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Roaming profiles vs. Folder redirection

Posted on 2010-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We are using SBS 2008 with a mixture of XP and Win7 clients, and we have about 15 people.  I would really like to cease using roaming profiles because they cause so many issues, but I'm not sure of the best way to do it to fit our needs.

The ONLY data I want to "roam" is user settings, I do not want any other folders to roam such as my documents or photos or any of that other stuff.  It seems like all of the information I read is how to redirect user data, but not settings.  Is there an easy way to do this with folder redirection?  Is folder redirection even meant for user settings?
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Question by:dgooge
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by:Mike Thomas
ID: 33689716
Sounds like you just need to configure a redirect of the application data and then remove the romain profiles paths for the users.

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by:dgooge
ID: 33691493
I thought about that, but what about the ntuser.dat file?  I'm don't know how much has changed in Win7 but it was pretty important for WinXP, it was basically most of the profile.  The ntuser.dat file isn't part of the appdata folder.
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pwindell earned 500 total points
ID: 33692728
What you want is not possible.   The DAT file is the heart of the profile,...if the profile does not roam,...then the settings to not roam,...it is that simple.
Folder Redirection does not redirect "any folder you want",...it only redirects certain ones.
I think you know all that,..so I am just reaffirming it.
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 33693196
pwindell is correct - in order to have the ntuser.dat roam, you MUST using roaming profiles - there's no way around that. Plus with XP there are a number of folders that cannot be controlled through folder redirection, although with Windows 7 you have a lot more flexibility in that respect. However, you can exclude folders from roaming using the following group policy settings, and this might allow you to get close to the result you want while still retaining the roaming nature of the Application Data and ntuser.dat settings that you want to roam:
User Configuration/Policies/Administrative Templates/System/User Profiles/Exclude directories in roaming profile
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by:pwindell
ID: 33693311
Ah! Yes. Tell it to roam but then exempt all/most of the folders so only the root folder will "roam" which will carry the DAT file.
Does it require OS's newer than XP for it to work?  Win7 only?
 
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 33693552
The "exclude directories in roaming profile" group policy works with both XP and Win7.
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 33693577
PS - I would recommend allowing the Application Data/App Data (different name for the two different OS's) to roam as well as the main folder, simply because there are a lot of applications that put user settings in this folder. For example, a good portion of the MS Outlook user profile resides in the Application Data/App Data folder.
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