Relocating SYSVOL Manually

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

If you must move the entire system volume, not just the Staging Area folder, then you can relocate the system volume manually. Because no utilities can automate this process, you must carefully move all folders and properly maintain the same level of security at the new location.

You can also move SYSVOL with the Active Directory wizard, but this requires that you remove Active Directory from the domain controller and then reinstall Active Directory after SYSVOL has been moved. This should only be considered in extreme cases, and only when the domain controller is not running any other services or applications.

Except where noted, perform these steps on the domain controller that contains the system volume that you want to move.


This procedure can alter security settings. After you complete the procedure, the security settings on the new system volume are reset to the default settings that were established when you installed Active Directory. You must reapply any changes to the security settings on the system volume that you made since you installed Active Directory. This will cause additional replication traffic. Note that failure to reset permissions can result in unauthorized access to Group Policy objects and logon and logoff scripts.

Task Requirements

The following tools are required to perform the procedures for this task:

  • Active Directory Sites and Services (Administrative Tools)

  • Event Viewer

  • Windows Explorer

  • Dcdiag.exe (Windows Support Tools)

  • Regedit.exe

  • ADSI Edit.msc (Windows Support Tools)

  • Linkd.exe (Windows ServerĀ 2003 Resource Kit Tools)

  • Net.exe

  • Secedit.exe

  • Notepad.exe


To create or update junctions, you need the Linkd.exe tool supplied with Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools on the Microsoft Web site at Linkd allows you to create, delete, update, and view the links that are stored in junction points.

To complete this task, perform the following procedures:

  1. Identify replication partners

  2. Check the status of the shared SYSVOL

  3. Verify replication with other domain controllers

  4. Gather the SYSVOL path information

  5. Stop the File Replication service

  6. Create the SYSVOL folder structure

  7. Set the SYSVOL path

  8. Set the staging area path

    If you have moved the Staging Area folder to a different location already, you do not need to do this step.

  9. Prepare a domain controller for nonauthoritative SYSVOL restart

  10. Update security on the new SYSVOL

  11. Start the File Replication service

  12. Check the status of the shared SYSVOL