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The SYSVOL share in Windows 2000 Server

Written by IT News on 4:45 AM

The SYSVOL share is an important component in your Windows 2000 Server, acting as a master clearinghouse for file and directory storage and replication. Learn more about the share and its role in the system.

During promotion of a member Windows 2000 Server to domain controller, you have to specify the location for a special SYSVOL share. This folder represents the primary reason you have to use the NTFS file system on your domain controllers. Active Directory itself doesn't require NTFS, but the SYSVOL share does, which means that you could conceivably have AD on a FAT partition and keep only your SYSVOL share on NTFS. But, even though that's possible, it sure doesn't mean you should do it. All Windows 2000 computers, especially a W2K server, should use NTFS. There's no excuse for using FAT on a server.

So what's so special about the SYSVOL share? Two things make it special, the first being its contents. The SYSVOL share contains some very important directories for your Windows 2000 domain. SYSVOL is also home for a part of Group Policy objects called the Group Policy Template, which isn't appropriate to store in Active Directory. Examples of SYSVOL share contents include software distribution files, scripts, ADM templates, and so on.

Underneath the SVSVOL share is also a Scripts directory that contains down-level scripts and policy files for down-level clients (Windows 9x and Windows NT). You might remember this folder from Windows NT as NETLOGON share. This share is still here, just in a different place than before. Usually the SYSVOL share is located in %systemroot%\Sysvol\sysvol, and NETLOGON share is found under %systemroot%\Sysvol\sysvol\<DOMAIN>\Scripts.

The second reason for the SYSVOL share's special status is the File Replication Service (FRS) that's configured to replicate the contents of your SYSVOL share to all other domain controllers in the domain. This way, all domain controllers in a given domain have the same scripts and Group Policy files.

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