Poll: Do you use folder redirection?

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Windows 7 Thread, Folder redirection poll in Technical; I'm surprised when i read people not using it, could people give their reasons for the answer they give, i'd ...
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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Folder redirection poll

    I'm surprised when i read people not using it, could people give their reasons for the answer they give, i'd like to see what people use and why Trying to broaden my mind with regards to possible configurations even though im perfectly happy with ours.

    This is what we have:
    Everything to do with an individual user is redirected into the a users home folder
    Desktop is redirected to a DFS share called \\domain.local\Menus\Desktop (or TeacherDesktop)
    Start menu is redirected to a DFS share called \\domain.local\Menus\StartMenu (or TeacherStartMenu)

    Students and teachers are mandatory profiles and cannot make changes to desktop or start menus, admin staff and ICT teachers have roaming profiles with everything redirected into their home folders including the desktop. The start menu is a combined local and redirected start menu giving them access to network programs and local ones they install themselves (very very few have the ability to install themselves).

    Our mandatory profiles are about 1.5-2mb and largest of the roaming profiles is about 15mb due to the redirection.

    How do you do it? and if you can explain why, then why do you do it your way?

    Thanks for all responses

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    john's Avatar
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    We re-direct everything bar App Data, we have roaming profiles for all users at present, and have done since the move to Windows 7. Still evaluating the benifits of it VS the time to make the mandatory profiles for students VS negative aspects of roaming profiles.

    Everything else is re-directed to within documents, so desktops, favorites etc are all re-directed and its working really well

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    mrbios (10th May 2011)

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    We have Mandatory profiles for students, "My Docs" redirects to H and they get a redirected Start Menu and Desktop. About to make the change for staff when I've got the redirected Favourites working and I can force a "Cannot create xxx - folder is read only" error when they try and save to the Desktop.

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    mrbios, have you set up home folders in AD and then used folder redirection?

    i'm in the process of setting up a new server at the minute, windows7 & 2008 r2. First time using windows 7 clients on a 2008 server and finding information about roaming profiles and folder redirection a bit conflicting.

    do you allow ict staff to install software? I have been asked to pretty much lock down everything for students and staff so I'm thinking that roaming profiles would not be needed.

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    Our setup is almost identical to yours expect that students also have roaming profiles and we don't include the local start menus since even staff are not permitted to install their own software.

    Students having roaming profiles can be quite a pain because they are easily corrupted when they irritatingly force off laptops when they're in the middle of syncing. But I think it creates a sense of continuity for the students which makes it easier for them to get used to the software.

    On the whole, folder redirection policies can be a right pain in the posterior to set up but once they work its fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeseslice View Post
    do you allow ict staff to install software? I have been asked to pretty much lock down everything for students and staff so I'm thinking that roaming profiles would not be needed.
    Yep home folders in AD then folder redirection goes to that home folder using the setting "Redirect everyones folder to the same location" and pointing that to %HOMEDRIVE% or something like that, then each folder like downloads, documents etc is all created within that their H:\ folder

    ICT Staff are the only ones that can install software but only if they are given local admin rights to the PC they're on (so they can't install software anywhere, just there own teaching room PC and office PC). I definitely think mandatory profiles are brilliant, I want to get rid of roaming profiles for admin staff ideally but im just doing that as one staff member leaves and another starts (so it's a very long process) with only ourselves and MAYBE the IT teachers having roaming, no one else.

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    I have a quick question. Do you set up exclusive rights for each of the folders being redirected in the group policy?

    I have been reading a bit and there seem to be people complaining that if you keep this ticked then admins can't access the folders but if I dont give the user exclusive rights then everyone can access their folders.

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    The interesting one when redirecting is Appdata... initially I thought best to redirect it to cut down on profile sizes but then I've read some blogs suggesting it puts more load on the network so outweighs the benefits of quicker logons?

    All staff have redirected My Documents and Desktop into their user area and their own Start Menus at the moment. Might change the Start Menus at some point to give a more consistent feel to staff machines but it's not a pressing issue. All users are on limited accounts bar a few exceptions that need local admin rights such as MIS staff.

    I kept the exclusive access unchecked, if the permissions are correct users still shouldn't be able to access each others' folders.

    For students we use mandatory profiles to keep the teaching environment consistent, which is vital for our learners studying ECDL and suchlike. Desktop and Start Menu are redirected and read-only to ensure consistency right across the board.

    We do have some issues with the staff machines and long logon times, mainly due to a legacy problem I've inherited where AppData has been redirected... into the roaming Profile folder :-S

    Going to need a bit of cleaning up there... just need to decide what strategy to go down with AppData. It's better in Vista \ 7 due to the Local Appdata split but we're still XP for another year so not sure if to redirect to a new location or leave as is for now.
    Last edited by gshaw; 11th May 2011 at 04:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    The interesting one when redirecting is Appdata... initially I thought best to redirect it to cut down on profile sizes but then I've read some blogs suggesting it puts more load on the network so outweighs the benefits of quicker logons?

    All staff have redirected My Documents and Desktop into their user area and their own Start Menus at the moment. Might change the Start Menus at some point to give a more consistent feel to staff machines but it's not a pressing issue. All users are on limited accounts bar a few exceptions that need local admin rights such as MIS staff.

    I kept the exclusive access unchecked, if the permissions are correct users still shouldn't be able to access each others' folders.

    For students we use mandatory profiles to keep the teaching environment consistent, which is vital for our learners studying ECDL and suchlike. Desktop and Start Menu are redirected and read-only to ensure consistency right across the board.

    We do have some issues with the staff machines and long logon times, mainly due to a legacy problem I've inherited where AppData has been redirected... into the roaming Profile folder :-S

    Going to need a bit of cleaning up there... just need to decide what strategy to go down with AppData. It's better in Vista \ 7 due to the Local Appdata split but we're still XP for another year so not sure if to redirect to a new location or leave as is for now.
    Good point XP users + appdata redirect = problematic, can't say i've noticed any major impact with the windows 7 redirection though.

    Did notice Adobe CS5 (i think it was photoshop) was doing some thing very odd and putting a 900mb cache file in the roaming data though at one point, which actually helped having it redirected to the network share as previously that user had to download that entire folder if he logged into a new pc, good old adobe.

    Can't remember what i have set for exclusive rights etc as im home now, but i THINK it was unticked.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    A few more links of useful reading here

    Best Practice: Roaming Profiles and Folder Redirection (a.k.a. User State Virtualization)

    http://blog.stealthpuppy.com/virtual...ing-the-bloat/

    Should AppData be Redirected or Left in the User Profile? | sepago

    As a further question does anyone use a GPO like this to move Cookies \ Favorites on XP machines?

    http://www.petri.co.il/redirect-favo...oup-policy.htm

    There's a lot of files in the Cookies folder over time that are getting copied around, as it stands we've always had a legacy script copying Favorites data back and forth but it seems clunky and probably part of the reason for slow Logoffs as it's the only script running there.
    Last edited by gshaw; 11th May 2011 at 05:18 PM.

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