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Folder Redirection with Laptop

Posted on 2013-05-29
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Last Modified: 2013-10-06
I could have sworn I asked this question before and got responses but it ain't in my question list. :>(

I am using folder redirection for Desktop and Documents on our network I disable off-line files for security reasons. With Windows XP when you removed a laptop from the network, i.e go travelling, it would create a temporary set of folders one could write to. Windows 7 (perhaps Vista too, I avoided it) does seem to create a temporary folder but prevents writing to it. This prevents some programs form working.

So is there any way one can set up a situation where, when removed from the network, the profile defaults to a local desktop and documents folder that is writeable?
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Question by:cescentman
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19 Comments
 
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39204952
Why don't you just enable offline files on that machine so that you have all your files all the time?
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39204971
Well there are 2 reasons. Firstly the files and folders in documents total a large amount of data and I would prefer not to carry them all around. The second issue is security. I don't really want to be carrying all the files on a machine that is more easily stolen.
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Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39205607
You can set the size of the cache used for offline files. If you set the cache very low so that it will at least transfer the new files that you made when offline that would probably work.

I don't see the settings for local profile relocation when off network but I will keep looking.
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39206867
xKincaidx yes I guess so but that wouldn't really address the security issue, besides I don't really need offline files as I always work via RDP on the office system anyway. I would much rather have it behave like my old XP Pro laptop.

No there are no settings per se. However I seem to remember seeing there was a way around it using a policy.
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Expert Comment

by:duzbin
ID: 39206874
Why don't you just disable the Folder redirection for that laptop completely (as you are not using it) and then just manually copy the data back once on the network. you could also use sync software like "synctoy" to sync the data when back in the office?
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39206881
Thanks for the suggestion duzbin. I'm not needing to sync any data, that's the point really. As you say I need to disable folder redirection for the laptop when it's not connected to the office network, the problem is that folder redirection is a policy setting tied to the user profile not the machine. Do you know how I would do it?
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Expert Comment

by:duzbin
ID: 39206892
Are you using Server Std, or Small Business Server?
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39206911
Std
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Expert Comment

by:duzbin
ID: 39207003
You can use the Group Policy loopback feature to apply Group Policy Objects (GPOs) that depend only on which computer the user logs on to.

You can create a seperate OU with the same policies as the std group policy but without the redirection settings.

So create a GPO with the redirection settings off and add yourself as a user. that way the Notebook (your PC) won't be effected and the redirection settings will only be applied when users logon to computers in the std group specified OU.

More info see here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc978513.aspx
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Expert Comment

by:duzbin
ID: 39207004
also If you use the Advanced mode on the folder redirection then you specify who gets folder redirection based on a security group.  This way you can have one group policy object that is assigning multiple groups of users to different locations... or none at all...
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39207168
OK looks good. However this is outside my comfort zone so I may need a little help getting this going.

First off the redirect is already set for our Staff Group Policy:-

Current GP
How do I proceed based on what you say and the need to maintain the redirection for other staff?
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39313839
Can you help?
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39315203
I will get back to you tonight about this!
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39315930
Thanks
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39319768
I just typed up a long reply on how to disable Folder Redirection but I realized that is not what you want to do.

There is really no way to automate what you are trying to do or make a clean way to sync it without offline files.

You have two options:

1. Save the files to the root of your C: in a folder and then transfer them into your Redirection Folders when you are back on the network.
2. Turn on offline files and disable it for everything except one folder that you can use to sync things but then you still have some files being stored locally on your machine.

You should probably just go with option 1. Super simple and secure if you copy the files and then delete them from your local computer.
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39355528
Essentially as I say at the start I'm not after sync, just a desktop and my documents that's writeable when I'm not connected. I access all my stuff using RDP when I'm away so all I need is to be able to log into the laptop to run that and write a few bits and pieces. It's only when It's connected to the network I need access to my resources.

duzbin solution looks workable but I'm not sure how to proceed.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39359743
The problem is that the Group Policy for folder redirection are under the user settings so their is no way to disable it on one computer and enable it on another because it is tied to the User in an OU.

You can disable offline files on your computer by going to the Sync Center. Then the files won't be available on your computer unless you are on the network. This is why you would save a file to your C: if you really needed it.
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Accepted Solution

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cescentman earned 0 total points
ID: 39535998
Hmm I see. Disabling off-line files does not solve the issue as the issue is not having access to the location of the redirected folders when not connected. I think I shall just have to muddle on with two different logins :>(

Thanks to all who tried to help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39550322
No solution available for the problem.
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