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Anyway to change the default location for user profiles?

Posted on 2008-10-09
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello,

I've got a Citrix server where I allocated 12GB to the C: (for OS) and 124GB to the D: (for programs and data). But little did I realize that all the user's profiles would be stored on the C: under Documents and Settings and now I'm having issues with low disk space.

Is it possible to move the location where the server puts the user profiles?


Thanks.
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Question by:swatgear
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by:KCTS
KCTS earned 100 total points
ID: 22683627
What you can do is to use a group policy to redirect the largest part of the profiles (such as my documents) elsewhere, reducing the size of the profile considerbly and not only reducing the disk space required for the profile, but also the logon/off times as there is les sync'ing to do

see http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/w2k3/gp/group_policy_folder_redirect.htm
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by:sk_raja_raja
sk_raja_raja earned 200 total points
ID: 22683649
You can edit the registry key:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Under that key you will abunch of SID's.  Change the ProfileImagePath to what ever location you desire.  I suggest that you remove all the profiles on the server before moving them leave the system and service profiles alone.  Also after you make the change it will need to verify rights on the new location and then reboot

Here are some links on profiles and redirection:
http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX114884
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=232692
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=274443
http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/616ca5d0-cc7e-46c9-b00f-1f926506435c1033.mspx?mfr=true
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Author Comment

by:swatgear
ID: 22683661
Ahhhh yes. Great idea.

So if I redirect the My Documents folder to the D: will Windows automatically move the documents there the next time they login?
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Author Comment

by:swatgear
ID: 22683669
@sk_raja_raja

I think I might like this option better as I would like to keep their profiles off the C: completely. I will take a look at your links. Thanks.
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by:sk_raja_raja
ID: 22683686
yeah.. please test in a machine and post the results
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by:KCTS
ID: 22683693
Even if you do move the profiles (I never like hacking the registry on a server) I would recommend using a policy to re-direct my documents - if users build up lots of documents and these remain in the profile it can seriously impact on logon/off times as they need to be sycronised each time.
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Author Comment

by:swatgear
ID: 22683803
@KCTS

How does redirecting the My Documents folder prevent the slow logon/off because of synchronization? As far as I understand it the synchronization occurs when the users comes to a new computer if they have a roaming profile. But if they have only a local profile, where is the synchronization?

Actually I'm just confused about this so please clarify so that I may understand.


Thanks.
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by:KCTS
ID: 22683835
I had assumed the users were using a roaming profile, if this is not the case then what I said does not apply. Sorry for any confusion.
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by:Leon Teale
ID: 22715343
In Active Directory under Terminal Services Profile Tab, you can set the profile path: this will then assign it when using citrix :)
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by:Raybans
Raybans earned 200 total points
ID: 23118761
HKEY_LOCAL_Machine\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

REG_EXPAND_SZ key named ProfilesDirectory

default is %systemroot%\Documents and Settings

if you change this to E:\Documents and Settings
all NEW profiles will be created in the new folder structure, but the existing profiles will remain the same.
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Accepted Solution

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swatgear earned 0 total points
ID: 23122246
@hexemes

I just tested this out and this doesn't prevent the usage of C:\Documents and Settings\. This modification just stores the roaming profile somewhere and when the user logs in the profile is copied to C:\Documents and Settings\.

@raybans

I think that this would be the optimum solution except that I've been told I should be careful about this on a Terminal Server because some programs refer to C:\Documents and Settings\ rather than whatever is in HKLM\Software\...\ProfileList.


What I ended up doing was moving my pagefile to another drive. That freed up almost 2GB. I'll award points to everyone who contributed.
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Expert Comment

by:Raybans
ID: 23123953
I have only seen one application get upset by the method I used,

and only then cause it was poorly written cheap software, and was easily fixed to point to the new "default" path

most good programs will not be hardcoded to C:\Documents and Settings\  and those that are will find that the C drive is still available.

So it really depends on the Apps your using. but my suggestion does work best on a new server that is not in production yet.
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