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Windows Thread, Undoing appdata redirection in Technical; For a few years we've had the appdata folder from our users roaming profiles redirected to another share on the ...
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    Andi's Avatar
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    Undoing appdata redirection

    For a few years we've had the appdata folder from our users roaming profiles redirected to another share on the server using GPO, however recently I've noticed a few issues that I think maybe related to this:

    We've just updated to Acrobat Reader 9, and we often get Visual C++ Runtime error when people try and open pdfs. After a bit of googling it appears that this is related to the appdata folder not being local and is an issue that Adobe aren't planning to fix, due to them not supporting folder redirection (I'm paraphrasing from the results I found).

    Also

    Some of our wireless clients have Word hanging randomly, and only when logged on with a user that has their appdata redirected.

    So, I'm considering pulling this setting back and just having the appdata folder pulled down at logon as with the rest of the profile. I'd imagine that this isn't going to be as straight forward as just unticking the box, as that will I guess have repercussions on users that already have the appdata stored somewhere else? Do I need to recreate everyone's profile (aargh!), or maybe robocopy the appdata folders from the share back to the users profile and then reset the setting?

    Hope someone can help.

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    Andi's Avatar
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    OK, I found some answers here:
    GPanswers.com :: View topic - Best Way to Remove App Data Redirection which helps a great deal.

    One questions I still have is, once I check the box to move the folders back once the policy is removed do I need to wait until all my users have logged on to get the new setting BEFORE removing the policy?

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    assumeing from your post your using roaming profiles for each student then yes you could simply robocopy the app data folders back into the user profiles make sure permissions are correct and be sorted.

    There are some Major drawbacks tho.

    If your running CS2 or CS3 your profiles are going to get big and quickly. I do mean seriously big too. I went to Mandatory profiles this year for this specific reason a Profile that has used photoshop and Dreamweaver with the normal use of MS office and acrobat quickly becomes 15-25MB even with temp internet data etc being cleared by logo off script. People who use CS3 extensively and do alot of internet browsing rapidly aquire 50-100MB and greater profiles which chomps disc space and slows logons to a crawl.

    Its the one standout but unchampioned feature of vista I think that could really change the way we run windows systems. There are seperate Roaming and local sections of user profiles in Vista which woudl really help in these situations.

    I currently use Mandatory profiles which keeps them small because nothing gets saved back to the server. But the downside is a user cannot personalise their settings of any application or windows itself. All changes are forgotten when they log off. This is good in many ways but it makes the users completely dependent on the defaults you set when creating the mandatory profile. It took some tweaking but everyone seems to be happy now.

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    Andi (17th September 2008)

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    Andi's Avatar
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    Yes we're using roaming, and I am aware that profiles can get very large these days, but I think it's just a hit I might have to take as the redirected appdata is causing too many problems.

    We hardly have anyone using photoshop in the school, so the CS2 or CS3 issues shouldn't affect us.

    Do you know the answer to my later question by any chance? i've adjusted the policy so that the folder is directed back to the main profile one the policy is removed, but I daren't remove it just yet. Do I need to let the changes so far filter through to the users after they logon and off again? If so, this could potentially take all year!

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    If this is just affecting Acrobat Reader, have you considered using an alternative ?
    We use Foxit Software which is free, and is a lot smaller than Acrobat.

    The only issue I've had with it was it needed to be run to associate with PDF files (deployed via GPO/ADM so I COULD fiddle the MSI/MST).

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    Andi (18th September 2008)

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    Andi's Avatar
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    It isn't just Acrobat that's being affected, that's just the latest thing that is. We're getting office apps hanging on some of our wireless clients, and it's only happening on users that have redirected appdata.

    I do like Foxit though, I use it at home.

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    Yea Andi you will need to let it propagate but I don't think all year will be necessary. You want all you very active users to take their current app data with them in the move but I imagine if a user only logs in once a year they wont even notice if office resets to clean install. So theres no need to keep it forever.

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    Andi (18th September 2008)

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    For an active user (daily log on and off) how long do you roughly think that it could take to filter through? I tried to mimc the setup in a test OU and GPO with my own user, and even with gpudates, reboots and multiple logons the appdata still seemed to remain redirected.

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    This still isn't filtering through and becoming a royal pain now, I'm constantly having to recreate user profiles. The appdata just isn't moving itself back into the roaming profile.

    Is there a way I can recreate everyone's user profile, so that it ignores any local copy when they login next and creates afresh?

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    There is are some reg keys you can change to point Adobe appdata to the correct location. This could be scripted at logon with VB.

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    Andi's Avatar
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    Adobe is the least of my worries though. The appdata redirection is causing Word to hang on our wireless clients.

    I don't know why, but users that do not have appdata redirected work fine.

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