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Group policy in server 2008 uses different path for My Documents than on server 2003

Posted on 2010-09-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have recently added a Windows Server 2008 DC to a domain, the previous 2003 Server will be removed in the near future.

We previously used Windows XP desktops on this domain, but we are in the process of changing this to Windows 7 64 bit for all computers on the domain.

Due to a problem with one of the group policies, I have recreated the policy defining the folder redirection and have encountered a problem with the My Documents path.
On both 2003 and 2008 server the path required for users documents in the policy is: \\servername\share
In the policy created on server 2003 this is automatically appended to become:
\\servername\share\%username%\My Documents

However in the policy created on server 2008 R2 this path is appended to become:
\\servername\share\%username%\Documents

This means that the users My Documents shortcut now points to a new empty folder and their previous documents are unavailable.

Can anyone suggest a good way to move all of the users files from the old to the new location whilst maintaining appropriate permissions without moving it all manually?
2003-Policy.JPG
2008-Policy.JPG
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Question by:QEMS
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by:Krzysztof Pytko
Krzysztof Pytko earned 250 total points
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I'm afraid you cannot do this from GPO. You need to use additional software. In this case the best solution would be Robocopy (Microsoft tool) to automate process without loosing permissions. You can download it from

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=9d467a69-57ff-4ae7-96ee-b18c4790cffd&displaylang=en
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by:QEMS
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Unfortunately that resource kit wont work on the server in question. The page states:

Note: The Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools are not supported on 64-bit platforms.

Is there a 64bit version available?

Do you have any reccomendation for scripting robocopy?
Or is it worth scripting a rename of the My Documents folders to Documents?
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by:Krzysztof Pytko
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Yes, you're right. This package is only for x32. I haven't found it for x64 :/
That second option you mentioned is the best method. You're right, the most simple solutions are the most effective :) Just rename their "My Documents" folders to "Documents" and that's all.

If you need further assistance, just let me know. If not, wish you luck :)
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by:sumeshbnr
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since the 2003 server is in the network why dont you instruct the users to browse the old share and copy to thier documents folder?or do a logon script.

or try this


Go to the root of this share's security tab and take ownership for administrator for the entire folders and add administrator and give full permission .Use xcopy with /O switch to copy the share contents to the new server .then use any third party tool to change the folder name from my documents to Documents.

Please test before doing it.

I have not done this before.
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by:QEMS
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The user's documents are all on the new server already, everything was moved and the my documents were working properly - until I had to recreate the policy.

I am now considering mapping to the old path with a logon script and telling users to copy from the mapped drive to the new drive - I don't like relying on users to take responsibility for anything if I can help it though!

I am still considering the renaming option, but I want to test that out properly first as Windows 7/Server 2008 uses junction points for this type of location (see http://pherricoxide.wordpress.com/2009/11/07/windows-vistawindows-7-junctions-access-denied-problem/). Even though the path on the server is \\servername\share\%username%\Documents it is still listed in windows explorer as "My Documents", so in Windows explorer I actualy see 2 "My Documents" folders when viewing this on the server. I'm just trying to make sure I understand the consequences and implications of renaming the folders before continuing too far with it.
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by:sighar
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Use Xcopy (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289483) as sumeshbnr suggested to copy the data to a new folder called Documents.
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QEMS earned 0 total points
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Apologies for the slow response, it is very busy here at this time of year.

I have gone for the approach of mapping a drive to the old user area and asking users to copy across the data they need. It is a good way to get users to remove a lot of their old files which are no longer needed.

I will still award points for an example of a way to implement this type of file moving in an automated way in xcopy as I am sure I would have a use for this in future.

Thanks
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