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Need to redirect My Documents via GPO without actually moving the contents

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
So I've gotten myself into a little bit of a mess. My customer communicated what I thought was a request to redirect everyone's My Documents folder from their local C: drive to the home folder location, which is mapped to U: on the file server. The reason I thought this was low-risk was that I was lead to believe that the local My Documents folder was used very little, if at all, by anyone. Unfortunately we found out after the fact that there were a number of users that had a bunch of data in there.

Aside from the fact that several users do have personal data that they don't want to have on the server, it also created a lot of logon performance issues with the Offline file synchronization that goes along with Folder Redirection. I've since disabled the folder redirection part of the policy, although the new location on the file server appears to remain intact for most or all users, although it's difficult for me to tell without actually going to the properties of their My Documents folder. What I want to do is basically reverse what I've done, although part of it will have to be done manually by the user since their My Documents folders became intermingled with their U: drive folders.

So, is there a way to redirect the My Documents folder back down to the local C: drive WITHOUT copying all the contents along with it - basically just move the folders back down so the users have a place to move the data they don't want on the server? I was going to try to do this manually for each user, although when I checked out a few workstations I noticed that the option to 'move' the My Documents location is gone, presumably because the stations still think that this property is controlled by group policy, even though I've confirmed that each Folder Redirection that was setup is now set back to Not Configured. Given especially that I don't really have a fast or reliable way to know whose documents are where (even though it looks like mnost of them made it up to the server), I want to know if there are a series of steps (i.e. enabling and configuring a policy a certain way and then disabling or replacing it with another, etc.) to ensure that all users end up with a local My Documents folder (albeit empty) that they can then just drag and drop things from their U: drive back into.
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Question by:ajahnke
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by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 34954012
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yelbaglf earned 500 total points
ID: 34954066
Open up the properties window of your folder redirection GPO.  Click the Settings tab, and make yours look like this:  (Uncheck 'Move the contents of My Documents to the new location' and choose 'Redirect the folder back to the local userprofile location...')  This will change the location back to the user's local profile and LEAVE the contents on the server, so that users can copy data back over as needed.  

Once the group policy has updated for all users, you can safely disable it.

Folder Redirect Settings
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888203
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc759194(WS.10).aspx
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by:ajahnke
ID: 34966012
yelbaglf - I think yours looks like it's going to be the right answer (a little surprised I just kept looking past that on that screen), although I won't know until I can test it, which won't be for another couple days. I will get it done though and assign the points accordingly after I verify that it works. Just wanted to let you know that.
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by:yelbaglf
ID: 34966222
Sounds great...I'll stay tuned. :-)
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