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Files present on Windows Server 2008, but "missing" from Home Folder on Windows XP SP3 workstations

Posted on 2011-02-17
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi Experts:

We have just moved all our files and users to a Server running Windows Server 2008.

The following description relates to one user out of a few dozen, but the same issue has been reported by 3 other users - in each case 1-3 files have been reported as "missing".

For example, the user's home folder is assigned via User Account | Profile | Home Folder | H:  \\server2008\userabc

On the Server there are 21 folders and files in d:\Users\userabc\folder1\folder2

But when userabc logs in to his Windows XP SP3 workstation and navigates to H:\folder1\folder2 he only sees 19 folders and files - i.e. there are 2 files "missing".

I am desperate for a solution to this problem!

Regards,
Leigh
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Question by:LeighWardle
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Author Comment

by:LeighWardle
ID: 34923652
I have checked the attributes of the files on the Server.

The "missing" files have attributes="A", all other files have attributes="AI".
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Expert Comment

by:eugene20022002
ID: 34923693
If you go onto the server self , Is the files/folders present there?

Check the permissions on the folders and make sure that the user has full access to that files.
What you can also do is in AD users and computers under profile type in \\server2008\users\%username%  or the path to the users home folder. It will make sure that the user has full access to his/her home folder.
On the server check that the files are not read only or hidden.
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Expert Comment

by:ocanada_techguy
ID: 34924884
Standard attributes are A S H and R
A is archive attribute, that can likely be ignored, it is a carry-over from the old DOS days as a way to keep track of which files have been changed since the last time the archive attribute was cleared during a backup, signifying the file needs to be archived (backed up) again.

Is that a capital I in AI?  Could that be an L as in link as in they are merely symbolic links?  Symbolic Links was introduced in Vista and 2008, suggesting these might not be files at all but links to files?
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Author Comment

by:LeighWardle
ID: 34924893
eugene20022002:

>>> If you go onto the server self , Is the files/folders present there?

Yes.

>>Check the permissions on the folders and make sure that the user has full >> access to that files.

Yes, user has full access to the files.


>>What you can also do is in AD users and computers under profile type in >>\\server2008\users\%username%  or the path to the users home folder. It will >>make sure that the user has full access to his/her home folder.

username has been set up as a Share.
So the profile has the home folder set to \\Server2008\username  (Server2008 is the server name).


>> On the server check that the files are not read only or hidden.

I have checked the attributes of the files on the Server.
The "missing" files have attributes="A", all other files have attributes="AI".
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Expert Comment

by:ocanada_techguy
ID: 34924909
Ah, it is likely the "I" extended attribute, which simply signifies whether the file is Indexed.

So the files your users cannot see have not yet been indexed?
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Author Comment

by:LeighWardle
ID: 34924913
ocanada_techguy:

>>Is that a capital I in AI?  Could that be an L as in link as in they are merely >>symbolic links?  Symbolic Links was introduced in Vista and 2008, suggesting >>these might not be files at all but links to files?

It is definitely a capital I in AI.
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Author Comment

by:LeighWardle
ID: 34924919
I suspect the problematic files were copied using Synctoy.

I renamed one of the "missing" files on the Server.

Then copied the original file from old Server using another sync tool.

This did fix the h:drive issue for that file.

The copied file has attributes="AI" - same as the other files that are "visible" on the h: drive.

For this to be a full blown solution we need some sort of script that can identify all the files that have attributes = "A"?



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Expert Comment

by:ocanada_techguy
ID: 34924931
When they "can't see" the file, it is not because they are going by Search are they?  Could it be they don't see it in search results because they are not indexed and they are doing a quick indexed search instead of an exhaustive search?

A straight listing of the folder contents would not show certain files if the ACL (permissions) on the file do not allow the user any rights.  If that's the case re-examine the rights/permissions, and make sure there's no confusion about what user account when looking from 2008 versus the user they are using when logged on the XP workstation client and connecting to 2008.
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Author Comment

by:LeighWardle
ID: 34924946
ocanada_techguy:

>> Ah, it is likely the "I" extended attribute, which simply signifies
>> whether the file is Indexed.

>> So the files your users cannot see have not yet been indexed?

I did a little test in which I changed the attributes of one of the missing files, by going in to Advanced Properties, then unchecking "Allow this file to have contents indexed in addition to file".
This changed the attributes to "AI" - (same as the other files that are "visible" on the h: drive.).
But the file did not show up looking at that folder on the workstation h: drive.
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Author Comment

by:LeighWardle
ID: 34924983
ocanada_techguy:

>> When they "can't see" the file, it is not because they are going by Search are they?

When I use a workstation as a "user" I do not use Search - I just drill down starting with My Computer.

>>A straight listing of the folder contents would not show certain files if the ACL
>> (permissions) on the file do not allow the user any rights.  

You have hit the nail on the head!
The "missing" files Security tab only shows Administrators as having full permissions.
No mention of any normal User!

How can I repair this situation?
It is really only a one-off scenario relating to a few files synced from our old Server.
Once this is sorted, new files created by users should inherit the correct Permissions.
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Expert Comment

by:eugene20022002
ID: 34925062
\\Server2008\%username% could fix it
I did a test now and it put the permissions back.

The I attribute is files not being indexed
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Accepted Solution

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ocanada_techguy earned 500 total points
ID: 34925068
Well, you could just correct the permissions on the files in question.  Better yet, correct the permissions for each user's home folder, setting it so that all the content is inherited.

The ownership of the files should likely be userabc in userabc's home folder tree, userxyz in userxyz's home folder tree, and so on, not "Administrator"

What you would rather not have is a situation where every single file has its own ACL attributes file by file by file.  You wouldn't know it to look at it but it might be that way.  What you would prefer is that the ACL be set correctly on the parent folder, and all objects (files and folders within and below) inherit their permissions from the parent.  That way the ACL list is faster and simpler.

How did it happen?  You mentioned synctoy?  Ugh.  That's not the tool for migrating a server that's for sure.  When you copied you were probably logged in as Administrator and did not use robocopy with the options to ensure the attributes were also copied?  Well that would be server to server.  If you were introducing a server for the first time to a set or XP workstations, the logon identities on each XP workstation would've been standalone local, whereas the users created on the server would be different GUIDs, either using the same usernames on a standalone server, or making domain users.  If each user had copied their own files from their workstation to their home folder it would likely have been fine, assuming each user's home folder permissions were correct as each user was made on the server.
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Author Closing Comment

by:LeighWardle
ID: 34929796
Many thanks, ocanada_techguy, for your brilliant deduction of the problem.
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Expert Comment

by:ocanada_techguy
ID: 34952887
Ok.
To be fair, eugene also started by suggesting check the permissions and full access for the user.
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