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Grabbing user profile information for XP in a Windows 2008 AD env.

Posted on 2010-09-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We don't use roaming profiles but want to have copies of users desktop, favorites and the nk2 files in the event we need to rebuild a workstation or forget to copy the user profile information if we have to delete user profiles in Windows XP. We are using Windows Server 2008 and Active Directory.
Is there a slick way of grabbing the users desktop, favorites and NK2 files once a week with a group policy or something just so we have a copy stored someplace?
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Question by:lanman777
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by:Joseph Moody
ID: 33645368
Just use the modified xcopy script below. Set it as your logoff script. Create one for each folder you want to backup.

I would redirect the desktop if you can.
xcopy "%USERPROFILE%\Favorites\*.*" "\\UNC PATH TO SERVER\%USERNAME%\Favorites\*.*" /c /q /h /o /y

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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 33646563
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by:Joseph Moody
ID: 33647005
Folder redirection is a good solution to use but some folders can't be naturally redirected in XP. Favorites is one example.

You can manually change the redirected folder's value in the registry which would allow you to "redirect" favorites on XP but I have seen many pieces of software fail because of this.
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Donald Stewart earned 500 total points
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Redirect Favorites and Cookies folder using a Group Policy
 
http://www.petri.co.il/redirect-favorites-cookies-folder-using-group-policy.htm
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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 33647362
Also since the OP is using Server 2008.
 
 
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732275.aspx
The ability to redirect more folders in the user profile folders than in earlier Windows operating systems. This includes the Contacts, Downloads, Favorites, Links, Music, Saved Games, Searches, and Videos folders.
 
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by:Joseph Moody
ID: 33649877
Folder redirection is applied at the client though. An XP client has no idea what those 2008/vista/windows 7 redirection ADMX policies mean. It will ignore folder redirection settings for things like Favorites or Contacts.

That Petri link is a good link though for an ADM file. Nice find! I think the big debate is over whether one should modify the User Shell Folder registry values for things that can't be redirected using Folder Redirection. I say no because XP doesn't include the variables to redirect hard coded software code that look for C:\Documents and Settings\%USERPROFILE%\Favorites.
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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 33649977
"An XP client has no idea what those 2008/vista/windows 7 redirection ADMX policies mean"
 
That's what Group policy client side extensions are for.
 
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=e60b5c8f-d7dc-4b27-a261-247ce3f6c4f8&displaylang=en
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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 33650002
Overview of the client side preferences
 
Multiple Group Policy Preferences have been added to the Windows Server 2008 Group Policy Management Console (which are also available through the Remote Server Administration Toolset (RSAT) for Windows Vista SP1). Group Policy Preferences enable information technology professionals to configure, deploy, and manage operating system and application settings they previously were not able to manage using Group Policy. After you install this update, your computer will be able to process the new Group Policy Preference extensions. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.
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by:Joseph Moody
ID: 33650207
The link is for installing Group Policy Preferences. Folder redirection is a Group Policy "Policy". Installing the preference pack will just let the XP machine understand GPOs that have preferences (such as adding a printer, drive map, etc).

It wouldn't have any impact on folder redirection.
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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 33650280
Correct, and if dug a little further it also gives you the ability to now include as I stated in the earlier post and confirmed by the link.
 
 
The ability to redirect more folders in the user profile folders than in earlier Windows operating systems. This includes the Contacts, Downloads, Favorites, Links, Music, Saved Games, Searches, and Videos folders. !!!!!!

 
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by:Joseph Moody
ID: 33650403
I do not think that is true. When you install the group policy preferences client side extensions to an XP machine, it doesn't make any changes System.adm. System.adm holds the redirected folders settings for XP.

The picture below is from your third post. It is showing that in Windows 7/2008 R2, certain folders can be redirected that "didn't" exist in XP.

I just took an XP machine with GPP and applied a GPO for folder redirection for favorites. The XP machine didn't see the favorite settings. In fact, when you go to configure these settings in Group Policy, the "Apply these settings to XP, 2003...etc" box is locked out.
redirected.JPG
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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 33650696
Found this
 
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947025
 
Note: If you want to redirect folders that are available in Windows Vista or in Windows Server 2008 but that are not available in Windows 2000, in Windows XP, or in Windows Server 2003, create a second GPO. You can then edit the GPO by using the Windows Vista or the Windows Server 2008 version of GPMC to redirect the additional Version 2 folders to the Version 1 user profile.
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by:Joseph Moody
ID: 33650747
While that is a great article on the differences in User profiles between XP and Vista, the article is referring to using folder redirection in combination of Roaming Profiles.

Note: If you want to redirect folders that are available in Windows Vista or in Windows Server 2008 but that are not available in Windows 2000, in Windows XP, or in Windows Server 2003, create a second GPO. You can then edit the GPO by using the Windows Vista or the Windows Server 2008 version of GPMC to redirect the additional Version 2 folders to the Version 1 user profile.
What will actually happen is that folders that are supported to be redirected in Vista (ex: favorites) will actually be stored in the user (roaming) profile when using XP. It is a feasible solution if you are using roaming profiles and have Vista + machines along with XP machines.
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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 33650826
Ok...well this is what I use in a logon script.   ("Z:" is the "Connect to home folder" used in AD users profile tab)
We dont use roaming profiles either
 

@echo off
setlocal
set Local_Path="%systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\%username%"
set Share_Path="\\server\share\%username%"
set FAv_Path="Z:\favorites"
xcopy /s /i /y %Local_Path%\favorites %Share_Path%\Favorites
reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders" /v Favorites /t REG_EXPAND_SZ /d %Fav_path% /f
reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders" /v Favorites /t REG_SZ /d %Fav_path% /f
 
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by:Joseph Moody
ID: 33650830
That would work but may not be the best solution.

By the way, where is our author?
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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 33650891
It's no different than yours other than it changes the path in the users registry the same way as redirection would.
 
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Author Comment

by:lanman777
ID: 33651001
I am currently reviewing all of these options.
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Author Comment

by:lanman777
ID: 33661907
I don't want to redirect these files. They need to stay local to the workstation. I want a copy of these files on a weekly basis and I do not want to use a batch file in a login script.
This is Windows 2008 and AD,  it looks like that preferences in Group Policy would work best for grapping these files. What do you think?
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by:Joseph Moody
ID: 33662006
Why do you not want to use redirected folders?
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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 33663331
I second the "Why do you not want to use redirected folders?"
 
If you redirect the folders to a server share, rebuilding/reimaging a machine is a breeze. You pop the new machine in, the user logs in and everything already readily available W/O having to manually copy the files back over. I use folder redirection in combination with DFS. This way the users can log in at any location and have their files as if they were local.
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