Dropbox On a network

Posted on 2011-09-02
Last Modified: 2012-12-14
We want users on our business network using windows 7, to be able to use Dropbox however we do not want the files in their dropbox folder to then be mounted onto their roaming profile. Is there a way to avoid this happening?
Question by:JonDRees
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 36500477
The term Dropbox really doesn't mean anything,....or I guess you could say that it could mean "anything".   Either way, need to clearly explain what you are doing with correct terminology to describe it.  Otherwise we have no idea what we are trying to answer.

Author Comment

ID: 36588094
Sorry for the delay in replying and the lack of clarity in the question.

The situation was as follows:

We are rolling out Windows 7 to our users and we use roaming profiles. A number of our users have Dropbox accounts - this is a piece of software that acts as a file sharing system based in the cloud but also has a client side which means that a folder is created in the user's home drive called 'Dropbox' with all the files and folders that are stored on Dropbox's servers. The location of this folder on the computer can be specified by the user though. See for more info on this software.

Two problems:

If the user has a large Dropbox folder (more space can be paid for and one of our users has 50GB of files) then we run into problems.  By default Windows copies the Dropbox folder in the roaming profile and if it is large this will obviously increase logging off time (and logging on on a new computer - something that happens regularly enough to become a problem).

We also use folder redirection so the Deskop and Documents folders are redirected to a network drive. one idea was to change the location of the Dropbox to a network drive but Dropbox doesn't allow that.
NB: I haven't tested whether you can save it to the desktop/documents folder so I'm not sure whether that would work

The second issue was that as Dropbox users would log onto terminal servers, space on the server's hard drive would run out very quickly (either as a result of the roaming profile or because the user would then try to install/run Dropbox on the terminal server)

So we were trying to work out how to make Dropbox compatible with our infrastructure because the people who use Dropbox need it for their work (we haven't found a way of matching its functionality with another app).

A) i.
There is a GPO setting in the Group Policy Console where you you can specify folders to exclude from the Roaming profile. This is found under User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > User Profiles and seems to be working as expected.

ii. A second possible solution would be to specify the Dropbox folder path as {Drive letter}\Users\{username}\AppData\Local (or LocalLow) but his seems like more of a faff when i. works fine.

Fixed by A but you can also make sure that dropbox.exe is a disallowed process in your terminal server GPO - User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templeates > System > 'Don't run specified Windows applications'

So this seems to have cleared it up. Once again sorry for the poor post first time round.
LVL 29

Accepted Solution

pwindell earned 250 total points
ID: 36588148
I would have thought it would work fine if the Dropbox Folder was "under" the User's My Documents Folder,....then you use the Folder Redirection to locate that to a network location.  Then the Dropbox Client App would be totally oblivious to the fact it was a network location because from its perspective it was just using a folder under "My Docs" and everything should have worked fine.  Not all folders are "redirectable" so it would have to be a sub-folder under a redirectable folder.
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Author Comment

ID: 36588399
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for JonDRees's comment http:/Q_27288866.html#36588094

for the following reason:

All working now

Author Comment

ID: 36588400
pwindell posted a simpler solution

Author Closing Comment

ID: 36588404
Thanks - that's seems simpler and more sensible than the solution I posted

Expert Comment

by:Benjamin Van Ditmars
ID: 38693549
jonhdrees, you mentioned that employees need dropbox for their work?
In my opinion you should also look at the security risks a third-party cloud-based storage program is causing. What will happen when users lost their dropbox files? or they lost their password and not only the employees are using their dropbox (company data!)

Are those "benefits" worth the business risks? And will it fit in the company security policy?

Nowadays there are multiple solutions that give employees the benefits of a " dropbox " like solution but the company is still in charge of his data. Like backup policies etc.

Do you still use dropbox? Maybe you should take a look at RES HyperDrive?

This allows you to maintain you backup policy and keep track of company data.

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