Just trying to expand the Knowledge. (Home Folders)?

Posted on 2007-08-03
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Ok Grand Masters of all that is Technology. I'm a babe in the woods and I'm just trying to expand my knowledge. I have a gerneral understanding of how a Home Folder works, what it does, and how to set it up. What I don't understand is how does it help make our job as Administrators easier, as compaired to with file rederections through Group Policy or just setting up a roaming profile? I want examples not links to white papers I can look up Microsoft info all day myself but I pay for this site so I don't have to. So Answer my Question here WITH Examples and you can have the points.

Thank you,
Question by:Hank_74
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    It puts all of the users docs in a single place that is easy to backup.  Ever try backing up the My documents folder?  You can use GPO's to redirect users My documents, etc and you can import .adm files from MS office and use these to default saving/opening/etc from the home folder.
    LVL 31

    Accepted Solution

    Hi :)

    1. Dont confound Home Folders and roaming profiles
        - Home Folders exsits to map the Users a drive, where they can store their own data
        - Roaming profiles exists to store the userprofiles on a central place, have more control about them...
    2. Benefit of Home folders
        - u can easy backup the user data, cause they are stored on the server or device which is attached to the server
        - u have control over the size which each user get for storing specified data
        - u can easy control which data a user can store on his home folder
        - ...
    3. Folder redirection and homefolders...
        You normally create a group policy which configures for examble the users folders "my documents" to save its data on the user home drive which u have mapped the users. advantage: u dont need to configure all the applications, like word, excel to change the default the user saves the wordducument on its default place...he thinks this is "my documents" but in reality the data is stored at the homedrive on the server

    Now u have more questions as ask :)

    LVL 28

    Assisted Solution

    I use a "Home Folder" on my domain at work, and I find that it's quite handy.

    I don't want to use folder redirection through a GPO, because I have one specific desktop computer where I store my critical files, and I don't want to utilize a centrally located server for that process.  I want to be able to physically access the desktop, and even Ghost the extra hard drive if necessary.

    I was never a big fan of roaming profiles, either.  There always seemed to be a few annoying quirks.  If there is software installed on one machine that isn't present on another, it can become problematic.  Also, if you are storing a healthy amount of data within your profile, it can take a very LONG time to log into the network!

    Conversely, using the "Home Folder" option works out well for me.  I currently have about 12GB of software and documents stored on the "D:" partition of my primary desktop at work.  It's a separate physical hard drive from the OS partition.  On this drive I store common software utilities, patches, and configuration settings, as well as important forms and Visio diagrams of the network.  I created a share that only my team and I can access... "\\MACHINE\SOFTWARE" and set that up as my home folder "H:" drive, since that's the first letter of my last name.  It is very convenient, since I need to coordinate with other team leads throughout the domain in a handful of different buildings.  I have my critical software and important documents readily available on the "H:" driver anywhere I login, and I even have an Outlook PST file in that folder hierarchy since our Exchange account limit is only 35MB.  I can map to that quickly and easily, too.

    With all of the data that I have stored on that drive, there's no way that using a Roaming Profile would ever be practical.
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Erik Bjers
    One big advantage of home folders and folder redirects over roming profiles is: everytime a user with a roaming profile logs in the profile is checked and the changes are downloaded from the server, and when the user logs off the profile is checked and the changes are uploaded to the server... this can cause lots and lots of network trafic and delay both logon and logoff.  With folder redirects and home folders everything is just on the server and only accessed when the user needs it.

    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Ok Great answers from every one. By your aswers I actually new more about this than I though I did. I've just been using the wrong wordage when I spoke about it. I still have one question for you run5k. Now on the network I work with I have a Apps folder that stored all the intsalls I need for the entire network I even break it down into Hardware and software so that I have drivers and apps, but are you saying that I could actully install a program to say the H: (since its my first name) and they would actully run on whatever PC I logged into? I didn't think that would be possable unless EVERY PC was idenitcal.
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    No, not quite.  I don't actually install programs/applications to my "H:" home drive.  While I do map my Outlook PST file from that drive, the rest of that drive is simply a repository for documents and software.  When I am working in another office and I come across a machine that the domain's weekly SMS push might have missed, it is relatively easy to update the applications on that client without carrying around a CD case.  I can quickly drag-and-drop the installation files to the desktop, and it will up to date as soon as possible.

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