DFS Location is not available – The network location cannot be reached – Can’t Open DFS Shared Folder – Windows 2008 Server
This is a frustrating error you might run into this error on Windows Vista and Windows 7 when you try to access a DFS linked shared folder. It says something like Network Location Unavailable, or Location is not available, or The network location cannot be reached on the different flavors of Windows.
Change your client computer to be on the same domain name as the server you’re trying to access. For example, if your server’s FQDN (domain name) is myserver.yakimadev.com and your clients computer is myclient.microsoft.com, then you will need to change your client to have the same DNS suffix as your server (yakimadev.com in this example). So change your computer to be myclient.yakimadev.com. This should solve the problem, unless you already have incorrect data in the “Append DNS Suffixs” in the TCP/IP settings. If this is the case, or you can’t change the DNS name of your client then you need to move to solution 2.
If you can’t do solution 1, or you already have suffixes, then you need to do the following:
- Open Networking Properties, one way to get there on Windows 7 is by clicking Start then typing “Network” in the search, and then right clicking on Network and selecting properties.
- Then click the link in the top left corner “Change Adapter Settings”
- Right click on your network adapter and select “Properties”
- Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click on the Properties button
- Click on the Advanced button
- Click on the DNS tab
- Check the Radio button “Append these DNS suffixes (in order):”
- Click the Add button and add the suffix of your server. In the example I use in solution one, I have a server called myserver.yakimadev.com, so I would add an entry for “yakimadev.com” and move that to the top.
- Click on ok, and then ok, and then close
- Disconnect your mapping to your DFS if you are currently mapped, and then remap it.
- It should work at this point!
A little more explanation
I’m not a DFS expert nor am I a networking expert, but from what I can tell when you click on a DFS linked folder the DFS server returns the host name of the server that is sharing that folder. Your client receives the host name and tries to append the host name to the DNS suffix that it is using and fails if your server has a different DNS suffix than your client. This process happens if you have the radio button in the image above checked that says “Append primary connection specific DNS suffixes” and also have the checkbox under it checked. Once you change this to “Append these DNS suffixes” and type in the suffix of your server you client will then take the host name of the server and append it to the DNS suffix you provided and find the server correctly.