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Folder Redirection Files Deleted

Posted on 2013-11-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-02
We are implementing Roaming Profiles and Folder Redirection together; we are using Server 2008 R2 and most of our client PCs are still on XP. In testing I logged in at one machine; the files on the machine did not copy to the redirected location. I manually restored the files to the redirected location, and logged back in finding all my files in place. However when I logged the same account in at another workstation it went through the "first logon" process and all the documents were gone from the redirected folder.

I have followed all the MS documentation for configuration, and excluded the redirected folders from following the roaming profile. Is there something else I'm missing which would cause this?
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Question by:JHMH IT Staff
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by:arnold
ID: 39618009
The redirected folders is a two login process.
It is not clear from your description what is going on.

The roaming profile and folder redirection can and do coexist.
Do you have a limit on the roaming profile size?

On the redirected folder option, what options do you have should the policy be withdrawn?

If you have a local user profile on multiple systems and then institute a folder redirection, logging into each of the systems with local user profile will trigger a copying of data which may lead to data loss by older files overwriting newer ones.
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by:JHMH IT Staff
ID: 39618016
No limit on the roaming profile size. The other machine did not have a profile for the user; all data on the server (\\server\Profiles\username\Documents) disappeared on login on the second machine, including a test text file stored on the redirected desktop. I can provide more info if needed.
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by:arnold
arnold earned 1500 total points
ID: 39618054
That is normal, the data from user\Documents is transferred to the folder redirection location and the old reference is removed.
The user registry is then reflecting the shell folder for documents/my documents based on the folder redirection policy.
\\server\userfoldersshare\username\Documents
Etc.

All redirected folders are deleted after the data is transferred.
Make sure the folder redirection rule when the policy no longer applies is sent to copy the data back.
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by:JHMH IT Staff
ID: 39618066
It is set to copy the data back. I may not have been clear with my issue; the files and data are deleted from the server when the user logs in from a different machine. On machine 1 I logged in to an existing profile, then made sure the data copied to the server. I logged out then back in and my data was available via folder redirection. When I logged in as the same user on machine 2 folder redirection still worked, but the folders were empty.
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 39618132
How is your folder redirection deployed?
Does the user always have roaming profile  no matter what system they login into?
Does the folder redirection apply to the user no matter what system they login into?

I have a similar windows 2003 User GPO setup at a location, and the folder redirection works for those users on desktops and a terminal server.
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by:JHMH IT Staff
ID: 39618141
Deployed by GPO, users in OU will always be subject to roaming profiles and folder redirection. Everything seemed to work fine intest eenvironment, this problem surfaced the first time we deployed to a production OU. The user's local files did not copy automatically to server, then were gone when logging in to second XP machine.
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by:arnold
ID: 39618145
Your issue seems to point that the profile setting is not uniform.
A local profile will require a two logon before the folder redirection is configured and should let the user access to the previously saved files.

Are the existing environment consist of roaming profiles, or is roaming profiles and folder redirection are being deployed in production?
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by:JHMH IT Staff
ID: 39618160
We're just now deploying. Judging from your response I'm theorizing this may be related to the one user. I will test more tomorrow and follow up then.
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by:arnold
ID: 39618164
Are your current users roaming or local?
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by:JHMH IT Staff
ID: 39618170
All profiles are local. We are converting to roaming.
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arnold earned 1500 total points
ID: 39618198
In this case, you should do it in two steps.

The issue you may face is a user that has multiple systems on which they logged on and have a local profile.

Not sure whether transitioning the users to roaming or folder redirection should be first.
Initially set the users with folder redirection.

Each local profile will require two logins for the redirected folder setup.
Doing the roaming I think requires a single logon/logoff

Once the user is roaming, the folder redirection takes two logins on one system sincetheredirect is recorded in the ntuser.dat (registry user settings hive).
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by:JHMH IT Staff
ID: 39618859
I went back to my test environment and changed the policies so that the profiles point to one folder and the folders redirect to a different folder rather than both going to the same server location (\\server\Profiles and \\server\Redirects). This issue seems to have cleared up now; however I have a new issue with Outlook being unusable on the next machine due to the default ost and pst files in the Local Settings folder. I will research and open a new question if necessary.
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by:arnold
ID: 39619421
You need to get the Office GPO settings that relocate the pst files to appdata/application data.

The GPO will apply to new users, existing users require a manual move or they will lose their emails as local settings are dropped/discarded.

the move is done within outlook.  You could while outlook is closed copy/move the pst file from local settings\application data\microsoft\outlook to application data\microsoft\outlook
and using outlook reattach to the one in application data.  depending on your outlook version it might complain about the pst file especially if the share is configured to allow offline file access.
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