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User environment change on TS, and within the Domain

Posted on 2011-10-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
One user would like to have his office default save location set to one of his mapped network drives.  He wants this to be true for whether he is on the TS offsite, or in the office directly connected to the domain.  

I would think GPO would be a great way to do this, however, when I drill down in the forest, the Terminal Servers do not show up.

My head administrator would like me to use .kix scripting, however, everything I've read about GPO is that it's very versatile, and the way forward.

Can you tell whether those terminal servers should be in the "forest", and whether it can result in saving me time and hassle down the road if I spend time doing this?
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Question by:mgedlaman
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by:duffme
ID: 36928482
Using Group Policy for a single user is probably not a great idea.  If you are looking to do for larger groups of users, based on OU, location, or whatever then pursue the Group Policy path.  Do you use roaming profiles?  I believe the Office save location is generally stored somewhere in the profile.  If that profile is roaming they would keep the setting everywhere.  Of course you'd have to configure the user account to refer to the same roaming profile for both console and TS.  If you aren't using roaming profiles already, a script for this one user is probably best.  You could specify the script as a user logon script somewhere, in an existing GPO, local GPO, Run registry key, Startup folder, whatever makes value sense.
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by:mgedlaman
ID: 36933638
We turned off roaming profiles because users were abusing it, and it was really screwing things up and causing a ton of unnecessary busy work for me (spinning my wheels all day).

A script sounds like a real pain in the arse.  There are 2 TS's that he could log into, and a desktop that is local to the domain.  Can you give me an example of what that might look like?
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by:duffme
ID: 36934217
So you only want to change this for the one user?  
What version of Office are you using?
Are there other settings you would like to enforce for other users?  
What is the default save location for the TS users now?  I would think this might be something you would want to set for all TS users if it is currently going to a local TS drive.
Are you using networked $HOME directories or something standard for all users?
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Author Comment

by:mgedlaman
ID: 36950257
I only want to change this for one user for the time being...that being said, it may be nice to change the default save location for all users down the road.

He is running office 2007.  There's a ton of settings I don't even know exist (will have to read some documentation on all the possible policy settings I could be using).  

Default save location for TS users is their "documents" folder (default I think?).  Yes, we're using a networked private$ drive for all users (right now it's not on CIFS, but says it's compatible with that, however, I believe I will need another licence for Backup Exec if I am to proceed with that).
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by:duffme
ID: 36950413
Default save location for TS is their local documents folder, that is C:\Users\username\documents, on each TS server?  Since you are only talking about two TS and a single desktop I would first try the easy approach and manually set the path for each of the three logons, specifying the networked $HOME drive on the remote tab of the user account.  I'm guessing the TS will not keep this persistent across logons, but it's worth the quick test before you go into the rest of it.

Otherwise you will need the Office 2007 GP templates:
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=22666

Here is some info for setting the path with GP:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc178949(office.12).aspx

Don't get carried away with setting everything that looks good.  GP should be used sparingly and with reason.
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by:mgedlaman
ID: 36952481
Thank you for the quick response duffme.  

Okay, I was able to set his "home folder" "local path" to his private share on the NAS using AD users and computers manager.  However, I'm not quite sure how to set the terminal servers.  I logged in to the TS, and the setting did not apply there, as, when I tried saving a document from excel, it went to the local "my documents" folder.
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Author Comment

by:mgedlaman
ID: 36952514
The other complication is, the TS is using office 2003, and most of the workstations have office 2007 or 2010 on them :(
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duffme earned 2000 total points
ID: 36952666
TS usually creates and deletes user profiles (and thus user registries) with each logon session, or these are housecleaned periodically.  SO you might want to simply change the setting in the .Default user profile, so that anyone logging on would have the setting pointing to \\%HOME%\mydocs or whatever your desired path is.  You have to first figure out what setting this is-- I think it is generally in the user registry, and copy it into the .Default user profile or registry.

In Users and Computers enable Advanced Features form the View menu, open the User's account and go to the Remote Desktop Users Profile tab ( I think it used to be called Terminal Services) where you can set a path or mapped drive that is only used for RDC/TS sessions.  Careful these will apply to ANY TS session.

Using these two things together may be simpler and more straightforward that using Group Policy until you are ready to implement more sweeping controls.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mgedlaman
ID: 37041038
The user didn't want to have redirected documents, and lead IT guy didn't want to setup GPOs for one user (even though it might come in handy for down the road as more users will want this as we may introduce session broker on the TSs).
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