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Folder Redirection does not work when a user's profile already exists

Posted on 2009-07-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I am having a problem with regards to folder redirection using Server 2008 on XP 64bit machines.

I am using a server share 'MyDocsRedir' to store the redirected folders.  This shared folder has the following share and security permissions for the group 'Everyone'

Share - Contributor
Security - all but full control

I am trying to implement folder redirection without offline capability.  I have everything configured in the GPO and have tested successfully using a test user account.  However, If a user has logged on to a given computer prior to the GPO being implemented, folder redirection does not work.  By this, I mean, there is a folder created on the MyDocsRedir folder for the user with a My Documents folder inside, however no files are copied over (existing or new).  However, if a user logs on to a given machine for the first time after the GPO is applied, everything works well.  A folder on the share is created with the My Documents folder inside, and all new files/folders created by the user are immediately saved on the share.

I believe it is related to the profile because, when a user's profile is removed from a computer, and this user logs back in to the computer creating the re-creating the profile on the computer, everything works.

Does anyone have any idea why this would be?  Or have any idea on how to fix this without removing a user's profile to have it recreated?

Thanks.
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Question by:YouJustTrade
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by:tigermatt
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Does it not work completely, or just not work at their FIRST logon after the policy is applied?

It is quite common for existing profiles to require 2 or even 3 logon/logoff cycles to detect the policy, redirect the folder and update the local registry. Have you tried multiple logon/logoffs?

-Matt
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by:YouJustTrade
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I have done this using a test account that already existed on the computer, however I cannot confirm how many times I logged on and off before moving on to another troubleshooting step.  I will test this scenario this morning.  

One problem with this is that most of my users do not log off each night.  They simply lock their computers at night.  
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by:YouJustTrade
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The logging off and on did not work.  I did this 6 or 7 times, keeping the user logged in for 5-10 min each time.  I created files and folders prior to the policy being placed on this user as well as after the policy was in place.  I did a gpupdate /force during one of the first sessions and even restarted the computer in there once.  Still, there is nothing showing up in the My Documents folder under the user.
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by:tigermatt
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In that case, there is something wrong. It should have taken effect after about 2 or 3 logon/logoff cycles. These cycles are required because this is when the policy is actually applied and the documents folder moved, so once it is working, the users who lock their machines will need to be put through the same procedure to have the policy apply to them.

Look at the Event Viewer for any Folder Redirection events at the time of your logon (look in both Application and System) logs. If you see any, can you post the event text here? I am suspecting permissions at the moment.

-Matt
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by:YouJustTrade
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It seems that it is working now.  I do not know what, if anything, has changed.  However, I had a user test the redirection for me.  I put her on the policy on Thursday last week.  As of Friday afternoon, her redirection was not working.  however, this morning, I placed a call with her and it seems that it is now working.  

I do not know when or why it started working for her.  Perhaps its a matter of time along with logging on and off that applies this policy?  She said she logs off at night and back on in the morning.  I would assume time has a factor in this.  I tried logging on and off multiple times over a period of an hour with no success.

However, in the mean time, I created a script that modified the registry to reflect the redirection location as well as copy over the user's My Documents directory to the server.  I am contemplating whether or not I should use this script or if I should let time work with this policy.  Any input?
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tigermatt earned 500 total points
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The policy will take time to apply from the network, so logging on and off within the space of an hour may not have been sufficient time for the policy to apply correctly. Over a weekend, it would most definitely have propagated to the user's machine so would have been ready to apply when the user logged in first thing on Monday.

I wouldn't go down the scripted route. While updating the registry and copying the user data is essentially what Windows does when it applies the Folder Redirection policy, I would much prefer to allow time to allow the policy to apply itself and perform the work properly - which will include updating any other internal references there may be in the Operating System.

-Matt
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