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How do you selectively implement folder redirection and filter which files or folders are redirected?

Posted on 2004-11-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
This is sort of a two part question pertaining to folder redirection on a Windows 2003 Domain.

First off, I want to implement Folder Redirection on my Domain (to redirect the My Documents folder only), but I only want to Redirect users in a particular Security Group.  I have read that this is possible, but I'm still unclear on the steps.  I have the Group Policy Management Console installed, and I think all I have to do is create a new GPO under the domain and then there should be a place where I can choose which Security Group, or User to apply it to.  If someone can please help clarify the procedure I would greatly appreciate it.  I do not have any sort of testbed that I can use try this out first, so I want to make sure that I am not going to cripple the network in any way.  I want to be able to selectively add folder redirection so that I can apply it to different users one at a time so that the network doesn't get clogged by everyone's files flying to the file server at the same time.

Secondly, I have noticed that a lot of users have files like MP3s and such that I would rather not have taking up space on my file server.  Is there a way to filter which files are redirected by file type?  I doubt that you can do this, but if anyone has any ideas, I could really use the info.  Also, I know you can exclude the "My Pictures" folder from being redirected, but can you do the same with the "My Music" folder as well (this is typically where all the MP3s are stored)?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:naj2576
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jamesreddy earned 2000 total points
ID: 12604793
First part
You need to make sure all the users are in an OU, unless you want this to apply to the entire company.  Create an OU in AD Users and Computers, assignit a new GPO, and follow the steps below:


Follow the steps below:

1.  Expand User Configuration > Windows Settings > Folder Redirection
2.  Rt-click My Documents, then click Properties
3.  Under the target Tab, drop down the list for Settings, then select Advanced.
4.  Click Add
5.  Select Your Group, then select your path on the next screen
(You have the option of creating new directories, or redirecting it to existing home directories, specified under the account tab, or specifying a new location.  If you use Home Directories, that is probably the easiest option that I would use).

That's it.



Second part of your question....

No...not without filtering software or hardware.  If you have ISA server, then we can talk some more, but otherwise, I do not believe this is possible.


James
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by:luv2smile
ID: 12604866
"I think all I have to do is create a new GPO under the domain and then there should be a place where I can choose which Security Group, or User to apply it to."

No....you can not apply group policy to a security group...it doesn't work that way....You can only apply group policy to a site, domain, or an OU. So do as the above post mentioned and move them into different OUs.

You can "filter" group policies so that only certain security groups can read the policy...but for what you are doing...you should make use of OUs.
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by:jamesreddy
ID: 12604894
You cannot apply a POLICY to a security group, but you CAN apply a folder redirect to a security group using the instructions I provided.  It's a new feature added to Windows Server 2003 Active Directory structures.  In Windows 2000 this was not possible, but I have been redirecting folders based on Security Groups for most of this year, ever since I upgraded my network to 2K3 controllers.

James
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by:jamesreddy
ID: 12604913
Keep in mind....all the members of the security group have to be a member of the OU, domain, or site.  If you were to add a GPO to the entire domain, but use the steps I provided above, that would enable you apply those redirect changes ONLY to the members of the security group you specified.

James
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by:naj2576
ID: 12605132
Thanks for the help James.

So basically I can apply a new GPO to my domain and then apply it to the security group of the users that need redirection?

Are there any other pitfalls that you can think of that I might need to watch out for?  I'm pretty new at dealing with GPOs, and I really don't want to mess anything up.

Thanks again for the help.
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by:jamesreddy
ID: 12605207
No pitfalls.  It takes some time (sometimes) for the PCs to update the group policy, but it's not usually a problem if they are rebooted.  You MAY need to run "gpupdate /force" from the Run prompt to force the change, but it should proliferate fairly quickly.

And yes...you can apply the changes to the domain and only members of those groups will receive the redirects.  The great thing about GPOs...if you mess up...delete them, then start over.  It's hard to make an irreversable error with group policies.

If you have any trouble...come back here and post to this topic.  I'll be happy to help.


James
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by:jamesreddy
ID: 12605226
NOTE:  the gpupdate command would need to be run from the CLIENTS, not the server.
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by:naj2576
ID: 12605255
Awesome stuff.

Thanks a lot!
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