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Setting up specific "MY DOCUMENTS" location via group policy in server 2003???

Posted on 2005-03-25
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We are running a small domain where all PCs are runnign XP Pro SP2 on a Server 2k3 machine.  Right now we have a script that maps everyone a Z: drive to safely store important files that are backed up nightly.  I would like to implement a policy that automatically makes the MY DOCUMENTS folder to the Z: Drive instead of their local machine.  I can do it at each machine quite easily, but it would be nice if I could just set a group policy to do this instead.   Is this a possibility?  

I have also considered giving everyone a roaming profile instead of local profiles.  Would this also do the trick?  Would this be a better idea than the first one?  The only cons I have heard about roaming profiles is the ammount of data that is constantly being moved from the server to workstation as people log on.  Most people log onto the same PC, but some do move around.  

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Question by:SCCHIS
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 800 total points
ID: 13632027
Redirecting My Documents is quite simple, here's the howto:  http://tinyurl.com/46evk  You can also redirect a few other folders, here's a great article on the subject:  http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Profile-Folder-Redirection-Windows-Server-2003.html

I'd start with that before trying roaming profiles... they can be tricky.  The biggest con with a roaming profile is if a user logs onto a machine with a different hardware configuration than the norm... it starts getting messy.

Good Luck!

Jeff @
TechSoEasy
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by:luv2smile
luv2smile earned 600 total points
ID: 13632043
"but it would be nice if I could just set a group policy to do this instead.   Is this a possibility?  "

Yes, there is a policy that specifically redirects the user's my documents folder to a folder you specify on the server

It is located under:

User config- windows settings- folder redirection- my documents

Roaming profiles allow for the entire profile to be on the server instead of only the my documents folder.  Which one is better depends on your situation. If you are happy without having roaming profiles then my philosophy would be if it ain't broke don't fix it. Only do what you need.....so it just depends.

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by:luv2smile
ID: 13632046
Oppps...forgot to hit the refresh button..sorry :)
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by:Chryyys
Chryyys earned 600 total points
ID: 13632118
This is actually pretty simple to set up.  All you need to do is create a new policy, or edit an existing one, that is currently linked to the Organizational Unit where your user account reside.  Also, assuming that each user has there own folder in the Z: drive location you can make the following entries in to a policy:

User Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Folder Redirection -> My Documents

on My Documents you'll need to right click and choose properties, there's many options to choose from when redirecting documents.  The easiest place to start is to use the Basic setting and in the target use 'Create a folder for each user under the root path' and set the root path to the UNC of Z:

Like I mentioned there are many options to play with in there, you could also make the Z: the users home folder in their account properties and then set the redirection target to be the home folder.  Take a look and run with it.
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