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Office 2007 Settings won't stick on Terminal Servers

Posted on 2008-10-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
My issue is pretty simple to explain.  I have 6 - 2003-R2 Citrix/Terminal Servers running office 2007 SP1.
When a user makes changes to their office settings such as the quick access toolbar or add a shared calendar to their list of calendars the settings are gone when they log into a different server.  When they log back into the same server they made the original changes to the changes are there.  We use roaming profiles with the application data redirected and we save a copy of the roaming profile to the server when they log off to speed logins the next time they hit that server.  

I found one post that suggested using InCTRL5 and do a before and after snapshot of the changes so I will know where in the registry those changes are being made.  I did this but was unable to determine which reg keys were being changed.  Besides even if I knew which reg changes are being made it would be difficult to write a script to set these changes for every user each time they logged in since everyone makes different changes.  

At this point we are looking into other technologies for handling profiles such as Citrix User Profile Manager.  However, we are just now trying to prove this technoloy out in the lab and it's still in a technology review status until Dec 31. I need a solution in the meantime as users are getting frustrated having to make changes every day they log in.  Please help.  Thanks.
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Question by:fcsiladmin
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by:Mikealcl
ID: 22635101
Use regmon?

I think its actually called processmon now from sysinternals.  You can capture all the failed registry access attempts and then make modifications as needed.  I've had to use it for several things in terminal services.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/0e18b180-9b7a-4c49-8120-c47c5a693683.aspx

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by:fcsiladmin
ID: 22635671
I tried regmon but the tool I prefered to used was InCTRL5 which actually shows you what registry entries have changed after a modification or installation of an app.  Besides, as I mentioned before, even if I were to discover the changes that's only half the battle.  I can't very well apply the exact same reg changes via a script to every one of our 165 users, they are too dynamic.  One workaround is to copy a users local copy of thier roaming profile to all the other servers after they finsh making changes and we may have to use this in the shorterm.  But this is going to be very cumbersome and not very practical.  
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by:Mikealcl
ID: 22637233
Wouldn't you just have to modify the registry permissions on the 6 servers in question?  That's all I have had to do in the past.
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by:fcsiladmin
ID: 22637720
Should not have to change permissions on registry since these are all HKCU.  I believe the users should already have necessary rights to modify their registry hive.  What keys did you have to modify?
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by:Ron9909
ID: 22641668
You mentioned that if you make the required changes on one machine, log off and on again, you still have your settings, but not on another server.  This suggests that AppData redirection isn't working correctly.  You could try turing off the policy for AppData redirection to prove this.  Have you monitored the redirected AppData folder to see if there are any changes being made there??

Do you have a lot of data in the redirected folder?  Its not always a good idea to redirect AppData, as it can introduce performance problems in some circumstances (depending on the apps).  Better to increase the logon time slightly than read it from the network as required...

Alternatively, you may find a middle ground by using some type of hybrid profile solution.  Have you considered this?  FlexProfiles (http://www.loginconsultants.nl) or Jumping Profiles (http://www.jumpingprofiles.de) are both good solutions.

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by:fcsiladmin
ID: 22651479
The policy that applies app data redirection is not applied to me as an admin and I'm still having the issue so that cannot be it.  We do want to implement a third party profile management solution and as I mentioned before we are testing Citrix User Profile Manager 1.0 but it's still in a technolgy preview status so no support.  The other options you suggested, are they availabled for download to test?  I did not see any links for jumpingprofiles downloads on their website.  Have you used any of these two in production? cost?
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by:Ron9909
ID: 22655026
I've personally implemented Flex Profiles a number of times, and its always been very reliable (its really quite simple in how it works).  There is a bit of work to do in defining which registry entries you want to hive in and out, although with version 4, its much simplified.  The good news is that its completely free, but don't let the fact that it's a non-commercial product put you off - its actually used extensively in Citrix and TS environments, and is well supported by the community.  Its actually a great product and when you consider the cost of going with something like AppSense EM, then its a no-brainer for many people.

I've not personally implemented Jumping Profiles, although I have seen it in action.  It differs from Flex in the sense that you tell JP which keys you DONT want to hive in/out.  You can also use it to set up other aspects of the user environment e.g. printers, file copies, drive mapping etc.  Its also a well respected solution.  This is a commercial product however, and I'm afraid you would have to contact Messernecht for pricing.  

Re. your original issue - seems odd.  If you are not redirecting App Data, then your roaming profile is either not getting updated, or loaded in a timely fasion when you log on to the other box...
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fcsiladmin earned 0 total points
ID: 22671542
Found a solution - it was provided through a Citrix consultant.  Apparently, Microsoft has begun saving office 2007 application data in the local settings folder of a users profile instead of the application data folder.  We redirect application data but not local settings so he gave us an .adm to import into our users policy that would redirect users local settings  wherever we chose.  Here is what we had to import:

CLASS USER
CATEGORY "Folder Redirection Local Settings Application Data Folder"
KEYNAME "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders"
POLICY "Default path for Local Settings Application Data Folder"
PART "Local AppData" EDITTEXT EXPANDABLETEXT REQUIRED
VALUENAME "Local AppData"
Default "%HOMEDRIVE%\Local Settings\Application Data"
END PART
END POLICY
END CATEGORY

Copy this into a text document and save as an .adm file then import into your GP.  NOTE!  Make sure you uncheck "Only show policy settings that can be fully managed" in View-Filtering or the setting will not display.  Set your Local AppData to redirect anywhere you chose, in our case we redirect to %APPDATA%\Local Settings\Application Data.  This will add the Local Settings folder to their already redirected application data. %HOMEDRIVE% will redirect to their TS Home directory if you have it configured.  

Hat's off to MS.  :(  
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by:Ron9909
ID: 22693723
MS never ceases to amaze me...They must have a crack team of monkeys woking overtime to come up with these solutions.
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by:hbaum
ID: 22868657
Hi fcsiladmin, we try using the ADM, however, i keep getting an error regarding unexpected keyword found for VALUENAME, expected: CHECKBOX, TEXT, EDITTEXT, ETC.

CLASS USER
CATEGORY "Folder Redirection Local Settings App Data Folder"
KEYNAME "SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders"
POLICY "Default Path for Local Settings App Data Folder"
PART "%APPDATA%\Local Settings\Application Data"
VALUENAME "Common Local Settings"
DEFAULT "%HOMEDRIVE%\Local Settings\Application Data"
END PART
END POLICY
END CATEGORY

Can you tell me where the problem is with the ADM? Thanks
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