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Windows Server 2003: Why ADFS Binaries installed on non-R2 computers?

Warren Williams: I recently worked on a case where I got to do a bit of sleuthing. I found the results interesting and thought other Windows Server admins might notice the same thing this particular administrator had and wonder why.

My customer has an all Windows 2003 Standard Edition environment. Windows 2003 R2 servers are not deployed. All the servers are built from a carefully managed image. No files are to be allowed on the image if they cannot be accounted for.

This administrator noticed that on all of his servers there is an Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS) directory (%systemdrive%\ADFS) complete with the ADFS binaries. He also has noticed that some of the servers have the ADFS binaries installed in the .NET Global Assembly Cache (GAC) while others do not. The GAC is located at %systemroot%\assembly.

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