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Folder redirection basics

Posted on 2013-01-03
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Last Modified: 2013-01-22
In our users networked home drives is a “desktop” folder. i.e. H:\desktop

Also in our users home drives is a \profile\desktop folder, i.e. H:\profile\desktop

If I create a file in H:\profile\desktop it then appears on my computers desktop.

If I create a file in H:\desktop it appears if I logon to a citrix xenapp server.

What are these both these scenarios folders referred to as in tech speak?

How does it work? I.e. how does logging on to a citrix server show the contents of H:\desktop ?
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Question by:pma111
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by:Randy Downs
Randy Downs earned 125 total points
ID: 38740690
The H: drive is a mapped from your server.

Maybe this video will help
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkJ80RsRIM8
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by:Sekar Chinnakannu
Sekar Chinnakannu earned 125 total points
ID: 38741231
Check your login script and map drive details. Seems you are mapping home directory of your profile desktop in Citrix map drive.
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Ayman Bakr earned 125 total points
ID: 38741314
This is understandable as you would normally keep two different profiles for one account - one would be for your normal desktop and the other for terminal services session.

However, the settings for both these profiles seem to be awkwardly configured in the same home drive but in different 'folder structure' - that is one in the root H: and the other under 'profile' folder in H:.
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by:pma111
ID: 38741393
>>normally keep two different profiles

is a profile something different to an AD account? where can you see the actual profile settings?
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by:pma111
ID: 38741399
and from a low tech management standpoint why would you have 2 profiles? can you provide some examples?
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by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 38741451
Every AD account needs a profile which will contain his desktop icons/folder/files, documents, favourites, application data, temporary files etc... Depending on the type of the profile set, the profile might be saved in shared path on the network, or it might be specific to a certain computer.

The setting for the profile will be either made on the account's 'profile' tab in AD or using a GPO linked to the OU where the account exists. Note also that each account has two tabs for profile settings: 'profile' tab and the 'Terminal Services Profile' tab. So you can set two different profiles in two different locations on the network; then depending on what the user will be accessing the corresponding profile will be loaded with all its settings.

You will want to have two different profiles for the following non-exhaustive scenarios:
1. Simply you do not want to mix the work done on terminal services with that on normal desktops - for example a company which provides terminal services for specific jobs to be done different from a desktop job and wouldn't want to have the user mix his settings/files
2. From an IT administrative perspective it would be easier to troubleshoot/maintain when you know a user would have two distinct profiles for the different environments
3. You would like to have different scripts to run when a user logs on to terminal services from when he/she logs on to normal desktop - for example drive mappings should be different
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by:pma111
ID: 38741485
Ok thanks. So say a user who doesn't have a laptop and uses a wyse terminal, they'd just have a terminal profile, whereas a laptop user would probably have both a normal profile and a terminal profile?
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by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 38741490
Yep; and that if the laptop user is configured for a terminal profile.
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by:Sandy
ID: 38742889
UNC paths must be used
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by:basraj
basraj earned 125 total points
ID: 38746250
With Windows Terminal server(multiple users can login at the same time). So if 100 users login to a terminal server and they save all their PST or any other datas to their desktop or to their profiles, ultimately the server space will be full and performance will be affected. This is where folder redirection helps by moving user data saved on their profiles are desktops to their respective home drives. So it doesn't fill server space. This is where Terminal server profile path in AD comes into picture and to save space Folder redirection helps by moving to their respective home drives.

Now, if a user is logging into an office laptop, the profile specified on AD path is loaded (if roaming profile is configured) not the Terminal server.. Since Citrix servers are terminal servers, the profiles get loaded from Terminal server profile path.

Answering the other question, how does Citrix show desktop files, it's due to folder redirection. Which can be done in many ways GPO, scripts, citrix profile manager etc. If a Citrix user logs in, the profile gets loaded from the Terminal server path, and other folders like desktop (whichever is configured for folder redirection \\fileserver\username\deskop file) appear from their H drive. If a user in citrix saves file to desktop, during log-off the file is copied back to the H:desktop.
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