+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14
How do you do....it? Thread, Roaming Profile woes in Technical; How do you guys handle roaming profiles? Here staff have roaming profiles (they've always been mandatory at my last three ...
  1. #1
    Gibbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cheshire
    Posts
    905
    Thank Post
    207
    Thanked 344 Times in 238 Posts
    Rep Power
    93

    Roaming Profile woes

    How do you guys handle roaming profiles?

    Here staff have roaming profiles (they've always been mandatory at my last three schools) and the level of misuse is shocking. We have profiles of hundreds of MB, one is over 2.5GB!

    They store files on the desktop and in the My Documents folder, meaning they have their work squirrelled away in so many areas (these two locations, their H drive, the faculty areas and so on).

    I'm trying to enlighten them to saving to the H drive only but then there's the issue of accessing work from home (we have no remote connection to the school). I'm getting around that by using SYNCTOY from Microsoft, it seems to do the trick.

    I was going to make them use Mandatory profiles but many staff use Outlook and I assume that it's in the profile where it points to the location of the mail folders (now on their H drives).

    Aside from a couple of Group Policy tweaks to remove the My Documents folders, can anyone else offer any advice on the best way to keep the profiles roaming yet small?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    62
    Thank Post
    7
    Thanked 20 Times in 17 Posts
    Rep Power
    21
    Group Policy tweaks are definately the way to go. You can easily redirect the desktop folder for a start, so that it appears in the user's My Documents folder. So for example, on our system, N: is mapped to the user's home folder on the network. We have a policy that redirects My Documents to N:\ and a policy that redirects the desktop to N:\My Desktop. Then it doesn't matter where the user saves their files - they all end up in their network home folder.

    You should redirect AppData as well as that tends to get quite big. On our system, we have this redirected to N:\My Settings.

    Don't forget the policy to exclude folders from the roaming profile - Local Settings contains the user's Temp folder and Temporary Internet Files, so you'll want to exclude that from the roaming profile if it's not already.

    Also the cookies folder is a good one to exclude if you don't need it to roam around with the users. It doesn't use alot of disk space, but it does contain large numbers of files and slows down the log on/off as they are copied from/to the server.

    Roaming Profiles work quite well for us on the whole. The trick is to control them using the folder redirection policies.

  3. Thanks to PeterH from:

    Gibbo (17th July 2008)

  4. #3

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    11,072
    Thank Post
    1,792
    Thanked 2,187 Times in 1,618 Posts
    Rep Power
    773
    The Outlook pst can be moved into the Home Directory... we've done it here and it does help to keep the profile smaller. The other killer can be a build up of cookies... a logoff script can clear those out.

    Having a large Home Directory isn't in itself a problem as long as there is room for it on your server. Get busy with Server 2003 Release 2 rules!

  5. #4

    maniac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    3,055
    Thank Post
    209
    Thanked 429 Times in 309 Posts
    Rep Power
    144
    This is a common problem in schools, teachers for some reason fall in love with their desktops and store anything and everything there! Also if you have a quota system on your home drives, they pretty easily work out it's a way of circumnavigating them!

    As said above, folder re-direction is the way forwards, We re-directed Desktop to H:\desktop, my documents to H:\ and Application data to H:\userdata and it worked a treat. The folders are automatically created when the policy is applied, and if you tick the right box everything is copied over automatically when the user first logs on under the new policy (although it takes a while if the profile is big!) It speeded up logons no end for us, and also means all the important stuff is in one location, so less chance of losing data.

    Mike.

  6. #5
    cookie_monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Posts
    4,201
    Thank Post
    392
    Thanked 278 Times in 239 Posts
    Rep Power
    74
    Here we redirect documents to their network drive and use folder redirection to provide a central desktop and start menu, they can't save any work to their desktop.
    They used to be able to but after a couple of disasters we moved away from that. Other than that we also redirect appdata to the server and stoped using roaming profiles altogether, we now have very few profile issues which is a big improvement from when we used roaming profiles.
    Last edited by cookie_monster; 16th July 2008 at 07:08 PM.

  7. #6

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    11,072
    Thank Post
    1,792
    Thanked 2,187 Times in 1,618 Posts
    Rep Power
    773
    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    As said above, folder re-direction is the way forwards, We re-directed Desktop to H:\desktop, my documents to H:\ and Application data to H:\userdata and it worked a treat. The folders are automatically created when the policy is applied, and if you tick the right box everything is copied over automatically when the user first logs on under the new policy (although it takes a while if the profile is big!) It speeded up logons no end for us, and also means all the important stuff is in one location, so less chance of losing data.

    Mike.
    I've done some, but not all of this.

    Any chance of an "Idiot's Guide"... perhaps it could go on the wiki (which appears to say that it can be done, but not how!)

  8. #7

    maniac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    3,055
    Thank Post
    209
    Thanked 429 Times in 309 Posts
    Rep Power
    144
    Give me a few minutes to just test it out in my Virtual network, and I'll post something up. It's cruical you tick the right boxes, else you could end up isolating people from their old desktops, which isn't good!

  9. #8
    contink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    South Yorkshire
    Posts
    3,791
    Thank Post
    303
    Thanked 327 Times in 233 Posts
    Rep Power
    118
    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Give me a few minutes to just test it out in my Virtual network, and I'll post something up. It's cruical you tick the right boxes, else you could end up isolating people from their old desktops, which isn't good!
    It'd be much appreciated here too... About to be finishing off here with stuff like this so it's would be very useful

  10. #9

    maniac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    3,055
    Thank Post
    209
    Thanked 429 Times in 309 Posts
    Rep Power
    144
    OK, here are the basics. I was going to do something with screen pics in, but I'm too knackered to write that tonight. If there's sufficient interest, I'll put together a better guide for the wiki.

    Firstly Create a new Group policy. You could put the settings in an existing one, but I usually use seperate policies for key settings like this. it's a personal preference kinda thing. This is a User policy, and must be applied to the container where the users reside that you want to re-direct folders for.

    My personal recomendation if you are making this change is to create a new OU and apply the new policy to this, then move you users slowly a few each day say, else your network can get stressed when lots of people log on at the sametime, and lots of files start to get copied, particulalry if you have masses of files on desktops. You will probably get problems with some users in my experience, particularly if the user is wireless and the connection drops halfway through logging on, or the user gets impatient. It works most of the time, but ocassionally it will leave files behind in the profile which have to be move manually. It won't ever delete anything that's not been copied, so it's a fairly safe change. It may be worth warning your users that logons may be longer than expected as a one off, as sometimes it takes a very long time to copy the files, and to the un-trained user it can appear as if the logon has hung and they might be tempted to turn the machine off.

    The change is actually fairly simple, but there's a few key elements that can stop you having problems. There's 3 key areas you can re-direct. Application Data, Desktop and My Documents (You can do the start menu as well, but this is not worthwhile in my experience and may as well stay in the profile)

    So open up your new group policy in the editor, and find the area under user configuration-->Windows Settings-->Folder Redirection and you'll see the 4 elements described above listed.

    To apply the redirection, Right hand click the one you want to re-direct, and select properties, and you'll see the options you can set. I recommend the following settings, as they worked for me with no hitches.

    Target Tab
    Basic - Redirect everyones folder to the same location
    Redirect to the following location - enter the UNC path including %username% to signify the users home folder. e.g \\SERVER\SHARE\%username%\Application Data (Incidently this does only work if the persons home folder name is the same as their username, most networks are setup this way, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.) I thought it could work by refering to the local drive e.g. H:\ but it doesn't.

    Settings tab
    Exclusive Rights - Unticked (Can tick if you like, but can cause problems with administrator accessing folder for copying at a later date) As the folder is within the users home foler, the same security settings as the home folder will apply to it anyway.
    Move contents to new location - Ticked
    Leave folder in new location when policy is removed - Selected

    The Desktop folder and my documents can be re-directed using the same settings as above, but obviously changing the path accordingly. Desktop would be \\SERVER\SHARE\%username%\Desktop and my documents simply \\SERVER\SHARE\%username% I'm presuming your home folders are all contained in a root share, if they're individual shares, change the path accordingly.

    I may have over simplified this, but you did say an idiots guide

    Mike.
    Last edited by maniac; 16th July 2008 at 09:50 PM.

  11. 3 Thanks to maniac:

    contink (16th July 2008), elsiegee40 (16th July 2008), Gibbo (17th July 2008)

  12. #10

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    11,072
    Thank Post
    1,792
    Thanked 2,187 Times in 1,618 Posts
    Rep Power
    773
    Thank you maniac... this "idiot" will read and digest in the morning

    I'm sure there are other idiots who will appreciate tthis too!

  13. #11
    ajbritton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Wandsworth
    Posts
    1,632
    Thank Post
    23
    Thanked 75 Times in 45 Posts
    Rep Power
    34

  14. #12
    muppet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oxfordshire
    Posts
    168
    Thank Post
    31
    Thanked 18 Times in 17 Posts
    Rep Power
    21
    Thanks Maniac, really useful. It's one of my to do jobs for the Summer, but with everything else I've got to do I hadn't even considered moving a few users at a time to prevent server maxout.
    I'm sure that there are loads of us out here that really appreciate the work you've put into this, even more so if you can spare the time to produce a wiki version with screenschots!

  15. #13

    maniac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    3,055
    Thank Post
    209
    Thanked 429 Times in 309 Posts
    Rep Power
    144
    Quote Originally Posted by muppet View Post
    Thanks Maniac, really useful. It's one of my to do jobs for the Summer, but with everything else I've got to do I hadn't even considered moving a few users at a time to prevent server maxout.
    It's one of the problems I ran into when I tried this in my last school, all the staff came in on the Monday after I made the change and logged on as usual, and the network ground to a near hault as the new policy applied, and all the files were moved from the profiles to the user areas. Luckily, of course, it only does this once! Some of our teacher profiles were rediculous, I think the final straw was when I discovered one teacher with around 10GB of data on his desktop!

    The other thing that can cause problems that I didn't mention above is if you use a quota system, it can pay dividends to turn it off while users data is being copied from profiles to user areas, as if it runs out of space while it's moving the files, it can cuase all sorts of problems. You can turn it on again afterwards, and address the issues of staff who are using too much space then.

    Thanks for the thanks! I will see what I can do about an illustrated version.

    Mike.

  16. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,156
    Thank Post
    116
    Thanked 529 Times in 452 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    124
    I think you need to step back and ask what sort of service you're trying to provide. If the aim is to let staff keep work on a network then you need to ask "what's the proper way of doing this?"

    I don't save stuff on my desktop - I prefer to put it in folders neatly arranged under a top level folder (at home it's c:\work) and this goes back to DOS days when there wasn't a desktop - but there's no real problem with putting it there.

    As far as the user is concerned "desktop" is just a place to save stuff. It's up to IT staff to make sure that "desktop" works.

    For many years it's been possible to re-direct the desktop (and other key folders) so that they're stored on a network and the whole folder doesn't then get copied across the network. If you're not doing that and you're seeing problems with profiles being slow, getting corrupted etc, then maybe you should be asking yourselves why you've not read the MS guidelines for setting up profiles, desktop redirection etc

    There's a whole separate issue about how much data a user should be able to store but whether it's in n:\desktop, n:\work or any other folder on the network doesn't really come in to it!

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Roaming profile problem corrupt
    By localzuk in forum Windows
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 7th November 2012, 08:58 AM
  2. Local TEMP profile woes !!!!
    By ICTNUT in forum Windows
    Replies: 43
    Last Post: 7th May 2011, 10:36 AM
  3. Roaming profile issues
    By Southwell in forum Windows
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 2nd May 2007, 12:52 PM
  4. roaming profile not loading
    By mushoku in forum Windows
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 5th February 2007, 10:55 PM
  5. Roaming profile Help please
    By tickmike in forum Windows
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 7th September 2006, 10:06 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •