiple IP addresses but not all of those addresses are mapped
to sites in Active Directory.
.. The client is using a cached referral that has become outdated due to
target change,, site changes, or both. For example, a target was added or
removed from a link or root, or a target was moved from one site to another.
The client will obtain an updated referral and after the referral expires,
the client’s cache is cleared (using the Dfsutil.exe /pktflush command), or
the client is rebooted.
.. Site information has changed, but the old site information is still cached
on the root server or domain controller in the target site cache, client
site cache, or site cost cache.
.. The DFS object is not up-to-date when the root server polls a domain
controller. This can be caused by Active Directory replication latency or
.. The Bridge all site links option is disabled. (This option is available in
the Active Directory Sites and Services snap-in) Turning off Bridge all site
links can affect the ability of DFS to refer client computers to target
computers that have the least expensive connection cost. An Intersite
Topology Generator that is running Windows Server 2003 relies on the Bridge
all site links option being enabled to generate the intersite cost matrix
that DFS requires for its site-costing functionality. If you turn off this
option, you must create site links between the Active Directory sites for
which you want DFS to calculate accurate site costs. Any sites that are not
connected by site links will have the maximum possible cost. For more
information about site link bridging, see Active Directory Replication
Topology Technical Reference.
.. Site awareness is not working correctly because the restrictanonymous
registry entry located at
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Lsa is set to two on
Windows 2000 domain controllers. If this registry entry is set to two, DFS
root servers that are not domain controllers (and are running either Windows
2000 Server or Windows Server 2003) randomly sort the targets in a referral,
regardless of the namespace type (stand-alone or domain-based), target
selection method, or client operating system.
.. Domain controllers do not consistently provide site-costed SYSVOL
referrals because the SiteCostedReferrals registry entry was not set on all