Problems with Folder Redirect and roaming application data

Hey guys,

I set up my clients to use folder redirect, but also set up the application data to store into their roaming profile.  I didn't want to folder redirect the Application Data because it seems to want to put everything in one place.

Here's my issue:

I have successfully implimented this policy to all new employees without a problem.  However, there were some guys that were using network logons that didnt' have folder redirect and application data in their roaming profiles that I wanted to convert over.

I was able to seperate the users by creating a group policy and only issuing it to certain global secruity groups.

I wanted to start with one user before I make a drastic change.  I changed his password so I could get into his account.  Logged on with his locally stored profile.  Then went to the server, added him to the global security group that has folder redirect and application roaming set and then ran gpupdate /force.  I then waited a bit, logged off of his account and then relogged in.

At first everything looked the same.  So now I rebooted his machine and then logged back in.  This time I noticed that his MyDocuments folder is now redirecting.  however, his Desktop isn't (which he has a lot of stuff on).  I logged off again and noticed a lot of failures with the application data occured.  I noticed that it had a lot to do with the software, "Skype".  I probably just need to uninstall it and reinstall it in it's own folder.  Looks like the application data from this application does not roam.

I then logged in again, all the files showed up.  I wasn't certain about the desktop, so I tried logging into another workstation.  I did and then the background changed and all the data on the desktop wasn't there.  I logged off and went back to the original workstation.  I logged back in and then the background went to the changed background, but thankfully the files came back (I backed them up anyway).  I just changed his background the way it was earlier and then left.  I didn't want to uninstall Skype without him knowing.  I don't use it as much as him, so I don't want to mess anything up.

When he logged in in the morning, all sorts of issues went on with his Application Data.  Many Outlook configurations were off and all of his Skype information was lost.  His desktop still doesn't appear to be roaming.

Any ideas of what went wrong?
Who is Participating?
Kevin HaysIT AnalystCommented:
Hi, I agree also that you would want the my documents to be redirected simply because that is where a lot of people are used to storing their files at.  Just like you stated, if you redirect it then it does not sync each time the user logs on/off which makes it faster for the login/logoff time.

Sounds like you have the redirection of the folders setup almost like I do.  I've got it to give the %username% explicit access, it creates the folder in the form of %username% when they login under the appropriate directory.

I would have your users to backup thier favorites and any other documents that they wish to keep to either a personal drive or some type of media while you are in the process of moving their profile/settings over.

Here is a registry location that you may find useful for troubleshooting the redirection paths.
HKCU\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\explorer\Shell Folders
This setting will have the path to the application data, my documents and other special folders path.  I've had to manually change the application data path here 1 time for some strange reason it was still pointing to the actual workstation.

Thanks.  Yeah it's for 2000.  I'm trying to decide if I want to go for the Security+ by CompTia or take the 70-216 to just finish my mcsa for 2000 up or not.   Eventually I would like to go into cisco, but that would be hard to do since I wouldn't be able to put any of it to real world use though.  At least where i'm at right now I couldn't.

Good luck on the tests.



PS:  Not sure how familiar you are with group policies, but just in case you are not then I would suggest creating seperate/test gpo's to test on your computers/users instead of editing a default gpo, and if you are familiar, well you know how to do it then :)

Kevin HaysIT AnalystCommented:
Folder redirection is a touchy thing seems like or it was at first in my experience.

First let's see if you have something similar to this setup.

- shared "profiles" folder on another network drive besides the DC.
- shared folder to store application data and my documents on another server besides the DC.

Make sure the ntfs permissions are setup correctly so that when the user logs on and off they can write/create the folder contents.  Share permissions should be everyone=full control.

If you leave the default options when redirecting the application data and my documents and only put in "\\servername\share\" then there shouldn't be any problem really.

I have everyones folder being redirected so they are not based on group membership.

Those are just the first steps to make sure you have correct.


warriorfan808Author Commented:
Thanks for the response Kshays,

I do have the folders redirecting to the domain controller.  The thing is, that is my only server.  I'm still trying to get them to lease another one, but that's still up in the air.  Even if I got two, I would probably have them both run AD and handle authentications.

I'm in the situation of migrating a network.  All the new users, 8 of them, all have folder redirects and everything is working fine.  I didn't want do this for everyone from the beginning because I wasn't sure how it would effect all the other workstations, looks like it didn't do so well.  All 8 users profiles were great.  My issue now is converting over.  I have two more workstations to convert from authenticated local to roam/fldr network and a very large amount of users that are going in through local logons and anonymous authentication (password only).

I have my fingers crossed that the issue is the application data not sychonizing with the profile correctly.  I selected the option in folder redirect for the App data to be synched to the profile.  Skype installs into folders that run in the application data folders.  I had this same issue with Quickbooks and ended up creating a root folder C:\Quickbooks\ to get around the replication.  

Now I just got to get the guy to let me do it.  You would be suprised how people will complain.  I have to do something though, he tends to save everything on his desktop and MyDocs.  If that HD goes bad and I'm unable to recover, that's his A and mine.
Free Tool: Path Explorer

An intuitive utility to help find the CSS path to UI elements on a webpage. These paths are used frequently in a variety of front-end development and QA automation tasks.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Kevin HaysIT AnalystCommented:
Ahhhh, I see now.  I really haven't had to convert the users stuff.  I just told them to backup anything they want to their personal drives which resides on a linux system.

The mydocs won't be a problem once they are redirected and if he wants to save everything on his desktop, well he will experience long login times I would imagine.

I do know exactly what you mean about people complaining and getting new systems approved.  It's like they believe it's a "perk" for me.  Hello, wtc are they thinking, it's the companies perk, not mine.

I would inform them if the hd crashes he/she is liable and you have tried to take preventive measures, etc.....

What is really nice is when you have programs like outlook with exchange server and your users can go from machine to machine and authenticate and everything still works like it was on the previous machine :)

The performance would increase if the shared folder was on another server though.

You have all of your workstations configured in the tcp/ip dns entry for your local dns servers IP correct?  Just making sure you don't have your ISP DNS servers IP keyed in there.

I will try to check the status in the morning to see how things are going and see if I can find or help you some more.  I need to study for my 70-218 test for a few minutes before I go to bed.

Good luck,

Can you be more specific on your gpo for folder redirection. (ie Which folders your redirected and how) The reason for my question is there are alot of ways to do folder redirection and they all have there on caveats.  Let me make just a small suggestion from my experience.

I use the GPO in the domain or a OU to redirect the my documents.  I then point my docs to there home drives which I also assign with AD GPO.

Note: by default my documents and application data roams with you when you turn on roaming profiles on by default. You shouldn't need to make any changes. Keep in mind that if you don't have the applications install on the different machines the apps won’t work when you click on the short-cut.

If I understood more what you where trying to do I know that I could help you.
Note: by default my documents and application data roams with you when you turn on roaming profiles on by default. You shouldn't need to make any changes. Keep in mind that if you don't have the applications install on the different machines the apps won’t work when you click on the short-cut.

Correction- Sorry should read

Note: by default my documents and application data roams with you when you turn on roaming profiles. You shouldn't need to make any changes. Keep in mind that if you don't have the applications install on the different machines the apps won’t work when you click on the short-cut.
warriorfan808Author Commented:
Hey Kshays,

Good luck on the 70-218.  I passed that a while back if I remember correctly.  Isn't that for 2000 Server?  I decided to go back and get some certs too.  I plan on passing my 70-270; 70-290; and 70-291 in the next four weeks.

As for the Exchange Server, I wish we had one of those at work.  I have one running at home, but that's only for testing purposes.  I tried mapping .pst files, but things tended to slow down because of it.

All workstations are pointing at the local DNS Server.  

After being able to work on his workstation later this afternoon, I can almost conclude that the issue is from skype not roaming correctly.  I uninstalled it and reinstalled it into it's own directory, but I still need to go in and delete instances in the Application Data folder.

shard26, I'm going to answer your question from memory.  I'll make changes when I'm able to go to work to look at the server.  I do have a practice server, but I'm tri booted on this machine.  All four folders are set for redirect.  I set the basic setting, all users go into the same folder and windows creates a folder recorresponding to the user that owns it, "%username%.  The only one that is different is Application Data, which I set to store in the roaming profile.

I got the My Documents to redirect instead of roaming, I can't stand all the synchronizing.

I'm going to work on his profile later this weekend, as well as others.  There are still a few more network authenticated users that aren't part of the global security group with the GPO assigned which requires folder redirect/roaming.

Thanks for all the advise guys.  Learning a lot here.
warriorfan808Author Commented:
Thanks for the reply kshays

Yeah, that's how I set mine up.  Most users are under the default GPO, but the folder redirect guys are under an entirely new GPO that only is applied to particular Global Security Groups.

I took the CCNA years ago and you're right, you hardly ever use it for anything.  Mine has since expired.  In fact, I never used it.  I got it after being in school my first year, took cisco classes at our local community college, but never got into IT.  The same thing went for all my MCPs for 2000.  I got them, but never did anything with them for 3 years.  Now I'm working in IT and I'm relearning everything with Server 2003.  There's a company here that are selling vouchers that expire in October of this year for only 30 bucks, so I'm going to try and go off and get everything I can.
Kevin HaysIT AnalystCommented:
Wow, good deal on the vouchers for sure.  Microsoft sent me one a few months back for 50% off 1 test so i'm using it on june 29 :)
Server 2003 is a little different than 2000 for sure, but it's kinda weird because I only have 1 2000 server in my domain and that's the DC.  All others are 2003, but I figured I would go ahead and get the certs just to have them along with the experience and then upgrade to the 2003 later on.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.