Changing folder redirection policy - will not update once user has logged in.

Hello Experts,

I'm still a Server noob, so bear with me. I am running Small Business Server 2003, and I have to admit have been learning as I go, so I've probably messed it up somewhre.

Being the start of a new Financial Year here, I wanted to point all my users to a new, empty My Documents location. For example, they were all redirected to \\server\2006, and now I want to redirect them to \\server\2007

No matter what I do, the users folder redirection doesn't change.

However, if I log a user into a workstation that they have never logged into before, the policy gets applied just fine, but I can then change the policy, and log in onto that PC as that user a 2nd time, and the policy doesn't update.

I'm hoping there is a simple answer?
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyConnect With a Mentor Principal ConsultantCommented:
You need to change the \USERS share to a new location.  However, if you have offline file caching enabled on the workstations, all of the older files will get synchronized to the new location.  

I wouldn't suggest that you take this route for your new year...  it's better to actually just manually archive your documents and leave the redirects as they are.

Since all of this is on the server anyhow, you can just move any folders/documents you want from the \USERS share to your archive location, whether you just run a quick search to grab files by creation date or whatever your criteria may be.

I'm a strong supporter of a good archiving policy, and this is really quite easy to do without having to reconstruct your group policies.

How are you trying to do this? What have you done so far?
How were the computers added to the domain?

David Houston
OzoneFriendlyAuthor Commented:
Hi David

I tried changing it via the wizard.
I tried changing it by editing the group policy.
I tried creating a new group policy just for this purpose

I have repeatedly gpupdate /force and rebooted both the workstation(s) and the server.

When you say "how were the computers added to the domain" - are you talking about System Properties / Computer Name and setting it for the domain there, or something else? If its something else, I probably haven't.

I've managed to sort of solve my problem by editing the local registry and inserted the correct path there, but I still would like to know how to get the policy to work for next year :-)
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The way to connect a computer in SBS is to use http://SBSServer/connectcomputer

One of the things this does is put it into its own container in AD. And I believe this is were the problem is because the group policy is not being applied to the container the computers you have added.
What you can do is move the computers from the container Computers to the container:
Using Active Directory Users and Computers
MyBusiness - Computers - SBSComputers

But the best way would eb to use the wizard in SBS, dejoin the computers from the domain, and add them back in through the url above.

I would recommend that you look at getting a couple of books that cover SBS in great depths, Especially the Wizards, as anyone that will tell you that works with SBS on a full time basis will tell you, Wizard, Wizard, Wizard. SBBS can not be made to function by using methods taken from larger enterprises.
Harry Brelsford - His books at
Erik Neale -  Windows Small business Server 2003 Unleashed

Both authers are very prominant in the SBS Community, a list of User Groups world wide is availabel at

I apologies if this comes across ab bit strong, but these are resources that I use on a daily basis, and I find them invaluable.

David Houston
OzoneFriendlyAuthor Commented:
Hi Jeff,

Yes, I sort of came to that conclusion myself. And I will probably do that, although I still need to get the policy in place with a more generic share (I'm thinking \\server\currentyear).

What does the \users share have to do with the folder redirection? (forgive my ignorance)

David - thanks for the comments, I clearly have a lot to learn :-) Are you suggesting that I can put the machines back into workgroup mode, and then go to that URL and it will reconfigure the comptuers for me? If so... cool. :-)

I'll look into it all and report back.
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
the \users share is where each user's HOME directory is configured.  When you run the My Documents folder redirection wizard it will automatically move their "My Documents" folder to \USERS\%USERNAME%\My Documents.

If you are speaking about having a COMPANY shared folder, then you should actually consider using SharePoint (http://companyweb) which is already pre-configured for you with a document library for General Documents, and you can easily create annual document libraries.

But since you have not attached your workstations to the network correctly (as you described above) you will need to fix this so that http://companyweb is configured at the workstation properly.

To fix the problem you must follow these steps:

The following needs to be done with the client machine:
1.  Log in with THAT machine's LOCAL administrator account.
2.  Unjoin the domain into a WORKGROUP
3.  Change the name of the computer
4.  Delete or rename the following directory C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Clients if it exists
5.  Make sure that the network settings are configured to get an IP address automatically (DHCP enabled)
6.  Reboot

Then on the server, from the Server Management Console:
1.  Remove the client computers if it still shows in the Client Computer screen on the Server Management Console
2.  Add the client with it's NEW name using the Add Computer wizard

Then, go back to the client machine and join the domain by opening Internet Explorer and navigating to http://servername/connectcomputer

Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
By the way... manually "sorting out the problem" by editing the registry will ultimately get you to a point where the helpful SBS configurations and tools won't work.  I'd would also suggest that you either get one of the books David recommended, or at least have a gander at and

Yes, you put them in their own work group and then join them using that url. It should be quick and painless.

OzoneFriendlyAuthor Commented:
The suggestion that was I was trying to do was basically stupid and I should solve my problem a better way has been accepted. :-)  I have learned my lesson :-)
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
You should really take a look at the Companyweb... the default configuration has previous year archives already as an example.

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