Solved: DFS error “The replication group is invalid”

Recently, 1 of my DFS replication groups stopped working with the following error:

Event Type:    Error
Event Source:    DFSR
Event Category:    None
Event ID:    4004
Date:        14/04/2010
Time:        12:55:33
User:        N/A
Computer:    CCK5
Description:
The DFS Replication service stopped replication on the replicated folder at local path D:\DFS Targets\Legacy.

Additional Information:
Error: 9003 (The replication group is invalid)
Additional context of the error: D:\DFS Targets\Legacy\
Replicated Folder Name: Legacy
Replicated Folder ID: B7384F60-E4B2-4686-BB69-B9BD93CF8398
Replication Group Name: villas.cck\dfs\legacy
Replication Group ID: 50A2B981-6B8E-43DD-9D53-B6DE3EC091E4
Member ID: 361EF048-BD7D-449C-A37D-657160F87FC5

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

A google search seemed to indicate that my DFS database had got corrupted on this particular server. Looking in “D:\System Volume Information\DFSR\database_300C_6040_C5F_FEEA” [1] I could see a file called $db_dirty$ whereas the other DFS server had a file called $db_clean$ so I was confident that I’d tracked down the problem.

After making sure I had all data backed up, I stopped the Distributed File System and DFS Replication services, moved the database_300C_6040_C5F_FEEA folder to the desktop then restarted the 2 services. The DFS service then re-built the database and replication started again.

Before doing this, I suggest reading through this article which talks about minimising the effect of re-initialising a DFS member

Foot notes

1 – To get access to the System Volume Information folder, you may need to edit the folder’s security settings to give your login permissions.

6 thoughts on “Solved: DFS error “The replication group is invalid””

  1. I have had this precise diagnostic for some time and the information on the source of the problem is scant. Thanks for sharing this, hopefully it will do the trick with my DFSR problem too.

  2. Thanks a lot for your comment.
    I had this problem for some time and could not fix.

  3. I have this exact same problem on a server 2012 R2 Replicated folder. I have 3 folders total in the namespace with corresponding replication groups.

    Only one as having issues replicating. Unfortunately, the server that is reporting that error as the primary member and is most frequently updated. I am worried that applying the fix that you have outlined above will result in legitimate data being moved out by DFS.

    Did you have any such issues when you deleted the database?

  4. Excellent!!!! This, solved my problem on a DC that was not replicating to others!

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