Windows XP and local DFS Shares

In this post, I talked about Distributed File System (DFS), a technology that lets you combine disparate file shares into one “virtual” share that can be shared out to all users. So, for example, if you need to share ten folders off of seven different servers, you can opt to create a DFS share containing all of those shares, instead of mapping a drive letter to each individual share.

You might, however, encounter a problem with Windows XP-based PCs trying to connect to a local share via DFS. In SP2, Microsoft changed the way Windows XP handles loopback connections; this might cause a user to receive a “network path not found” error when trying to access a local share hosted on DFS.

If other users can access the share, and if the share can be accessed locally via UNC path (\\computer\share), then the fix should be easy:

1) Fire up Regedit.

2) Go to HKLM > System > CurrentControlSet > Services > Mup > Parameters.

3) Create a new DWORD value called “EnableDfsLoopbackTargets” (without the quotes).

4) Give it a value of 1.

5) Reboot the computer.

After the reboot, the local user should now be able to access the local share via DFS without that pesky error message.

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