SBS 2003 and Windows 7 clients Folder redirection is causing problems.

Posted on 2014-09-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-09-25
I am working with an SBS 2003 R2 server that originally had only XP clients. As Windows 7 clients have been added strange things have been happening with the folder redirection. Some of the Win 7 clients redirect without any problem. Others have created "My Documents" folders within My Documents.

The biggest problem right now is that in the C:\Users Shared Folders folder there are duplicate user names. In particular, one user name (Staff1) appears 4 times when using Windows Explorer to view the files and folders. When you open one of the duplicate named folders, windows explorer shows the file path and a different user name. For example, the first folder called Staff1 actually shows c:\Users Shared Folders\Cheryl in the address bar of explorer, and has Cheryl's files and folders. Within that folder is also another "my documents" that has "My Pictures", "My Music", "My Videos" and one called "Outlook Files". These 4 folders are also in Cheryl's folder one level back. See third picture below.

Some of the user folders show the duplicate name instead of the words "my documents". An example of this is a user called Ann.rl. When you open her folder, the only folder displayed is "Staff1" and within that are all of Ann's normal folders and files. See fourth picture below.

Some users have been complaining about missing/lost files and I think this may have something to do with it.
I'm not sure where to start to straighten this problem out. I have some pictures below to try to help explain. I have more pictures available.

This is all very confusing and frustrating. Can somebody help walk me through this problem?

Thank you for your time and consideration,


Root folderThis is the root of the server

List of User folders showing duplicate namesThis the list of users in the Users Shared Folders - note Staff1 appears 4 times.

Contents of first folder of user name Staff1This is the contents of the first Staff1 folder - note that the address shows Cheryl. This account has been active for 2 years.

Ann-RL.bmpThis is the Ann.rl folder - note that the address shows Staff2 and the "My Documents" is called Staff2. This account was recently created.
Question by:Craig
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Joseph O'Loughlin
ID: 40308210
As C;\Users Shared Folders\ is not a default feature (instead it's c:\users\public\..) and as Win7 is newer than Win2k3, I believe you have taken over someone else's implementation
On an affected Win7 machine run  rsop.msc then review on the server the global policies being applied.
Also review login scripts, which could also be applied via active directory group membership.
Sorry, it remains a mess, and like a game of janga, be careful with each script and policy change.

Author Comment

ID: 40308618
Joseph - Thank you for a response, however I don't understand this:

"As C;\Users Shared Folders\ is not a default feature (instead it's c:\users\public\..) and as Win7 is newer than Win2k3, I believe you have taken over someone else's implementation"

The default location on an SBS 2003 installation is in fact c:\Users Shared Folders (reference Nico post here: http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_21078129.html)

and obviously Win7 is newer than Win2k3, but what do you mean by that? How does that help me solve the problems?

Author Comment

ID: 40308638
I ran rsop.msc on the Win7 client called Ann.rl in picture 4 above. The results are successful for folder redirection, however this error did result:

"Internet Explorer Branding failed due to the error listed below.
The specified procedure could not be found."

On the Ann.rl shows the redirection was successful, but yet on the server it shows "Staff2's Documents" as the name of her "My Documents". Under details for folder redirection it lists the 4 folders: My Documents, My Pictures as a sub folder of my documents, My Music as a sub folder of My Documents and My Videos as a sub folder of My Documents. This seems to be the correct way.

When I ran rsop.msc on the Win7 client for Cheryl in picture 3 above has the following error:

"Folder Redirection failed due to the error listed below.
Cannot complete this function."

Under the details for folder redirection it only shows the 3 sub folders of My Pictures, My Music and My Videos as sub folders of My Documents. The My Documents folders is not listed.

 As far as I know, they both have the same login script and the same GP is being applied. I'm not sure how to check it though. Where can I find the login scripts and the GP that is being applied?

I am not an every day SBS server administrator but I do understand a lot and can follow instructions.

The server was fine for many years until the Win7 clients were added. Something is happening as new Win7 clients are added.

Would anybody else like to help out here please?
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Author Comment

ID: 40308651
Correction to my initial post, in paragraph three:

...the only folder displayed is "Staff1" and... - should be "Staff2", not "Staff1"
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

Joseph O'Loughlin earned 2000 total points
ID: 40309362
Internet Explorer Branding  is normally from an isp cd been tried by some muppet attempting to circumvent your proxy, e.g. using a dongle.  Scan the machine for malware.

Sorry for my mistake re: sbs redirection.

It as your users have discovered, dangerous to housekeep (e.g. delete) special folders like "My Documents" as they are not regular folders, often symbolic links to the actual folders.

Your problem is common enough that Microsoft wrote

Did you find the gpo?
Or how do you map their home folder to a drive letter?  Have you modified the users the registry so that the userappdata entry points to the drive letter instead of a UNC path, otherwise your neighborhood Adobe applications will be angry and not work

Author Comment

ID: 40309848
Thank you for the link on manually creating the redirect folders. I will check that out thoroughly later.
I did find the GPO and it appears correct.
I did not find any login or log off scripts. I don't think a script is being applied or if it is I don't know where it is.
The home folders have not been mapped to a drive letter. They don't use any Adobe products. I don't believe the users have deleted any folders based on all the empty "New Folder" I find in users My Documents. The users on this system are mostly beginners (women) and need their hand held to do most basic tasks.
When the Win7 client is first connected to the server, I believe the redirect happens at that point, but I'm not sure.
I remember reading somewhere about the desktop.ini causing duplicate folder listings and will try to find that article again.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Joseph O'Loughlin
ID: 40310288
As a housekeeping step, (we don't yet know if the problem folders will be recreated)
After a backup that you trust
On the server install "Junction Link Magic"
Scan the volume containing the user's home folders.
Using Junction Link Magic, individually prune the
%username\My Documents\My Documents
folders, but never the %username%\Documents folder (or what ever the truename of the folder is)

Author Comment

ID: 40310361
The backups is another problem I haven't addressed yet. The backups fail, so there is not a current backup. That is for another day. But I will copy the users folders before attempting the recreate in the link above.

Author Comment

ID: 40310366
I am going to try to rename the duplicate folders to the correct names or a copy won't work because it will say that it already exists.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Joseph O'Loughlin
ID: 40310483
The backups likely fail on

Don't be surprised by unexpected results from the renaming.  See

desktop.ini contains a guid and info about icons, html etc.  These special folders are symbolic link targets so
my documents and documents are the same folder, and pictures and document\pictures similarly one target folder.

Author Comment

ID: 40344206
We are giving up on trying to resolve these problems. We have just received a donation of a new Dell Power Edge T320 server with Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard and 30 new Dell Inspiron 3647 desktops with Windows 7.

I am going to close this question and award the points to you as you were the only one to respond and to thank you for the time you spent on trying to help.

I am going to be posting a new question about running the old server and the new server together. After the new server is up and running, I plan to reinstall the old SBS 2003 to solve the existing problems.

Thank you again for your help.

LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Joseph O'Loughlin
ID: 40344678

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40345245
Thank you again for your help.

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