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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, Student Folder Redirection Issues in Technical; Hi, I am working at a school and over the holidays we have upgraded our network from 2003/xp to a ...
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    Student Folder Redirection Issues

    Hi,

    I am working at a school and over the holidays we have upgraded our network from 2003/xp to a 2008R2/Win7 network. Most things are working as they should but we seem to be getting a few odd issues popping up.

    Just wondering if anyone has any idea on the following?

    When students log in to the network a few of them randomly seem to be missing the documents folder and are unable access any documents/folders. The odd thing is some of them are able to access the documents, but are missing random files and folders (the files/folders show up on the server) or the folder is greyed out and has a cross through it and some of them are unable to access the documents what so ever, coming up with the error that the location could not be found.

    This is only happening to students and not staff. Student accounts and staff accounts both use different profile types and group policies. Staff users have a roaming profile whereas students have a mandatory profile with roaming appData.

    If anyone has any ideas or information about what could be happening any help would be much appriciated!


    Joe

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    Hi,

    Does anyone have any ideas with this at all?

    We have tried various ideas but nothing seems to be working.
    We have changed the student users to a roaming profile (much faster login times) and this has not changed anything. We have also removed offline file syncing completely (was originally left as default) through a group policy and had no luck what so ever there!

    One thing we thought of is that it could be the network infrastructure, we have very old switches around the school! Does anyone know if this could be the cause at all?


    Joe

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    ADMaster's Avatar
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    I would need to know more about how your profiles are setup, but my guess is a combination of desktop ini and file permissions.

    If you have folder redirection setup so that my documents redirects to their home drive then the server wants to make the home folder show as documents and things do not map right.

    To fix this redirect their documents to a sub folder of their home drive \\server\students\year\username\documents

    Look at the permissions if they don't have permission to traverse the whole path then it won't map correctly either. I saved a screen shot of proper permissions on my documentation wiki, I will have to look it up and post it here tomorrow.

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    atamakosi's Avatar
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    here's my 2 cents:

    after a lot of trial and error, I've remapped the user documents to a different drive letter ('X') as the HP machines we use have a media card reader that was automatically linked to the old profile drive letter ('H'). I then use folder redirection to %HOMESHARE%%HOMEPATH% for documents.

    only issue i've experienced since setup is that some user accounts, when initially created, don't automatically generate a corresponding user documents folder. profile path for my students is \\domain\students$\year\%username%, should just need read, list folder contents, and read & execute permissions for domain users on the levels above username.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dana_lehman View Post
    I would need to know more about how your profiles are setup, but my guess is a combination of desktop ini and file permissions.

    If you have folder redirection setup so that my documents redirects to their home drive then the server wants to make the home folder show as documents and things do not map right.

    To fix this redirect their documents to a sub folder of their home drive \\server\students\year\username\documents

    Look at the permissions if they don't have permission to traverse the whole path then it won't map correctly either. I saved a screen shot of proper permissions on my documentation wiki, I will have to look it up and post it here tomorrow.
    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. Currently our profiles are setup mostly by file permission. We have blocked the desktop.ini file in users areas as it was causing all of the users documents to show up as "My Documents" instead of the username of the user. (We have the documents directed to \\server\students\work\year\username and not \\server\students\work\year\username\documents) Possibly the problem is that we dont have desktop.ini files and should redirect the documents to \documents, then allowing the use of desktop.ini files, but as we have migrated from server 2003 and this is how the folder directory was setup there. Is there a quick way of adding this /documents to each user area and moving the files they have into it or would it be a job that has to be done 1 by 1?

    The main area we looked at has been permissions, everything seems to be correct there, users have the access they need. Would be great to see the documentation you have, maybe we have missed something out!

    Quote Originally Posted by atamakosi View Post
    here's my 2 cents:

    after a lot of trial and error, I've remapped the user documents to a different drive letter ('X') as the HP machines we use have a media card reader that was automatically linked to the old profile drive letter ('H'). I then use folder redirection to %HOMESHARE%%HOMEPATH% for documents.

    only issue i've experienced since setup is that some user accounts, when initially created, don't automatically generate a corresponding user documents folder. profile path for my students is \\domain\students$\year\%username%, should just need read, list folder contents, and read & execute permissions for domain users on the levels above username.
    Thanks. The setup you have seems very similar to what we are using. We have the students mapped to a drive letter and the share as \\server\students\work\year\%username%.


    Thanks both! We are still working on the problem, going to see if we have any errors today. Seems quite intermittent, yesterday 1 full class had the issue yet most of the others were working with no problem. I will keep you informed!

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    ADMaster's Avatar
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    @jralph
    Looking back the reason I had permissions trouble is because I removed the users group from permissions at the root of the drive because I didn’t want them getting at installer files etc. In your case I would do as @atamakosi suggests and give them read and execute on the levels above until you get it working properly, then look at locking it down further.

    I have attached a screen shot of the permissions I have set. The two things in my notes are this.

    The user has to be able to traverse the whole path for some applications to save properly, ms word in this case.
    Advanced share permissions allow caching must be set to allow for movie maker to work.

    I didn’t move my users files because I made the change near the beginning of the year. There were a few questions of “where are my files?” but most people were OK. Our students were in the habit of navigating to my computer then S: any way so one more folder wasn’t an issue.
    In my environment the students home drive is S: which is mapped to \\server\students\year\username
    Then my documents are mapped to \\server\students\year\username\documents

    I have also attached a screen shot of my group policy redirection, every student is put into a security group of their year group, this is the group used when mapping the documents.

    Regards
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    jralph (3rd October 2012)

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    Thanks, I will look into the permissions and see if anything can be changed there.

    We have our permissions setup so that student areas inherit from the parent folder, using the creator owner to set the permissions. We had a few students find out how to browse to other students work areas so we changed the permissions to this to stop that happening so that could have caused it.


    We just changed the student profiles over from mandatory profiles to roaming profiles today as the speed of the mandatory profiles was extremely slow (3 mins or so login times) and this seems to have fixed the issue with the areas also. So far today we have had no students or teachers complain about accessing work or areas at all. So I'm thinking it was something to do with the mandatory profiles and that they do not work well with folder redirection.

    I will update once we know if the issue is fixed at all, with any luck it will be!

    Joe

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    atamakosi's Avatar
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    I vaguely recall having an issue with mandatory profiles. I was able to get a 'clean' version from another thread (MANDATORY PROFILE for students - Can anyone please share a "working" profile with me?) and that solved the issue i was having. maybe give that a shot if you don't want roaming profiles for your student.

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    jralph (3rd October 2012)

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    detjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atamakosi View Post
    here's my 2 cents:

    after a lot of trial and error, I've remapped the user documents to a different drive letter ('X') as the HP machines we use have a media card reader that was automatically linked to the old profile drive letter ('H'). I then use folder redirection to %HOMESHARE%%HOMEPATH% for documents.
    I had this issue with some that had card readers. usbdlm took care of that - I set USB drives (including card readers) to show as X, Y, Z I believe it allows you to hide the drives that are empty and doesnt need a drive letter til its in use. So now Docs folders could be mapped to H:

    Quote Originally Posted by atamakosi View Post
    only issue i've experienced since setup is that some user accounts, when initially created, don't automatically generate a corresponding user documents folder. profile path for my students is \\domain\students$\year\%username%, should just need read, list folder contents, and read & execute permissions for domain users on the levels above username.
    I had that issue too, with XP clients. Took me days looking into it. Didnt matter if it was staff or students, would only map correctly from the second login but not the first. A custom ADM saw to that, which i now use for all shell folders.

    BTW - I have my permissions set as follows and it works great:
    Student docs are mapped to \\Server\Doc$\students\intakeX\%username%

    Doc$ share permissions is set to 'change/read' for EVERYONE group but has been removed from security - so only administrators in security
    this stays the same thru students\intakeX and then the user is added to security for %username% with 'modify' (this bit is done when mapping it in their AD profile). That's it - now they only have access to their own folder. If they try to go up a level .. ACCESS DENIED!
    Last edited by detjo; 27th September 2012 at 12:09 AM.

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    jralph (3rd October 2012)

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies, it was very helpful. Since we have changed the students profiles to roaming this problem seems to have disappeared. We also had a look at the permissions and made a few changes there and everything seems to be running a bit smoother now!

    I'm guessing that the problem was to do with the mandatory profiles and something with them causing network issues. The mandatory profiles were taking 2 - 5 mins to load compared to the roaming profiles 10 - 20 seconds, si I'm not sure whats going on there!


    Thanks all for your help, much appriciated!


    Joe

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    Kogelkopper's Avatar
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    Hi Jralph,

    Check this out:

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

    What also helped for us was disabling microsoft mail, everytime the user logged on, the setup started running, because the profile was mandatory.

    Good luck!!

    Best regards,

    Leon Timmer

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jralph View Post
    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies, it was very helpful. Since we have changed the students profiles to roaming this problem seems to have disappeared. We also had a look at the permissions and made a few changes there and everything seems to be running a bit smoother now!

    I'm guessing that the problem was to do with the mandatory profiles and something with them causing network issues. The mandatory profiles were taking 2 - 5 mins to load compared to the roaming profiles 10 - 20 seconds, si I'm not sure whats going on there!


    Thanks all for your help, much appriciated!


    Joe
    Did you make your mandatory profile via the supported sysprep method? It's not as painful as it first sounds when you read it and does work at the end.

    And yes definitely kill WinMail, made a big difference for us as well.



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