Server 2012 Folder Redirects

Hi Experts

We are just completing migrating our DC from 2003 to 2012, the finial thing we need to do is move the folder redirect share to the new server. We have changed the redirect location in group policy and its has worked for most users, however some users who had large amounts of data, restarted their PCs while logging in for the first time before their files had finished moving across, as it was taking a long time to login. This has caused a problem for these users where their my documents folder location shows up as being the new location and new files are saved to the correct location, but some of their data is still stored on the old server and isn't being moved over despite repeatable logging in and out. rebooting during the initial migration seems to have hung the processes, and I cant seem to kick it off again, any ideas how to get this last bit of data moving again?
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Joseph MoodyBlogger and wearer of all hats.Commented:
Just copy it over from the old server manually. You can use xcopy with the /O setting to maintain file ownership and security settings.
coreccAuthor Commented:
Thats an option, but their is a copy of some or most files already in the new location, so if I run xcopy it will create thousands of duplicate files.
Joseph MoodyBlogger and wearer of all hats.Commented:
When folder redirection moves the documents, it normally removes them from the old location. Can you confirm that the files exist in both locations?
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coreccAuthor Commented:
the folder redirection policy only removes the files from the old location once all the files have moved over successfully on the user profile, so at the moment some files are in both locations, for the affected users.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Robocop has a flag to only copy newer files. You won't get duplicates and the missing data will copy over. But a manual copy is the only way if a redirection operation was forcibly interrupted.
As Cliff says, manual copy is now the correct approach to get out of the mess and back to some consistency.

And for future reference: if folders are already redirected to a file server, and you are moving the location to another server, I wouldn't recommend relying on the client to manually move the data to the new location. In a period of downtime, you can uncheck the option in the redirection settings to move contents to a new location, update the policy and bulk copy all the data to the new location at the server-side -- clients should then pick up new policy and update the redirection location without the long wait at login time.
coreccAuthor Commented:
Do you mean login as the user and copy over the files from each shared folder location?

I guess another option would be to turn off folder redirects for each affected user and let the files copy back locally and then turn the policy back on, do you think this would work?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
No. The policy would only copy files from the new location. The old location is effectively orphaned, which is why there is no way to restart or undo the copy.
Do you mean login as the user and copy over the files from each shared folder location?
No, finish the copy process using robocopy or similar to copy the files server-side, ensuring you pass the option to preserve NTFS ACLs (in robocopy, I believe the switch is /COPYALL or you can use /COPY:DATSOU but check the documentation).

(Edit: Cliff, sorry didn't mean to walk on your post)
coreccAuthor Commented:
Looks like a manual copy is the only way forward then, do you have personal experience of this situation?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
All about helping the OP. No worries.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Yep. I've had to do it a handful of times. Have backups as anything can happen (after all, that's how you got here) but it is relatively low risk. Just an annoyance.
coreccAuthor Commented:
in the past when I have done this i have used the following robocopy command:

robocopy E:\Company  H:\Company /E /ZB /DCOPY:T /COPYALL /R:1 /W:1 /V /TEE /LOG:Robocopy.log

How would I update this so it only copies new or updated files?

I wish I can used this command this time, but I decided to follow a MS guide which involved only coping over the folder structure not the actual files.
robocopy /? should give you a break down of the available switches. I believe (from memory, on mobile so can't check) there are switches to the tune of /XO and /XN which stand for eXclude {Older, Newer} respectively. IIRC the definitions are somewhat vague, but I believe you would want the eXclude older in this case, which ensures only newer files in the source location are copied (modified or same age at destination produce a no-op).

If in doubt, it wouldn't be difficult to construct a small set of test folders, copy only some of the contents to another location, change a file's contents in the new location, and then test robocopy with the proposed switches to ensure (a) the changed file is not overwritten; and (b) the missing files are correctly copied to the target location.

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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Following MS guidance is fine. And if you had copied the files, the group policy would have failed to update. The alternative, allowing the group policy to copy files back to local temporarily is fine too...but there is the lack of backup during that window and copying large amounts of data would have still taken a long time at login.

In short, it is about clear user communication. "We are making s change wednesday, march 18th, that will make your first login slow after that date. Please do not interrupt the process or restart your machine." Polished up with any corporate policies, etc. Hindsight being 20/20 and all. But for future changes that may impact users, remember it is always better to be communicative. I.T. is often a department looked at with scorn simply because of issues similar, and it can be avoided. :),
coreccAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys, you've all been very helpful
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Windows Server 2012

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