Fixing the DFS Namespace service

After you install Active Directory on Windows Server 2008 R2, you may start seeing the following error message after the server boots :

The DFS Namespace service could not initialize cross forest trust information on this domain controller, but it will periodically retry the operation. The return code is in the record data.

This occurs because the DFS Namespace service attempts to access Active Directory before it has completely initialized.

To resolve this issue, we simply have to force the DFS Namespace service to start after the Active Directory service has initialized. We can do this by setting the DFS Namespace service to depend on the Active Directory service as well as setting it to a Delayed Startup mode.

To make those changes, start regedit and make the following changes :

  1. Navigate to the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Dfs
  2. Modify the DependOnService value and add NTDS to the list.
  3. Create a new DWORD value named DelayedAutostart and set its value to 1.

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  1. Great simple fix! Just installed this R2 datacenter server 2 days ago and started receiving the error, you were the first link I clicked about it. Performed the OP, rebooted, no error!

    Keep up the great work.

  2. Big Thx!

    Just playing with my first server.
    If there would be more simple ways like this out there it could be much easier!

    Go on!

  3. Excellent! it fixed the error seconds after the reboot and also fixed another problem related to DNS server. Incredible! congratulations and thanks a lot!!!

  4. I’m glad that this simple registry setting fixed the problem. Thanks for sharing this valuable info with us.

  5. Fixed my system as well. If a user develops this type registry fix would Microsoft normally incorporate these registry changes in an update or SP? I hope they would. They must be seeing the same errors.

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