Disable My Documents / Desktop Redirection for one user in SBS 2008

Posted on 2009-02-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a SBS 2008 domain with 15 users. All users' My Documents & Desktops are redirected to the server. I have one engineer who does a lot of CAD work and the sync is really slowing him down. He maintains his own backups, so I feel comfortable removing him from the redirection policy.

I know SBS 2008 makes it easy to manage folder direction on a per-user basis. I have went in through the SBS console and turned folder redirection off for this user.

However, he is still syncing with the server and his My Documents is still pointing to the server share. I have forced a GP update on his machine, logged on and off multiple times... all to no avail.

Any suggestions out there on getting his folders to stop redirecting to the server?

Thanks in advance,
Question by:goodie069
    LVL 59

    Assisted Solution

    by:Darius Ghassem
    In the GPO did you tell it to be redirected back to the local computer.

    Author Comment

    It was my impression that doing by hand was no longer necessary. Hence the check-box allowing you to individually select users for Folder Direction from within the SBS 2008 console. Am I crazy in assuming this?

    I've followed the instructions in the link you sent - the registry key changes to User Shells in particular - on the local machine. After a reboot, I noticed an extremely long login time (applying your personal settings). I pulled the network cable and logged in immediately with the Desktop & My Documents in their correct (local) locations. However, after a subsequent reboot to check on the login time, I was presented with the same delay (5+ minutes this time). Again, I pulled the cable and the machine logged in. This time, I found that it had redirected the folders back to the server and was attempting to migrate the local data to the server share. At 12.5GB, no wonder it was taking forever to login.

    So, I'm back at square one. Do I need to create a new GPO for this user only that doesn't contain Folder Redirection? This just doesnt' seem right with SBS 2008's new per-user policy though...

    LVL 59

    Expert Comment

    by:Darius Ghassem
    You need to follow the link above then go into your redirection GPO and then select  security tab add his logon name then click deny apply this group policy.

    Author Comment

    Just to be clear, I am using Small Business Server 2008. The above directions are for Server 2000 but I've done what I can using those suggestions to attempt to get this functional. Really, the only thing that applies to my situation is the registry key edits.

    The GPE steps listed take effect on ALL users, which is not what I'm trying to accomplish.

    I've gone into my Redirection GPO (Small Business Server Folder Redirection Policy) per your instructions but there is no Security Tab. There is a security filter area but I see no area where I can deny access to a specific user.

    Accepted Solution

    I've figured it out. Here's what I did:

    In SBS 2008, when you de-select a user in the SBS Console to remove their Folder Redirection, it removes that user from the "Windows SBS Folder Redirection Accounts" Group, which is the group that is linked to the SBS Folder Redirection GPO. As such, the user is removed from the linked GPO and their folders should no longer be redirected.

    In my case, the "Windows SBS User Policy" GPO ALSO had a folder redirection policy in place. How it got there is beyond me. So, although the user was no longer a member of the Folder Redirection Accounts group, it was a member of the Windows SBS User Policy group, so the redirection remained in place.

    I went through each GPO checking to ensure that no other policy had folder redirection in place. I then forced a GPUpdate on the client machine, logged off, then back in. Voila. No more folder redirection.

    Thanks for attempting to point me in the right direction, dariusq. Seems SBS 2008 handles this differently than previous versions, though.

    Author Comment

    Since there's so few articles on the web regarding SBS 2008 folder redirection (undoing redirection, specifically), it's worth noting that more work was necessary to get the user back to a fully-local state, other than just unticking the "Folder Redirection" checkbox in the SBS Console User Properties and modifying the duplicate Folder Redirection Policy in the User GPO. I also had to do the following:

    Turn off Offline Files to prevent the login/logoff sync.

    Reset the redirected folder keys in the registry as follows:
    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

    Shell Folders -- all should read "C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\<foldername>"
    User Shell Folders -- all should read "%USERPROFILE%\<foldername>"

    Force a group policy update (cmd --> gpupdate /force). Logoff, log back on.

    Manually move contents of Redirected Folders on the server back to the local machine (Desktop & My Documents).

    That should take care of it.

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