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HELP! Folder Redirection Screw up.

Posted on 2013-01-11
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Last Modified: 2013-01-12
Our company uses a NAS as a file server.  We only have 25-30 users.  The way we have it setup is the locations of the users main directories (docs, pics, videos, destkop, etc) are changed to the file server.  So instead of C:\users\bill ...   it's H:\Private\bill.  

Well, long story short I was tired last night and screwed one of them up by redirecting My Documents.   Originally I sent the folder to the wrong destination folder and then when I sent it back to the C drive it merged with the C:\Users\bill folder and now the user's profile folder says "My Documents" instead of "Bill".  It's locked and "Documents" is now missing.

This is Windows 7,
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Question by:Vontech615
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by:mprssjpr
ID: 38767123
OK - first some questions:

- How are you applying redirection - with Group Policy? Or in the properties of the user in Active Directory Users and Computers on the server?. Or locally, on each machine? If you're using Group Policy, this is tricky to fix - I've been through the mill with this issue myself - but it's fixable.

- Do you really mean 'Folder Redirection' (entailing offline files and active sync), or are you just literally moving the users profiles folder?

- The user whose profile is now corrupted - was this an existing user whose redirected profile (up to that point) had been working fine, or is it a new user?

- In reporting that the new, resultant user profile folder on the C drive (now My Documents) is locked, what account are you using to establish this? Your own, an administrator account, or Bill's? At any rate, you'll need to take ownership if it's not responding. Go to the properties of the locked folder, and go Security Tab>Advanced>Owner>Edit.

- If this yields nothing, does the NAS perform backups? Can you recover any lost files from here? Or does the local machine perform any backups?
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by:Vontech615
ID: 38767167
I guess it's not a true rediretion.  It's basically just moving the users profile folders to another location on the NAS.  In other words there isn't a junction setup or anthing. This is being done locally on each machine.

This is a new user and I was moving their files to the NAS for the first time.  I didn't get far on troubleshooting the problem because the user had to get back to work.  They haven't logged out and back in yet and I instructed them not to for now.  I'm going to work on it when they go to lunch.

I had planned on trying what you suggested to move to an Admin account, takeown, and change the name back to "Bill".  The only issue then is getting the system folder Documents back in shape.
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by:mprssjpr
ID: 38767226
OK, thanks for the clarification. One last thing - just checking: you have a workgroup, then - not a domain?

If that is the case, and all users are simply local to their own machines, you could just make a new user? This would fix the recreation of the user profile, and if the new user name isn't right, just 'change' it in control panel.

Any good?
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by:Vontech615
ID: 38767379
Actually, we do have a domain.  We're just in the process of moving away from it to a Workgroup with the NAS as the file server.  We did this so we didn't have to spend a bunch of money to update our server 2003 software, server hardware, etc. We don't really need all of that for the few users we have.  We're going to keep the server for a while but that's my issue.  I can't just recreate him because he's a registered domain user.
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by:mprssjpr
ID: 38767428
OK, well, I know it's a bit late in the day to say this, but you can run Windows 7 clients with a 2003 server with some success, as far as I'm aware. It's probably too late now, but rather than manually moving folders, Group Policy would have sewn this up for you with five minutes work, and you'd never have had to fiddle in this way again. In addition, users could 'hot desk' - sign onto any machine, and still get their files etc. Oh well... c'est la vie!

Things being what they are, it's a bit of pickle.

Maybe, once any files are retrieved from the locked profile and copied elsewhere, completely delete the local user profile folders. Then, get bill to log on again, with default settings. This should recreate the user folders again properly. I can't see  a reason why that wouldn't work, as by deleting the corrupted user folders, you're deleting the the redirection information as well - I think.
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by:mprssjpr
ID: 38767446
PS delete any of his user folders from the NAS as well before attempting any more redirection, so you're staring afresh.
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by:Vontech615
ID: 38767448
Yeah it's looking like I'm going to have to recreate this profile.  I was hoping that wouldn't be the case but oh well.  
If I take ownership and change the name back to Bill, which probably won't work because it thinks it's the Documents folder now, than I'm still dealing with the issue of the Documents folder being gone.  It's a mess.
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by:mprssjpr
ID: 38767486
Yeah - make sure that when the profile is recreated, you manually copy the files back (ONLY files - not the old folders over the new folders - that make a mess).

Re the missing docs - that's weird, but are there no backups in place?

It would be a very good idea to have the NAS backing up to another NAS every night.

Or - use a cloud based backup service, like Safe Copy. I have an account with them which I use on our file server - I think it's about £70 for a year, for 300GB. Using this, as soon as a file is created, it gets uploaded, so you get offsite backups on the fly.

Unless you're using very big files, this should work well, but even then, it allows you to throttle the upload speed so that your connection doesn't get clogged up.
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by:Vontech615
ID: 38767501
I guess I should be more clear.  The Docs are all still there they are just now moved/merged under the Profile name "My Documents" A.k.a. "Bill".  But  the directory "Documents" is now missing out of the "My Documents" aka. "Bill" profile folder because the profile folder is the "Documents" folder. I know its confusing, and why Windows even allows this to happen, I'm not sure.
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by:Vontech615
ID: 38767533
There's not many files in this profile because this is a new employee.  So I'm not too worried about having to recreate it.  I just want to do it right.
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mprssjpr earned 500 total points
ID: 38767594
Sorry - I get you now. Well, if there are no files actually missing, then it should all be fine.

As I say, to be absolutely sure that there are no more slip ups, back up the folders somewhere else, with all files in. Then, delete the profile on the local machine. Then delete it on the NAS.

Get bill to log on again, recreating the profile locally, then copy in the FILES (not old user folders over new ones). Guess you'll have to ask bill where the docs should go.

Then, once the new profile is set up and happy locally, apply your move again.
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by:Vontech615
ID: 38768194
It all went through without a hitch.  Thanks for your help.  This is one of those times when you realize how humbling I.T. can be. :)
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by:mprssjpr
ID: 38769919
Good stuff - glad it went well. Final thought, though - if the 2003 server is healthy, I would strongly consider keeping it. I know you only have 25-30 users, but that is enough to warrant the use of GP. Look into it, if you can - you'll wonder why how you did without it.
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