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Windows 7 Thread, Windows 7 App Data, Desktops and Start Menus in Technical; I'm starting to put together a test rig for my migration to 2008 and 7. I'm going to have to ...
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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Windows 7 App Data, Desktops and Start Menus

    I'm starting to put together a test rig for my migration to 2008 and 7. I'm going to have to do compatibility testing and GPO tweaks. I reckon that I should be able to shift everything straight to 7 from XP though which should make life a huge amount earlier.

    Anyway... the question I have is this... how do people 'do' redirection of app data, desktops, start menus, etc.?

    With my current XP clients I use a default user profile stored in the NETLOGON share. Staff and students then get slightly different Desktops and Start Menus (redirected via GPO). Nothing is done to App Data.

    I've heard stories though about wierdness with certain re-direction scenarios so, rather than re-invent the wheel, I thought I'd ask for some examples

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    azrael78's Avatar
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    Not sure if you're asking specific... oh wait... the forum is Windows 7 - haha.

    Well in any case, we aren't using Win 2008 and Win 7 yet but we have a single user profile that all students get.

    Their desktops/start menus are redirected to the server profile.
    Staff have regular roaming profiles.

    We did try application data redirection but the amount of hassle that caused (no idea why it should...) was insane - so we had to roll that out.

    To continue my learning - I'll be building up a Win 2008 domain with Win 7 clients and will be looking into how to move our current system, lock-stock and barrel.

    If I come across anything or find anything out - I'll post it back here

    Az

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    Mr.Ben's Avatar
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    A big yes to not redirecting appdata

    I'm planning on removing the redirection here -

    Acrobat Reader doesn't work with it,
    Many of our other apps (Outlook, Symwriter and Communicate in print) have issues with it

    And finally, 95% of our backup failures (using NTBackup) are caused by appdata with silly filenames etc.

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    App data is def one to watch. Ensure you dont use huge paths as you can easily hit the unc path limitation and basically people stuff wont work at all.

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    DrCheese's Avatar
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    With my current XP clients I use a default user profile stored in the NETLOGON share. Staff and students then get slightly different Desktops and Start Menus (redirected via GPO). Nothing is done to App Data.
    That's exactly how we have it setup currently, so I'd be interested how you resolve this.
    btw, You can still do the "default user" thing on 7, but it has to be named "Default user.v2" I did this not long after I started testing 7 as I hate the default border size on new machines >.>

    As for app data redirection.... I can see that being a real pain. Presently when a user logs onto the system it just uses the default user appdata as a template and lets applications write to the local user profile. If you redirected it's likely you'd have it read only which would cause a lot of mess for apps that insist on write access.

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    App data is def one to watch. Ensure you dont use huge paths as you can easily hit the unc path limitation and basically people stuff wont work at all.

    I've found that with roaming profiles just as much as appdata redirection though.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Is there still a problem with redirecting the start menu slowing things down a lot as discussed in this thread?

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Comments like that mentioned in Windows 7 Early Adopters' Forum and others that I've spotted on my Internet travels suggest that redirection can be an issue.

    I didn't know about the Default User.v2 thing... that would be a good start.

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    The only issue I have found with redirection was with the Start Menu and a mixed XP & 7 environment - there is an extra checkbox somewhere that you need to enable to allow the redirection to work for XP Clients

    Again I would steer clear of redirecting AppData - tried this once and regretted it.

    Win 2008 R2 allows for more folders to be redirected now as well

    There is also an option for the Pictures, Music and Video folders to follow the Documents redirection (they appear inside the Documents folder once its redirected so you dont actually specify a path for these ones.)

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    there is an extra checkbox somewhere that you need to enable to allow the redirection to work for XP Clients
    If that's GPO Folder Redirection, it's on the 'other' tab (applies to several of the redirectable things and I've been hit by that too with 2K8).

    XP only, but I've used FR for My Docs and App Data and the **only** issue I've had is with that pesky Acrobat Reader 9.x - and I refused to make significant changes to something that works because of something that is clearly broken in Windows compatibility terms.

    For XP I haven't used FR for Start Menus - several get copied/made/cleaned-of-unresolvable-shortcuts at computer startup and I use Shell Folder Redirection in GPPs to point whoever at the relevant local read-only menu at logon. Amongst other things, you have more control over the start menu with SFR.

    PS: RM redirect appdata to a user's server folder in CC3 and CC4, haven't heard much howling from there. I don't really get why it's so unpopular in this thread. The only tricky bit is you need it locally for "offline" use of staff laptops etc.
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 27th October 2009 at 09:42 PM. Reason: PS:

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    I didn't know about the Default User.v2 thing... that would be a good start.
    lol yeh we use a default profile in netlogon as well, there was a bit of confusion generated by that especially during the early Vista days. That certainly wasn't a question in the Vista MCTS exam


    Again I would steer clear of redirecting AppData - tried this once and regretted it.

    I've not really noticed any issues with redirecting appdata on XP, we don't use Adobe reader and any other apps that don't 'see' the redirection just seem to create their own folder in the local profile that's then deleted at logoff.
    Last edited by cookie_monster; 27th October 2009 at 10:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    PS: RM redirect appdata to a user's server folder in CC3 and CC4, haven't heard much howling from there. I don't really get why it's so unpopular in this thread. The only tricky bit is you need it locally for "offline" use of staff laptops etc.
    We do that but without the RM software. Appdata and favourites get redirected to a folder in the users home drive (appdata is hidden, favourites is visible). The redirections are done in the registry though (still by group policy but not using the interface for folder redirection) because the folder redirection didn't seem to work otherwise. Also avoids problems with the UNC path limitation because it's directed at a drive letter. Users have their own roaming profile stored on the servers but with the group policy setting 'Exclude folders from roaming profile' applied so basically the only thing in the users roaming profile folder is ntuser.dat and its associated files (Less to copy down at logon etc). Desktop and start menu gets redirected to folders on the servers. I've tried lots of different methods for doing this but the one we have currently seems to work best

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    RISE, THREAD, AND LIVE ONCE AGAIN

    If people don't redirect AppData, how does it persist?

    Just planning the Win7 move now, looking into Mandatory Profiles to throw at one of my techies to sort out for me, and just trying to work it all out. We've always been roaming profiles here but that allows far too much opportunity for errors to creep in and slows log ins down a lot, so a Mandatory Profile would be lovely. We already redirect the desktop/start menu, and I had generally figured I'd redirect AppData to the home drive, but then this makes it all sound like a horrible idea.

    I'd like some persistence of settings - Office '10 shortcuts, Outlook settings etc. - but if I don't redirect AppData, how will that work?

    Apologies for my thickness but it's something I've not done before!

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    For our teaching machines...

    Code:
    Desktop - redirected to a read-only folder in Sysvol
    Start Menu - redirected to a read-only folder in Sysvol
    My Documents - redirected to a standard share on file server
    My Pictures etc - each redirected to a specified path on file server
    Profile - mandatory created on a VM that I sysprep and revert each time with snapshots so I can keep making changes throughout the year. Stick with the MS-supported method imo, it works and not too much hassle if you do it with virtual machines. I also copy it a slightly odd way in the last step, going to the C: drive instead of straight up to the network share so I can keep the mandatory profile machine away from the domain so no chance of accidental GPO contamination

    For admin staff I think it will be a structure like this...

    Code:
    \\fileserver\userdata$\%username%\Documents
    \\fileserver\userdata$\%username%\Desktop
    \\fileserver\userdata$\%username%\Pictures
    \\fileserver\userdata$\%username%\AppData (?)
    
    etc
    
    then \\fileserver\profile$\%username% for the Roaming Profiles
    Haven't decided on AppData yet but chances are we'll try and redirect it first as a lot of settings still sit in there and staff will lose their user state moving between machines.
    Last edited by gshaw; 27th April 2012 at 11:23 AM.

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    chazzy2501's Avatar
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    I redirect appdata to the local profile. (or don't redirect basically) but as I can pretty much lockdown the depolyment settings of office 2010 this has minimal impact. (kid has to press ok on their name when office starts).

    Also this means a pupil can't alter the toolbars in office some strange way and have it follow them around, forcing me to have to delete the apps data folder in their area.

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