NtFrs Event ID 13555 and 13552 The file replication Service is in an error state

I discovered an issue at a client site the other day where event IDs 13555 and 13552 with a source of NtFrs were present in the event log of a Windows Server 2003 Domain Controller. The relevant error messages were as follows:

‘The File Replication Service is in an error state. Files will not replicate to or from one or all of the replica sets on this computer until the following recovery steps are performed’

The File Replication Service is unable to add this computer to the following replica set:

“DOMAIN SYSTEM VOLUME (SYSVOL SHARE)”

In this case the network had a single DC. It appeared from the errors that the SYSVOL share was in an inconsistent state. This error had obviously first occurred some time before and as a result there were no system state backups from when the SYSVOL share was in a consistent state.

To fix the error I had to set the Burflags option to D4 under the following registry key to force the DC into thinking an authoritative restore had been performed:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NtFrs\Parameters\Cumulative Replica Sets\GUID_OF_YOUR_REPLICA_SET\Burflags

After Setting this, and restarting the server the errors disappeared.

In a multi Domain Controller network much more care needs to be taken. On the plus side in this case you will normally have a good copy of SYSVOL on a different DC. Detailed information on how to recover from this error in a multi Domain Controller network can be found in the references below but the basic premise is this:

  • Stop NtFrs on all servers
  • Set Burflags to D4 in the registry of a Domain Controller with a known good copy of SYSVOL and start NtFrs
  • Set Burflags to D2 on the remaining Domain Controllers and start NtFrs

Exercise extreme caution if using the advice above. It is not a substitute for restoring from a good system state backup if you have one, and more of a last resort. In any event refer to the Microsoft documentation for much more detailed instructions.

References:

How to rebuild the SYSVOL tree and its content in a domain

Burflags Query

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One Response to NtFrs Event ID 13555 and 13552 The file replication Service is in an error state

  1. Alex Kaldy says:

    It works also for SBS2008… Thanks for making my life easier

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