Need to redirect My Documents via GPO without actually moving the contents
Posted on 2011-02-22
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.