I look after a small primary school that has around 70 workstations and 20 laptops. Each user has had their document, picture and favorites folders redirected to their own share in their home directories and each user has shared access to a "common" folder. I redirect everyone's desktop to the same location so everyone sees the same thing. I notice that Windows 7 have sync center enabled by default for files to be available offline. Can someone tell me if its completely necessary to have this enabled? Ideally i would want all desktops/laptops to just redirect folders and for files to only be available if their connected to the network. My question is what are the benefits of having offline files enabled part from it being available when off the network, faster when on a slow network and still being able to access files if the server is down. Also what do you practice at your schools for redirection, do you have any better methods?
Sorry for the vague question, i get vague answers from Google and thought i would see what other techs do.
Folder redirection and offline files don't play all that well with each other.
IF you have folder redirection applied there is no real point in having either "User Profiles in AD Directly" or Offline Files enabled (in fact i have it off!).
Folder Redirection for "schools" (i am a 130 seat independant with about 20 laptops in a trolly) is far better as "hot seating" and "Larger Profiles" is a sync nightmare unless you clean them out regularly.
So ... my solution for "Children" is this.
1. Manditory Profiles (to keep things simple and consistant)
2. Folder Redirection of EVERYTHING but AppData (which is purged at log off)
3. GPO Folder Usage to put global shortcuts / favorites and other associated stuff back into the profile at logon
4. Offline Files completely off (no need for it)
5. Expensive, Reliable, Enterprise Wireless (to make the transit and wireless as good as a wired connection) so that Folder Redirect works properly.
Then a little extra for "Class Logons for the youngsters" (i'm taking about year 1 / 2 and reception) Folder Redirection (off) all but My Documents. Meaning they use "Local" profiles, again which are purged by GPO, which stops any evil "Tempory Profile" crap happening.
It's certainly not the BEST method or solution and it cuts a load of corners. HOWEVER, is consistently delivers the same "Experience" over and over no matter what the children do in a session. It allows us to basically let the children make huge horrid nasty mistakes which are repaired by a simple "log off and on". I am of the belief (certainly how i learnt and learn to this day) that you have to break things a few times to really learn how to use it. This is why i have my own old server, isolated, with a load of VMs on its own VLAN . I break things 5 or 6 times over before i find the solution that kicks butt .
Thanks Rob that helped tremendously! Thank you for the response. I'm having a lot of issues with that temp profiles error, do you think redirection and offline files being on simultaneously is causing it? I would love to know what causes and would love to recreate the problem at will. At the moment i'm just side stepping the problem by creating new profiles instead of dealing with it directly. Thanks for the advice though, going to disable offline files tomorrow and see how it goes. Thanks again Rob.