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How do I redirect users My Documents to a specific folder on my server, using AD GP?

Posted on 2011-03-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

I'm running Win2k8 AD and all my existing user's my document folder is directed to a share folder called User on my exisiting server.

For example; All user's My Documents goes to \\192.168.1.2\Users\JohnD <- Users name

I do this to backup all their documents off the server, instead of their documents residing locally on their machine.

Now, I'm migrating my fileserver/data from my existing win2k3 server to my new win2k8 server, which will be the new fileserver.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to redirect ALL my users my documents to path/map to my new server. I don't want to go to each user's machine, I'd rather utilize AD, logon script or any other tool that will help me make this change for entire domain.

I appreciate the help.

Thanks,

nimdatx
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Question by:nimdatx
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23 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:stestaz
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Hi, you can do it with the Group Policies, you can redirect all the document folder to a new one in the new server
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Jackson
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Right click your users OU and select properties, go to the group policy tab and either create a new group policy or edit an existing one.
Expand User Configuration
Expand Windows Settings
Expand Folder Redirection
Right Click My Documents and select properties.
In here you will see the various configurations possible.
you will probably want to redirect to user's home directory but this relies on the home directory property being set in the users ad account.
or create a folder for each user under the root path which relies on the users folder being the same name as their ad account.
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by:nimdatx
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I have a Users folder which has everyones folder (JohnD) within that root folder. All my users My documents are configured to to go to \\192.168.1.2\Users\JohnD (JohnD being their user name). I also have each users profile tab - Home Folder - Connects - Y: to \\192.168.1.2\Users\JohnD.

Which configuration is the best for my situation?

 Document Properties
Thanks,

nimdatx
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by:nimdatx
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Users folder.


 Users
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Jackson
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You just need to select 'Redirect to the user's Home Directory' option then.
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Author Comment

by:nimdatx
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My Documents didn't change.

Settings: Basic: Redirect everyone's folder to the same location
Target Folder Location: Redirect to the user's Home Directory

 
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Author Comment

by:nimdatx
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Is there a way to create a logon script that will change location of users My documents target to a specific folder/share on my server?
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Expert Comment

by:dstewartjr
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Let's back up a little, how were the users documents directed to this share originally ?
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Author Comment

by:nimdatx
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I would right click on users "My documents" and change the location/path to \\192.168.1.2\Users\JohnD
The users data/documents would be directed to my Users Folder on my server for backup. Since I'm moving all my data/shares to my new win2k8 server, I need to figure out how to do smoothly within AD. I don't want to manually do the change from each users PC.

Thanks so much for helping me out.

nimdatx
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Expert Comment

by:dstewartjr
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The way that I would have done the redirect in the beginning would have been to first create your "Users" share folder on the new server.

And use the share/NTFS permissions outlined here

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/274443

Then for your folder redirection policy have it set as " Redirect everyone's folder to the same location"

and

"Create a folder for each user under the root path" and enter \\192.168.1.2\Users\

Folder redirection will then create the new folder for you with the correct NTFS permissions and redirect their data to this new folder
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Expert Comment

by:dstewartjr
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If done correctly:

As each user logs on, their "My Documents" will get populated under the folder "Users" with their "Username" as the title of each folder
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Jackson
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How have you tested whether the gpo change has worked. It is possible you will need to run a command on each pc to update the gp.
start -> run then gpupdate /force
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Expert Comment

by:dstewartjr
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this command will save your sneakers

psexec \\* -s -d gpupdate /force
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Author Comment

by:nimdatx
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So I wouldn't have to move users data from old server to new server, for example with robocopy and of there folders/data to my new server?

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Author Comment

by:nimdatx
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What is psexec \\* -s -d gpupdate /force?
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Expert Comment

by:dstewartjr
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psexec is http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897553

\\* is the wildcard for your whole domain
-s is run in system context
-d is dont wait for the command to complete before moving on to next
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Expert Comment

by:dstewartjr
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"So I wouldn't have to move users data from old server to new server, for example with robocopy and of there folders/data to my new server?"


No, but it would take until *ALL* your users logged on at some point before all the files transfered over.

This would be a good way to eliminate the folders of users that no longer exist.
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by:dstewartjr
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Sorry meant to say "YES" you wouldnt have to move the folders
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by:dstewartjr
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You could also use a logon script to move their files and change "My Documents" path if you like(But I would stick with Group Policy folder redirection)

@echo off

setlocal
set New_Path=\\server2008\users\%username%
set Old_Path=\\server2003\users\%username%
Set My_Docs=My Documents

xcopy /s /i /y "%Old_Path%\%My_Docs%" "%New_Path%\%My_Docs%"

reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders" /v "Personal" /t REG_EXPAND_SZ /d "%USERPROFILE%\%My_Docs%" /f
reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders" /v "Personal" /t REG_SZ /d "%New_Path%\%My_Docs%" /f

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by:nimdatx
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dstewartjr,

Thanks so much. GREAT info.

I understand that folder redirection is better, however this script is great incase I can't get GPFR to work.

So the script you provided is ready to go? I'm not going to lie, but it's all another language I don't understand yet, so if I tried to tweak, I'm afraid I'll wipe my server or something. :-)
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dstewartjr earned 500 total points
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You would just need to alter the "Server2008" & "Server2003" to match your server names accordingly.


I would test on very few users first. Since you said you manually changed each users "My Documents" target path, the new path should hold up fine(in the .bat)

so if your old server is 192.168.1.2

then change  set Old_Path=\\server2003\users\%username% to set Old_Path=\\192.168.1.2\users\%username%

and modify the new path also
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by:nimdatx
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Sync Center - Offline Files (Network Files) Sync is in progress.....

I got this popup and I had no clue what it was pertaining to, but It asked me for a username and password before it could run, so put in admin credentials. I rebooted and logged off and now I have a green circle/yellow arrows on all my My Document Folders. Is it working?

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Expert Comment

by:dstewartjr
Comment Utility
Ewww offline files I don't use them nor recommend them. You can disable them in the properties of the share under caching.
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