Home Drives - Windows folder inside?

Hey guys,

I recently setup some home drives for some users, and i noticed automatically its putting a blank WINDOWS and then an empty system folder inside of it automatically.

What could cause this? This is for a terminal server running server 2008 r2
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That is perfectly normal behavior. This folder is used to store user specific settings. Nothing to worry about, nothing you can do to prevent it.
Check the section "Execute Mode" in the article below, especially the following:
"While an application is running, the following actions occur:
* If an application uses the GetPrivateProfileString API to read an INI file that does not exist in the user's home Windows directory, Terminal Server checks for the INI file in %SystemRoot%.
* If an application uses the GetPrivateProfileString API to read an INI file that exists in %SystemRoot%, the INI file is copied to the user's home directory.
* If an application uses the GetWindowsDirectory API to query the Windows directory path, Terminal Server returns the user's home directory.
Terminal Server application integration information

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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
This is common for Windows. there is nothing for you to do. Just leave it there.
oBdA is exactly correct.  When you put the system in install mode %windir% gets redirected to the user's home directory\windows, and things like INI writes, etc. get copied and or sync'd that same location (this is controllable through registry flags on a per-application basis).  

Every user account has a home directory in a TS environment.  Even if you don't have one assigned, your profile becomes your home directory, and the Windows directory gets created.  

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Cobra25Author Commented:
So just tell users to ignore it? What if they delete it?
They can ignore it.. and yes, they can delete it*.  It will be recreated the next time they login.

The key thing for deletion is that it is not used for any of your applications. If you have apps that create INI files in %systemroot% (i.e. c:\windows), they will break their applications without the correct compatibility flag.  

Cobra25Author Commented:
I am not sure..i should test that.
it's described in the the article I linked above, and especially the quote I posted.
In short: any (properly API based) access to a system ini file will be redirected to the user's home folder; if the ini file doesn't exist there, it will be copied from System folder to the home folder. In other words: if the users delete the folder, the ini file will come back (minus changes the user made since the file was initially copied, of course).
But there's not much to worry about these days anyway. In 16bit times, Windows kept its settings in these, and some applications put their ini files into the Windows folder as well. A well-behaved application (that uses the proper API calls, see above) could still do this today, but I doubt you'll find any.
To sum it up: that folder existed even before you created the home drive (though in a different location), and Windows will take care of it. The user can delete it at will, and it will just come back, and nothing will have happened (most times - except that maybe the user lost some of his program settings, but no data).

you got it backwards. Access to Systemroot will be redirected in Execute mode; only Install mode turns off the redirection.
I didn't realize how tired I was when I wrote that.  /facepalm..

Cobra25Author Commented:
Okay, so EACH user has their own C:\windows\ folder?

Just wondering that if one user deletes something will it affect all users or is that an individual folder for each?

Also, if i install new applications in the future, will this cause an impact since this folder is now being moved essentially?
Well, each user who ever logged on to a Terminal/RDS Server.
These folders are individual; that's the point, after all.
No, Windows doesn't care; as I said: if it doesn't find it (anymore), it'll just recreate it.
And while you're talking about installing: don't forget to run "change user /install" before you start any setup on an RDS, and "change user /execute" afterwards (or use the Add Software wizard from Control Panel).
Cobra25Author Commented:
Thanks oBdA!!

For installing, can i just do that as admin "change user/install"
Yes, just enter it in an elevated Command Prompt or Powershell console.
Cobra25Author Commented:
Tested so far, looks good guys.
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 500 points for oBdA's comment #a40957891

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Windows Server 2008

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