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Home Folder Redirect Problems

Posted on 2006-10-20
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Last Modified: 2008-01-16
I have 1 simple Windows 2003 Standard R2 Terminal Server setup for 5 users, no Citrix in use. Each users home folder is set to D:\TSUser\%Username% on the users profile instead of using GPO Folder Redirection. I wanted to keep the users profiles off of the C: Drive was my reasoning.
 
The My Documents folder is redirected by using each users login and manually setting it to D:\TSUser\%username%\My Documents.
 
I manually moved each users outlook.pst file from c:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\outlook.pst to D:\TSUser\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\outlook.pst
 
This all worked very well for about 3 weeks then the problems started. The first thing I noticed was the contents of each users My Documents folder was being copied back to c:\Documents and Settings\%username%\My Documents. The biggest problem was the c:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\outlook.pst disappeared from all profiles. I was able to recover all of the outlook.pst files but some of the users emails were lost. To keep the pst files from being deleted I had to put them at D:\TSUser\%username%\Outlook folder but even that folder is copied back over to C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Outlook\Outlook.pst.
 
Why is the users redirected profile copied at each login back to the C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\ area?
 
Why is the Local Settings folder deleted from d:\TSUsers\%username% area?

Is there a way to stop the users redirected profile from being copied back to the C: Drive?

Thanks for Any Help
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Question by:TheMetrix
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Expert Comment

by:KPCarl
ID: 17775038
It is normal that the profile be copied back to the server. There is a Group Policy setting to delete these cached profiles if space is a concern. You would have to change the location of the profiles (Documents and Settings) if you want them off the C:Drive. This is preferably done at OS install time, but can be tweaked after per this article:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=236621

I believe that your other problems stem from the fact that you aren't using GPO's to redirect the folders. USing GPO's, Windows is aware of the redirect, and doesn't save those folders in the profile.
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by:TheMetrix
ID: 17777170
Carl,

Thank you for the quick reply.

I didn find the error in my ways. I was using Roaming Profiles when I didn't need too. Folder Redirection via GPO will work best in this case.

Reading through the MS KB as you posted was quite interesting until I looked at the Warning below the Note area. Moving or Renaming a users Documents and Setting areas seemed a bit risky to me.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:KPCarl
ID: 17777346
Yes - they do make it sound scary....
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by:TheMetrix
ID: 17787979
I guess what my main question in all of this would be:

Can the Local Settings folder be moved or recreated in another area without fear of it being deleted?

Reason I ask is due in part to what it contains, the users outlook.pst file.
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Accepted Solution

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KPCarl earned 500 total points
ID: 17788336
You could move the .pst to the My Documents Folder - which you have redirected already(I've done this with a number of users), or you could put it in Application Data (which can be redirected by GPO also).

PST's can get rather large, and you are better off putting them in a redirected location rather than a roaming location.
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by:TheMetrix
ID: 17788652
I am with you on the large pst files. These users flat refuse to even empty their Deleted Items folder. We are using Office 2003 so they know that the pst file can be bigger than 2GB as with 2000/2002.

I am in the process of setting up a test enviornment to test the folder redirection in gpo.

I know how the folder redirection works but my dept lead knows nothing about it and wants me to show him before I go ahead with the task.

It can be rough working for someone who knows nothing about active directory. ;-)
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