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Does Outlook render roaming profiles completely useless?

Posted on 2006-05-18
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Hi all

After a fair bit of work, we've got roaming profiles with folder redirection working great... except for Outlook.  Because
\%username%\local settings\application data does not get written back to the server on logout, Outlook files do not get sent back and are thus not available when the user logs in somewhere else.

We outsource Exchange for SOME users... so some have OST files (and the Exchange server is not within our network) and some have PST files.

I see I can move the ost/pst files to somewhere within users My Docs, and point Outlook to it.  That works fine except for laptop users who may login somewhere off the domain - then when they log back in their Outlook file will be overwritten with the server copy.

This seems crazy... is that just the way it is?

Thanks


Simon

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Question by:SimonUK
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by:SimonUK
ID: 16709578
Addition:  Now that we've got the Outlook files in users My Docs we now get an error about trying to make pst files available offline.  I appreciate it can't be done, but can we stop the logout-sync from trying and thus not show the error to users every time ?

Simon
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Accepted Solution

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dclive earned 1200 total points
ID: 16711531
Have you tried a combination of offline folders and putting the PST file in one of those offline folders, which is a network location (ie outside of My Documents)?  

I use a personal drive as a location for my PST file, and it seems to work well.  If one made that location offline, it seems it should work for laptop users as well.  
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by:SunBow
ID: 16712900
Q: Does Outlook render roaming profiles completely useless?

A: No

Ditto dclive

Roaming can include multiple entry points to server, such as for those who travel or work from home, and anyone should be able to work offline. For Exchange Servers, the Email boxes are server side, no D/L required. I might make two accounts, one for a separate server where old eMail is moved, at least to save space, one on the PC where they are part of important current project.

Beware that MyDocs is often server-side through redirection. My preference is to create a separate directory for projects, tasks, sorted and related to work. The login can have rules run, that will regularly move incoming memos to folders, so I do that for the more important ones to help them stand out, such as "Boss", "Managers", "Project 1" ...
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Assisted Solution

by:KidLib
KidLib earned 800 total points
ID: 16721332
I deal with the same issue in my network.

I am assuming that you want the PSTs on the server so they can be backed up from one central location and users who roam within the organization can access the PST from multiple workstations.

Your solution is the only practical one. After the user logs in for the first time, create a new PST in the users Home Directory on the server and flag it as the store for new mail. (This is different depending on whether you did the Corporate Workgroup or Internet Mail Only install...refer to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/195782/en-us for detailed instructions)

Close and reopen Outlook and new mail will now be delivered to the PST on the server. The local PST can be closed.

Laptops are a problem in this regard....Since they need access to the PST when they are not connected to the network, the PST must be local.  There is an add-in for Outlook that can be installed on the laptops which can be configured to prompt the user to backup the PST.  Can be downloaded from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/238782/en-us .  

The way I configure Outlook on my laptops is to leave copies of the messages on the server for 3 days.  Every 3 days the backup add-in will prompt the user to backup the PST to their Home Directory.  This way the PST can be backed up to tape along with all the other PSTs, the PST remains local so the user can access their messages when they are not connected to the network and if they need to access their messages from another workstation in our network, they can open the PST on the server...additionally the last 3 days of messages will automatically download from the mail server.

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by:SimonUK
ID: 16723748
Thanks all for your comments so far.  I think what we did wrong was put the pst file in a subfolder within My Docs - because those folders are redirected, so as the users pst files grow to stupid sizes because no-one cleans up their mail, their logins/outs slow down.  I'll try placing the files somewhere OUTSIDE their My Docs but within their home dir on the server next.


Simon
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Author Comment

by:SimonUK
ID: 16723765
Another update:

If I do the above and place the pst files somewhere that isn't synced, then the (potentially very large) pst files are open over the network...  which is the lesser evil ?!


Simon
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Expert Comment

by:dclive
ID: 16724211
Open PSTs over network.
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Author Comment

by:SimonUK
ID: 16724535
Thanks everyone for your help.  I now have an Outlook folder within the users home directory but outside the sync folders such as My Documents, and am storing the pst or ost files there.  Everything seems to work very well - even the bigger files open quickly, there are no syncing issues and roaming profiles now work just as they should !

Will distribute points as best I can, accepted answer is dclive who gave the correct solution first - it just took a while to completely understand it !


Simon
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