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How to change to Folder Redirection from Roaming Profiles in Windows 2003 Domain

Posted on 2004-11-01
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I'm not very experienced when it comes to configuring and setting up domains, but I have been faced with the task of setting up and administering a Windows 2003 Domain.  The Domain was partially setup when I got here, and so far it has 2 Domain Controllers, each running DNS (primary on one, secondary on the other).  Right now, half of the people in the company are using the domain and half are not.  Of the half that are using the domain, half of those people are using Roaming Profiles.  There is no need for Roaming Profiles in this domain, because people are not constantly moving from computer to computer and people have so much data in their My Documents folder that logging on and off is sort of a pain for them.  I do have users who occasionally will need to login to multiple computers, but they do not want to have their settings transferred from machine to machine as each machine has different software and different purposes all together.  They would however like to have access to their My Documents folder from each machine.

I've decided that disabling Roaming Profiles and using Folder Redirection is the way to go in order to get the best results, but I'm not quite sure how to go about setting it up and ensuring that no users lose data or settings within their Profiles.  It's very crucial that things appear as transparent as possible to the people using the Domain already.  I do not have to worry about those not currently using the domain because they will just join the domain once I have everything setup.

So my question is:  What steps should I take to ensure that disabling Roaming Profiles and enabling Folder Redirection goes smoothly and without imposing on the Domain users.  Also, should I consider anything else when trying to implement Folder Redirection without also using Roaming Profiles (redirecting other folders besides My Documents, security issues, etc.)?

Sorry about the long winded question setup, but I wanted to make sure my situation is presented properly.

Thanks in advance for any advice given...
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Question by:naj2576
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cfairley earned 1200 total points
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by:legaltech2
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Definitely backup the profiles from where they are saved on your server.  Also, unless you have it disabled, the roaming profile is automatically cached on the local computer - usually in c:\documents and settings\username.  If your users can stay on an "assigned" computer while you change, that will help with transparency issues.

Then, configure a group policy for the folder redirection.  Unless you are confronted with hard disk space issues, you really might want to reconsider doing away with roaming profiles.  It is a nice backup having it on a server if a workstation goes down.  If you don't want certain users "roaming" just limit which computers they are allowed to login to by using user properties, and then "logon to."

Sorry this isn't a direct answer, but hope it helps give you things to consider.
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by:naj2576
ID: 12474571
Thanks for the great links, and the advice.  I'm a little hesitant to move forward with a lot of this type stuff because I am so new at it.  I don't have anyone here to bounce ideas off of, so this place is a great place to get information.

I'm splitting the points between the two of you, because you each gave me some good ideas to think about.

Thanks for the information.
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by:legaltech2
ID: 12474655
No problem.  The only advice I would give is be cautious with group policy.  It is a great tool - but it can also cause a lot of headaches.  Remember, it takes time for the group policy to refresh (default is 90 minutes), so make a few changes at a time and see how it affects your clients.
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