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roaming profile over vpn

Posted on 2007-10-16
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I have a customer running server 2003 with a vpn connection set up to another office and our office for testing purposes.  The problem I am having is the roaming profile updating over the vpn.  In our office I have two pcs set up on the domain, I log on to one with the user "testuser" then I create a small text file in my documents, then log off.  I then log onto the other computer with the same user and the text file is not there.
I would just like to know how to get the roaming profile to update over the vpn.

thank you
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Question by:technologyone
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 20089720
dont even try is my opinion, roaming profiles at the best of times are bad, over a VPN is a very very bad option!
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by:technologyone
ID: 20090005
Ok well that may be our only option but what do you recomend then?
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 20090157
i would first take a look at why you need roaming profiles, i find it very rare for a justified response (not taking a shot at you just basing it on experience)

Usually, i would look at folder redirection and home drives redirecting only crucial data
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by:technologyone
ID: 20095944
well I spoke with my boss today and roaming profiles is the only option so I need a solution for my original question
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by:technologyone
ID: 20130182
I would greatly appreciate any help this question still isn't resolved and it's been about a week since anywone has replied
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 20135515
hmmmm does the profile update locally? if you log on to the LAN does it update?

The other thing to check is the logs on the machine, it should tell youw here its failing
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by:technologyone
ID: 20186243
yes, it does replicate locally but when we hook a machine up over the vpn it does not and nothing shows up in the logs, and maybe i'm looking in the wrong place but i would just think that it wouldn't be any different than setting up a roaming profile locally.
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by:technologyone
ID: 20188571
I appreciate your advice and respect your opinion, Jay but we found the solution to this very common (and explainable) "problem".  For others who are searching for the solution, you can read it here:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;227260

Basically, Windows 2000 Server and later check the speed of the link at logon and disable some Group Policies (including folder redirection and roaming profiles) at logon. This behavior can be modified by a domain admin.

It may just a matter of opinion but I am not sure how folder redirection, which requires that you go over the slow (presumably less-reliable)  WAN link EVERY time that you access a file in the My Documents folder (for example) is better than only utilizing the slow WAN link in one burst at logon/logoff to update the profile on either the client or the server.  ANY VPN outtage, no matter how brief, is likely to cause a user with Folder Redirection to lose/corrupt the document(s) they are working on while roaming profiles allow the user to achieve maximum performance and reliability (both on a LAN or a VPN) by caching the files to the local PC and only copying them once, instead of worrying about maintaining file locks on a server share.  

The other often overlooked benefit of a roaming profile is that it creates an easily-accessible backup of the users' most important files that is silently kept up to date every time the user logs out.  ALL hard drives will fail eventually and you never know when that one extra backup might save a lot of hassle for a user.

If I am overlooking the benefits of folder redirection versus roaming profiles, I would love to discuss it more but for now the mystery has been solved with persistence and the help of some chance luck and google.com.

Regards,
Bryan Keefer
Technology One, LLC
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 20191184
I knew about the slow link policies, i use it for a load of sites.....but didnt know if affected Roaming Profiles too as they are different settings, very interesting, nice catch
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