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Folder redirection problems with Skype

Posted on 2008-10-14
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First of all please excuse my poor english.
We have a Windows server 2008 Active directory based network, with some folders redirected for all users on a domain policy basis; one of these folders is the "Application Data" folder. All applications that store information in the "Application Data" folder work ok in this scenario. Skype also seems to work ok, but when a user tries to close a Windows session many synchronization problems with skype  *.dbb files are displayed, and the session doesn't finish ok. This is very strange because we are not using roaming profiles, we're redirecting folders, so no synchronization there would be needed at all.
All clients are using Windows XP Professional SP3 or Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 based machines. Server is Windows Server 2008 Standard x64. All affected files seems to be the *.dbb ones.
Anyone knows any way to solve this problem? As far as I know domain policies for folder redirection don't support any kind of exclusions, so the only way I know to avoid this problem is not to redirect the Application Data folder, but we need to redirect this folder.
Thanks in advance.
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Question by:Zamo400
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Henrik Johansson
ID: 22712092
Folder redirection will automatically make folders available offline and syncronize them during online&offline.
Database files are not supported to be made offline.
See 'Exclustion error suppression' section in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/811660 about howto get rid of the warning dialog.
See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/252509 about howto configure file extensions to be excluded from be made offline.
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by:Henrik Johansson
ID: 22712150
minor typo, first line should had been '... during logon/logoff'
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Author Comment

by:Zamo400
ID: 22712699
Thanks for your answer, but I'm very confused; as far as I know folder redirection consists exactly in the opposite: redirected folders are not available offline, because there's no local copy of the files. Data are used by the applications reading and writing it directly from their server location. The benefits of this is that there is no roaming data across the network, there are no local copy of sensible data in the local machines, and logons and logoffs are very quick. In other words: there is not synchronization at all.
The two links you said works great for offline folders, but the problem here is with folder redirection.
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Author Comment

by:Zamo400
ID: 22712740
One question; maybe you're saying that in Server 2008 folder redirection is automatically combined with offline folders as an improve of the mechanism? If is like this I supposed that this extra functionality could be turned of and I can solve my problem. Are you saying that?
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Henrik Johansson earned 2000 total points
ID: 22713508
It's true that they will work with network version as long as they are connected to server, but they will also be able to work offline with cached offline files in case of loss of network connectivity. It's default behavior in Windows XP (and above) to make redirected folders available offline to prevent loss of access to data when network connection to server is lost. The offline syncronization is much more intelligent than the roaming profile functionality and best practice of profile management is to combine roaming profiles, folder redirection and offline files.

Not recommended, but the automatically offline of redirected folders can be turned off with the following GPO-setting.
User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Offline files\Do not automatically make redirected folders available offline

To get rid of your problem, it would be better to configure the exclusion error suppression list as described in the KB I posted above. The registry settings can be distributed to the clients by creating an custom ADM-file and import it to a GPO.
The easiest way to create the ADM is to export the registry key as REG-file and parse it through RegToAdm downloadable from http://yizhar.mvps.org
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Author Comment

by:Zamo400
ID: 22723403
Thank you very much for the information and for the solution; it didn't know about this behavior of the folder redirection, and I agree with you in that it can be very useful, although in our case we are not going to use iy for security reasons; just a minor question: in 2008 the directive to deactivate the automatic synchronization of the redirected folders has been moved; now it is in this path: User Configuration - > Policies - > administrative Templates - > System -> Folder Redirection - > " Do not available Automatically make redirected folders offline"
Thank you again.
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