My documents folder redirection using move command

petercsailing used Ask the Experts™
I want to role out folder redirection to reduce network overhead on a system with a number of roaming profile users. The problem i observerd today on one of the clients is this.

Outline of process

In active directory z:\ is set on each user to point to the folder for their "my documents" the folder name has the $ after the name.

Each user has been asked to move the my documents by right click on my documents properties change the default path to Z;\ and issue the move command and agree to the move. On one of the machines the move request is followed by a path box to select the folder to move to as if the machine does not know where z:\ is. I have checked the existence of Z:\ in my computer, i have enetered z:\ in the run path and the folder is found straight away. I have entered the full path in unc covention in the folder path of the default folder loaction in the move and it still shows the folder selection path.
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Most Valuable Expert 2011

Darren SharplesSystems Specialist

just map it in the registry:

\hkey_current_user\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\explorer\user shell folders
Most Valuable Expert 2011

Stay out of the registry.
Do it right, by-the-book,...when things are done right, by-the-book...they work right, by-the-book.
If you want a huge network-wide mess that is very difficult to back-out of and fix,...Roaming Profiles, Folder Ridirection, and Offline Files are the perfect Tools of Destruction.
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Folder redirection works very well when applied properly and when you understand the behavior of redirection.

The most common problem I've seen with redirection is that upon removal of the policy, the users don't get they're data back to it's original location.   This is typical policy behavior if you don't set the value to return data to it's original location.

In a way, it acts like old Sticky Policies did in Winnt 4 policy.  Once set, you need to SET it back to the original location if you haven't configured the policy previously to move the data back.

Use GPO for this, any other method makes it even more cumbersome.

Also, referencing by DRIVE letter is probably a bad idea.  You should use UNC, since it's much more predictable.  Z: can be anything that the user wants it to be, not necessarily what YOU want it to be.

Overall, there are many benefits in folder redirection, however be sure to warrant the use of redirection.  In a small environment, it can complicate things much more than the overall benefit, especially if the administrators are real hip on what they're doing.


A drive letter is used because i used active directory home folder function to create the folder with the security attributes i wanted. The process i described above has worked well on several machines, the issue i raised has only manifested itself so far on one machine i was just wondering if anyone had a view on this behaviour. I see the concern on losing data if moved back, i will guard against this thanks. I did not want to use GPO for this as 1) Not all users are roaming profiles so groups would have to be created, 2) the folder redirection control would meen i would have a period of transfer when users would not know where there info was until i moved the information manually. The stated method kept it simple and the users did the proces themselves and as such were in control.
With GPO based redirection, just for clarification, when you establish the GPO and specify the new location for redirection, you've got the option to on-the-fly move the contents, with little or no downtime.
NOTE:  Additionally, you should be very leery of placing the redirected My Documents within the safe network location as the roaming profile.

When you create a roaming profile location, you should disable any ability to allow clients to CACHE this location.  You'll get errors within that file servers logs until you disable client side caching for the roaming profiles Share.

Additionally, the My Documents redirection automatically is cached on client machines, which directly conflicts with the requirements for a roaming/ts profile location

Use one or the other--either My Documents redirection or HOME folder configurations.  If you use BOTH, try to get users to use ONLY the My Documents and NOT the HOME location.  The HOME location will contain various .ini fixups that you don't want getting in the way.

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