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Windows 7 Thread, Profile Issue in Technical; I don't know if this should be in the Windows 7 forum or the Server 2008R2 forum as I don't ...
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    witch's Avatar
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    Profile Issue

    I don't know if this should be in the Windows 7 forum or the Server 2008R2 forum as I don't know which is causing the issue

    This happens in both my schools although more in one than the other. Both schools have the same basic set-up- Server 2008R2, mostly Win 7 machines, roaming profiles.
    I have endless profile issues - profiles corrupt so the proper desktop etc doesnt appear, profiles suddenly increasing in size to ridiculous amounts due to cookies or autosaved powerpoint files or somesuch nonsense, people not being able to logon as there is apparently no user profile at all etc etc

    In both schools, everything that could possibly be redirected is.
    One school where the children have individual logons has strangely had far more issues than the other where logons are by class. But now even the latter has gone nuts - the other day I got told it was taking 20 mins to log on and when I looked the profile was sitting at 250MB instead of the normal 110-20 odd.
    We have profile deletion on shut-down in both schools and I checked that it is working OK. I made sure noone else was logging on and logged on as that user - profile was instantly back up to 150MB.
    I deleted the whole user account and started again but it is growing already.

    In the other school, it is teacher's profiles that are growing huge. Due to offline files they don't have profile deletion but even if I delete the cached profile the issue doesnt go away. The pupils just get this weird sem-logon with no message to say cannot find the profile or anything.

    This has been going on for ages. I have taken to deleting all the profiles at 7.30am when I get in first. But there must be an answer?

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    john's Avatar
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    20 mins to logon with that size of profile sounds bad, in terms of size and growing you need to treesize the profile and see what it is that is huge and work out what it is and fix it, for example we always had issues with non-media people playing in Premier Pro and getting huge profiles from that as they were not educated in the qwerks of that so you probably have a piece of software / update that has made them balloon.

    If its sitting applying personal settings worth ensuring you have verbos logging on in the group policy settings so you can see which policy is taking its time to do anything as 20 minutes to load 200 meg sounds really bad as if its waiting for something to time out a script perhaps

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    chazzy2501's Avatar
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    I spent along time redirecting folders usually the appdata is the problem (broken .ppt etc) but redirecting appdata causes problems. Your best bet is to decide whether they need roaming profiles? You can redirect their desktop and favourites, this covers almost all their needs.

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    witch's Avatar
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    I will reenable verbose login but I do think it is to do with the size of the profiles as when I delete them, the login time comes right down.
    AppData wasnt redirected but we had even more issues then so now it is. If it isn't redirected the profile gets enormous very quickly. As I said, using treesize tells me that it is cookies and now autosaved ppt files which I have never seen before and don't know how to fix.
    As for roaming profiles - hmm - I have always had them for all the time I have been a tech. Can anyone give me some for and againsts?

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    Do not redirect appdata.

    Do not redirect Desktop, or Downloads. (advertise them to staff and student as temporary storage for transient files, that will probably be lost next time they log on)

    Do exclude folders that have a tendency to grow. Here is a non-definitive list (but does include the solution to the large number of autosave files):

    AppData\Local;AppData\LocalLow;$Recycle.Bin;AppDat a\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel;AppData\Roaming\Microsof t\Word;AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Powerpoint;AppDat a\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies;AppData\Roamin g\Microsoft\Windows\Recent;AppData\Roaming\Macrome dia\Flash Player;AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Flash Player;Google Drive;Downloads;Desktop

    Adobe CS and Applications that install into the user profile will also need to be in the excluded list.

    Don't forget that An enterprise hotfix rollup is available for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. Install it on clients and servers.

    Use Resource Monitor to check how much "available" ram the server hosting the profiles has got. If less than 4GB reboot and check again in a day. If still less than 4Gb you need more ram.
    Check the queue length on the volume/disk hosting the profiles. If it is consistently >2*TheNumberOfPhysicalDisksSupportingTheVolume then you should throw more disks at the problem (or an SSD - which for physical servers and dedicated to roaming profile storage is a pretty cheap option)

    Finally(*) use xperf and the wpt to analyse workstations during the logon process:
    Slow Boot Slow Logon (SBSL), A Tool Called XPerf and Links You Need To Read - Ask Premier Field Engineering (PFE) Platforms - Site Home - TechNet Blogs
    it really helps you identify bottlenecks (for us here we had a common process rebuilding its cache at logon, causing massive IO and crippling the loading of the rest of the user experience, by removing its autostart, and creating a script that launches it x minutes later, the users can now be up and running 30 seconds sooner).

    Once you have done all of this, I would be tempted to blow away **ALL** local and roaming profiles, and have them build clean for the new setup.


    *Actually @jeffstokesmsft would probably recommend that you start with this tool to give yourself a detailed baseline from which to measure the impact of the changes, and help identify the quickest wins.

    ** and by ALL I mean for all domain accounts only.
    Last edited by psydii; 20th June 2013 at 05:09 PM.

  6. Thanks to psydii from:

    witch (20th June 2013)

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    john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    I will reenable verbose login but I do think it is to do with the size of the profiles as when I delete them, the login time comes right down.
    AppData wasnt redirected but we had even more issues then so now it is. If it isn't redirected the profile gets enormous very quickly. As I said, using treesize tells me that it is cookies and now autosaved ppt files which I have never seen before and don't know how to fix.
    As for roaming profiles - hmm - I have always had them for all the time I have been a tech. Can anyone give me some for and againsts?
    When you delete the profile you have nothing to load thus it goes I have no profile so it doesn't load anything hence being instant.

    After bouncing the idea with @Ric_ if your profile is 220 meg and its taking 20 minutes you need to be looking at other Issues as well as this as that transfer rate is really bad. Is it over wired or wifi? Short of disk space on the server? Is there a long wait time for the disk as the server is being hammered to death so struggling to perform?

    As has been said Cookies can be excluded which will help

    Is it save to exclude the directories AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\PowerPoint from uploading to the roaming profile? might be the answer for your Office problem, although I have never noticed that before, the autosaves would only be there if Powerpoint is having issues such as crashing / network access etc.. which would point to my earlier point of that transfer speed is poor so sounding like some networking issue and thus why its making autosaves and they are not being removed etc...

    I used Roaming Profiles for all users (so thats 700 or so) and had odd corruptions, re-directed everything BAR appdata as that broke Adobe software in my experience, and we were having no issues logging on or the autosave and media students with HUGE, say 10x the size of your profiles, were on within 10 minutes. Most users on modern PCs were on within a couple of minutes which was perfectly acceptable to users.

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    witch's Avatar
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    @psydii Looks interesting. Dont think I could implement a change to the desktops though - they would never remember.
    We had an issue with profiles growing before and the problem was found to be downloads which is why they are now redirected. The same is true of AppData.
    Why can't I redirect it?
    Are you saying that if I exclude all the things you mention then I won't need to redirect it? Why does redirecting it cause a problem?
    I have checked for applications that install into the profile and the only one we have is dropbox and that has already been excluded.
    What is the queue length and where do I check it?
    Thanks a lot
    @john Slow, old netbooks. Decent wifi though - Ruckus and Meru. Logon isnt ever very fast - probably 5 or 6 mins at the very best and even that is unusual. On the PCs it is OK though.
    Never been able to track why. Server in one school is new and both are pretty empty so servers being hammered shouldnt be an issue I dont think.
    Last edited by witch; 20th June 2013 at 05:35 PM.

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    john's Avatar
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    Anything useful in the event logs of the client PCs saying that something failed / timed out?

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    V busy today. Have to be brief, sorry.

    Resource Monitor (task manager - > Performance -> Resource Monitor) will show you Available Bytes, and on the Disk Tab there is a graph showing Queue Length (the heigh of th green bar is the current queue length, not the number at the top!). xperf/WPT also collects this data so you can drill through and analyse it through the whole logon process from the laptops' perspective too.


    Why not redirect appdata? Because developers assume that appdata is on the local disk and often do things that cause significant performance/reliability issues when run over a network connection. Also if the server has the indexing service running, the rate of change to files in the AppData folder overwhelms it, and it consumes substantial amount of memory and cpu cycles.

    Desktops and Downloads - not roaming *and* not redirecting is my way of keeping large files off the network. Personal preference. I was lucky enough to be starting from a clean slate so did not have to overcome inertia. Definitely don't roam them, so redirection the right thing in your case.

    Other things to check:
    Do not automatically make redirected folders available offline.
    Do not do real time malware scanning on your profile share. Set this for the server (exclude the local path) and the laptops (exclude the remote path).
    Make sure the server is NOT indexing the folder the profiles are stored in.

    Hope your toe is less sore.

  11. 2 Thanks to psydii:

    speckytecky (21st June 2013), witch (21st June 2013)

  12. #10

    witch's Avatar
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    Thanks
    The staff redirected folders are made available offline, I think
    No realtime malware scanning on profile share
    Server not indexing profile folder

    Will look at the rest soon.
    Foot a bit better, thanks

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    Hiya,

    Does AppData\Local;AppData\LocalLow get automatically excluded in windows 7 by default ?? Just checking i have not got these excluded from my set of exclusion.

    Thanks,

    Ash.

    Quote Originally Posted by psydii View Post
    V busy today. Have to be brief, sorry.

    Resource Monitor (task manager - > Performance -> Resource Monitor) will show you Available Bytes, and on the Disk Tab there is a graph showing Queue Length (the heigh of th green bar is the current queue length, not the number at the top!). xperf/WPT also collects this data so you can drill through and analyse it through the whole logon process from the laptops' perspective too.


    Why not redirect appdata? Because developers assume that appdata is on the local disk and often do things that cause significant performance/reliability issues when run over a network connection. Also if the server has the indexing service running, the rate of change to files in the AppData folder overwhelms it, and it consumes substantial amount of memory and cpu cycles.

    Desktops and Downloads - not roaming *and* not redirecting is my way of keeping large files off the network. Personal preference. I was lucky enough to be starting from a clean slate so did not have to overcome inertia. Definitely don't roam them, so redirection the right thing in your case.

    Other things to check:
    Do not automatically make redirected folders available offline.
    Do not do real time malware scanning on your profile share. Set this for the server (exclude the local path) and the laptops (exclude the remote path).
    Make sure the server is NOT indexing the folder the profiles are stored in.

    Hope your toe is less sore.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spc-rocket View Post
    Hiya,

    Does AppData\Local;AppData\LocalLow get automatically excluded in windows 7 by default ?? Just checking i have not got these excluded from my set of exclusion.

    Thanks,

    Ash.
    Yes, NT4 onwards by default iirc. You can also *include* it (for mysterious reasons) which I have seen done.

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    Keep all folders redirected.
    Where your roaming profiles are might be worth doing a tracert from a pc to make sure it can see it ok.
    with roaming profiles you can exclude directories from the profile. This link will help

    are you running at slow network switch speeds?

    There are ways to stop profiles growing too biug but are not advised. in group policy there is a "Limit roaming profiles size" or something like that and also in your roaming profiles share you could create a storage quota.


    in our actual roaming profiles all thats in there is an appdata folder with a couple of tiny bits, Contacts folder, Favourites, Links,Saved Games,Searches. (i believe we redirect favourites now tho..) all else is redirected to their network user area.

    we do get the odd student that somehow has local appdata in their profile. but deleting their profile and appdata and signing them in again generally does the job.

    Also just as a note if you find you are having loads and loads of people comming to you about this issue we once had a switch that was slowly dying but still working enough to log people on and get their network areas. This brought profile madness untill we got it replaced.

    Hope this helps

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