Forward UNC path to DFS Namespace

Peter Rietmann 106 Reputation points

I have two Windows Server 2016 (Server1 and Server2) both configured as Domain Controllers (
I have set up DFS Namespace and DFS Replication on each server so that both have D:\Files. Files is a shared Folder available at \Server1\Files and \Server2\Files. the DFS Namespace and folder is \\Files\Files, which points to each of these folders correctly.

A custom-developed service is running a process that reads data from \Server1\Files or \Server2\Files depending on which server the process runs on. Unfortunately, the process cannot be modified. If the data is reprocessed, the server name has been tied to the data so that Server1 or Server2 is linked to its intial server.

In our use case we would like to reprocess the data created on Server1 on Server2 in case Server1 has crashed and vice versa. The problem is that Data now contains the server name and will try to access \Server1\Files from Server2 and will crash.

Is there a solution where the UNC path \Server1\Files can be redirected/forwarded to DFS namespace path \\Files\Files within Windows in case \Server1\Files is not available?

we have investigated DNS Alias but could not get anything working there.
We are looking for a quick fix until the process software can be changed to accommodate DFS naming.
Thanks in advance.

Windows Server
Windows Server
A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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  1. Limitless Technology 39,336 Reputation points

    Hi there,

    Your best option is to create DNS records so that \oldserver points to your DFS namespace. You could do a couple of ways but the easiest might be to create a CNAME record.

    The original \server\share paths don't go away, in fact, they are necessary for DFS to work. You can still have clients point to them. You just don't get the benefit of failover. I have a few clients that still point to the original \server\share UNC paths, particularly for things like Folder Redirection with Offline Files, Offline Files often don't play nice with DFS.

    Additionally, DFS replication works between targets in the namespace regardless of whether a client connects via the namespace UNC or the server UNC.

    Actually moving clients depends on how you present the shares. If they are drive letters, then your Group Policy or logon script can simply be modified to point to the DFS UNC. If you access UNCs via links within documents or SharePoint, it can get messy. There used to be tools that would find & replace UNCs within documents.

    --If the reply is helpful, please Upvote and Accept it as an answer--

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