Windows Tools

DFSUtil.exe: Distributed File System Utility

Overview | Syntax | Examples | Related Tools Open Command Prompt

This tool enables administrators to query and troubleshoot the Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) from the command prompt. It can be used to perform maintenance of a DFS root and to clean up metadata left behind by orphaning or abandoning domain-based DFS roots.


Corresponding UI

DFSUtil provides command-line functionality that parallels much of the Distributed File System Manager snap-in.


Distributed File System, a feature of Windows 2000, makes it easier to access and manage files that are physically distributed across a network. With DFS, you can make files distributed across multiple servers appear to users as if they reside in one place on the network. Users and applications no longer need to know and specify the actual physical location of files in order to access them: DFS makes the physical storage of data transparent by mapping it to a logical representation.

DFS does for servers and shares what file systems do for hard disks. File systems provide uniform named access to collections of sectors on disks; DFS provides a uniform naming convention and mapping for collections of servers, shares, and files. Thus, DFS makes it possible to organize file servers and their shares into a logical hierarchy, making it considerably easier to manage and use extensive information resources. In addition, DFS is not limited to a single file protocol—it can support the mapping of servers, shares, and files, regardless of the file client being used, provided that the client supports the native server and share.

In the past, with the universal naming convention (UNC), a user or application was required to specify the physical server and share in order to access file information (that is, the user or application had to specify \\Server\Share\Path\FileName).

System Requirements

The following are the system requirements for DFSUtil:

Files Required