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cvhyatt asked on

How do I set up My Documents redirection to my main file server so that the PCs don't lock up when the SAN goes offline?

We have a Windows 2003 file server with Windows XP clients.  Using a GPO we have redirected the My Documents folder to the file server.  The data shares (including the My Documents folders) are stored on a SAN volume on the server which is connect via ISCSI.  It doesn't happen often, but sometimes our SAN locks up.  The file server stays online so offline file caching does not work.  The client computers see the file server as accessible so they still try to access their My Documents folders on the server.  The server can't serve up the shares because the SAN is offline.  When this happens, the PCs lock up and are frozen.  It isn't until we reboot the SAN and the file server that we are able to get everyone working again.  Is there a way to configure redirected My Documents so they won't get locked up when the SAN goes offline?
StorageActive DirectoryWindows Server 2003

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8/22/2022 - Mon



Thanks for the quick reply.  This is something we already do as a part of our group policy of redirecting the My Documents folder.  This does not solve the problem of the PCs getting locked up when the SAN volume, not the server, goes offline.  If the server went offline, then the user would be able to continue working with offline caching.

Have you looked in to DfS?  This might help.
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I have considered DFS but am not sure how I would use it effectively.  Real time replication of 900 user folders and 65Gb is not practical and I perceive that there would be data loss if there was a fail over.  Was there a specific methodology you were suggesting?  I was thinking of using DFS to create the user folders only on another share but there would be no replication of the data.  I am not sure this would work though because it seems to me the user would still be pointed towards the main share because the server is still serving it up.

Replication in Windows is pretty efficient once the initial replication is done you shouldn't see a replication drain unless the 65GB turns over frequently.  I haven't dealt with DfS with an intermittent iSCSI SAN so I don't know if it is smart enough to detect an off-line SAN backend or not.

Have you thought about a setting up a heartbeat script on the file server and if it can't reach the iSCSI have it reboot the SAN?


Thanks for the reply.  It is not a recommended procdure to reboot our SAN without understanding what the problem is first.  I'd like to look into and test the DFS share idea to see if Windows 2003 is able to seemlessly connect users to another share when the SAN goes down.  This may take a little while to test out before I know it will work.  I will keep you posted.
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