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Folder redirection and offline Cahce Issue

Posted on 2011-02-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Environment:  Windows 2003 DC's with client systems running XP, Visa and W7.  Servers range from 2003 - 208R2

While I am not new to folder redirection I haven't done much with Offline folder caching.

We have a policy that redirects user folders to a server share.  Once the policy is applied to a user the redirection works fine; however, the local copy of the folders and files is moved into the offline cache location.  Meaning that there is no longer a copy of "My Document/Documents" under the user location.  This is impacting all 3 client O/Ses.  

Policy has been edited via a Windows 7 client system.

It doesn't matter the client operating system once the policy is in place you can no longer find the "Documents" folder on the local system.

I have not seen this before and can't find anything that indicates this is normal behavior.
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Question by:Taztug
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cmorffew earned 500 total points
ID: 34928016
This is strangely normal behaviour, from what i have seen.  

When you turn on the re-direct in a GPO you are telling the system(Client OS) to point to the server share instead of the local folder.  This means that the client machine will not have a copy of the files on it.  

However, if you also have offline folder caching enabled, then the user should be able to see the files via the "My Documents" shortcut on the desktop, etc. as the system knows where the files exist and re-directs you to the server.

Now, it gets tricky because with the offline folders caching enabled it will store a copy of all files it is syncing in the offline folder if you want to view these files then open windows explorer goto Tools - Folder options and then look in the offline folders tab and you can see a button for view files.
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by:alreadyinuse
ID: 34933026
Here are some links i refer to at times. The offline folder local cache i think is a hidden directory %SystemRoot%\CSC folder by default. The files are moved to the network redirect and the local copy which appears to be My Documents to the end user is actually a cached folders. If you see this folder is the size comparable to the clients my documents? I have had to reinitialize the offline cache many times due to corruption.


http://support.microsoft.com/kb/230739

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc938821.aspx

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/230738

Lastly in regard to GPO and offline files in windows 7.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2379156/es
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by:Taztug
ID: 34943602
Thanks cmorffew and alreadyinuse for your replies.  From what you are saying this is standard behavior in Windows 2003 environments.   However pushing the "my Documents/Documents" folder into the offline cache causes some applicatirons, iTunes, for example to break.  Do you know if turning off the offline folder cache option leaves the folder in place?
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by:cmorffew
ID: 34952450
For iTunes you just need to point it to another directory for you library then it will work ok.

For any other apps that "require" the "My Documents" folder - just create the "My Documents" folder on the C: drive where is normally should be.  This will enable the application  to access the location it is looking for.  However,  this does mean that anything that is actually stored in this folder will not be viewable from the "My Documents" shortcut in Windows Explorer,desktop etc. as this would still point to the redirected share.

To actually view the newly created "My Documents" folder you will have to look for it on the C: drive directly.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Taztug
ID: 34983061
Did explain if there was an option to force the redirected files to stay in the original directory.
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