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Windows Thread, Roaming profiles with Vista and wireless! in Technical; Hi everyone. Long story cut short... we have a small network with 3 desktop machines and 2 laptops (All running ...
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    Roaming profiles with Vista and wireless!

    Hi everyone.

    Long story cut short... we have a small network with 3 desktop machines and 2 laptops (All running Vista).
    Our network has a Windows Server 2003 machine which is connected to our adsl modem. We also have 2 access point (both broadcasting the same SSID and both with the same security, but on different channels - Working all fine) These access points are actually routers, they are a netgear DG834PN and DG834N but, both set on 802.11g 54mbps

    But anyway, What is the best way to set up roaming profiles with large profile sizes?

    I was thinking I could use folder redirection on the laptops to avoid slow logons/logoffs. Only problem with that is, a user can't access their data when out and about. I then thought about using offline folders on the desktop and documents folders.

    Would you recommend this way, if not, what would you suggest ?


    Thanks, Fraser
    Last edited by Fraser-09; 1st March 2009 at 12:28 PM.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    You've covered several issues there and not just roaming profiles! You do realise with less than 10 workstations you could of settled for a Workgroup? Windows Server is required for networks with more than 10 workstations (generally speaking) unless you wish to take advantage of Group Policies?

    But anyway, What is the best way to set up roaming profiles with large profile sizes?
    I'm not 100% sure what you mean, but roaming profiles should (as a recommendation) be kept as small as possible. This basically means when logging on, a users profile would be pulled down from a server: \\servername\profiles$\user (to the laptop), but their My Documents would be mapped as a network drive: \\servername\user$
    A network drive is essentially a shortcut to a share on a file server. This gives the illusion My Documents is on the laptop, but in fact it is always stored on the file server.

    You're right, you can (and should) use Folder Redirection for this purpose, as well as Active Directory. You can also control Desktops and Start Menus this way too. I'm not a fan of Offline Files myself as it causes more problems than it should. I recommend users to copy the work they need to a memory stick and upload it back to their My Documents when they return.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    To echo what Michael said, try to keep the roaming profiles small by using Folder Redirection as much as possible, even on the desktops. If everything is kept in the roaming profile, everything will be copied from the server to the workstation at logon (including all their documents). With Folder Redirection, only the files that are actually needed are transferred across the network.

    It is fair to say that Offline Files is troublesome on XP, however over the last 2 years of using it on Vista in my school, we have found it to be much improved over XP's implementation, and we have very few problems.

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    Galway's Avatar
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    How about a mandatory profile stored locally, with a network mapped home folder for my documents.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Edit the 'Default User' profile to achieve this.

    C:\Users\Default User (Vista)
    C:\Documents and Settings\Default User (XP)

    Please note you may need to enable 'Show hidden files or folders'.

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    First of all, thanks for all the replys

    Quote Originally Posted by Galway View Post
    How about a mandatory profile stored locally, with a network mapped home folder for my documents.
    If i did this then users cannot access their documents without a network connection.

    I understand that roaming profiles should be as small as possible especially over wireless, but trying to explain that to users is a nightmare! lol

    When using folder redirection, should i just roaming profiles aswell?
    For example, profile path would be \\server\profiles\fraser\
    and then redirected the desktop folder to \\server\profiles\fraser\desktop

    or should it be set up to a share outsite the roaming profile such as \\server\profiles2\fraser\desktop



    Also, in gpedit.msc, the folder redirect configuration is missing under User configuration. To redirect the folders i just right clicked the documents folder and click properties and then used the move tab. This is what it should look like, shouldn't it? http://i.technet.microsoft.com/cc766...364(en-us).gif


    Is there a way i can turn off folder redirect for the desktop machines? I just roaming profiles eeryday at work but i've never used folder redirection.

    thanks
    Last edited by Fraser-09; 1st March 2009 at 05:28 PM.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    When using folder redirection, should i just roaming profiles aswell?
    You don't have to, but it's generally recommended you do.

    For example, profile path would be \\server\profiles\fraser\
    You need to create a folder called Profiles on your server and share it as Profiles$. The dollar makes the share hidden. You should give Everyone Full Control of this folder. The profile path would then read:

    \\server\Profiles$\fraser \\server\Profiles$\michael etc...

    and then redirected the desktop folder to \\server\profiles\fraser\desktop
    Create a folder called Icons and share it as Icons. Give Domain Admins Full Control and Everyone Read only.

    Then create sub folders; for example Students and then Staff. Within these folders, create folders called Desktop and Start Menu. Within the Start Menu folder create a folder called Programs. You can also create a folder called Startup within Programs and make it hidden.

    Within Folder Redirection, it would read like this:

    \\Server\Icons\Students\Desktop
    \\Server\Icons\Students\Start Menu

    Also, in gpedit.msc, the folder redirect configuration is missing under User configuration
    That's correct, you need to do this in Active Directory. Either directly on the server or via MMC. Start > Run > MMC > File > Add/Remove Snap-in > Add > Group Policy Object Editor > Browse. Choose the Policy you want to edit.

    Is there a way i can turn off folder redirect for the desktop machines?
    Folder Redirection is configured on a per user basis, so unfortunately, your only option would be to either use a secondary domain account (within a different OU) or a local account to the machine.

  8. Thanks to Michael from:

    Fraser-09 (1st March 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    You don't have to, but it's generally recommended you do.

    You need to create a folder called Profiles on your server and share it as Profiles$. The dollar makes the share hidden. You should give Everyone Full Control of this folder. The profile path would then read:

    \\server\Profiles$\fraser \\server\Profiles$\michael etc...
    I already have roaming profiles set up so this is already done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Create a folder called Icons and share it as Icons. Give Domain Admins Full Control and Everyone Read only.

    Then create sub folders; for example Students and then Staff. Within these folders, create folders called Desktop and Start Menu. Within the Start Menu folder create a folder called Programs. You can also create a folder called Startup within Programs and make it hidden.

    Within Folder Redirection, it would read like this:

    \\Server\Icons\Students\Desktop
    \\Server\Icons\Students\Start Menu
    Why do i need this Icons share? I thought the start menu and stuff were stored under the users profile or am I missing something. this is were the start menu is stored \\server\Profiles$\michael\AppData\Roaming\Microso ft\Windows\Start Menu


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    That's correct, you need to do this in Active Directory. Either directly on the server or via MMC. Start > Run > MMC > File > Add/Remove Snap-in > Add > Group Policy Object Editor > Browse. Choose the Policy you want to edit.
    Ah, I see. This needs to be configured on the server. I thought it was meant to be done on each machine. I'll try it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Folder Redirection is configured on a per user basis, so unfortunately, your only option would be to either use a secondary domain account (within a different OU) or a local account to the machine.
    Oh well, not to worry. The desktop machines are wired so it doesn't really matter.


    thanks
    Fraser

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Folder Redirection is supposed to be a completely different share for all users belonging to particular group. Folder Redirection overrides the Start Menu, Desktop and My Documents folders within a profile (if enabled) to whatever you specify.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Folder Redirection is supposed to be a completely different share for all users belonging to particular group. Folder Redirection overrides the Start Menu, Desktop and My Documents folders within a profile (if enabled) to whatever you specify.
    I wont be redirecting the start menu folder.

    The only folders i will be redirecting are:
    Desktop,
    Documents,
    Music and
    Photos

    The start menu (and other folders) will be copied over with the roaming profile at log on/log off so they wont need to be redirected. Or have i misunderstood something? Thanks

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    Michael's Avatar
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    If you're going to redirect the Desktop, you may as well redirect the Start Menu, if you want it to be identical for a group of users (which I presume you do?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    If you're going to redirect the Desktop, you may as well redirect the Start Menu, if you want it to be identical for a group of users (which I presume you do?)
    Yes, i was planning to redirect the desktop as it can sometimes get quite big in size.

    If i redirect the start menu, will users notice any preformance issues as the laptop would need to pull the info from the server each time the start menu is clicked? The laptop is using wireless remember.


    Thanks Fraser


    (P.S.) If i redirect the start menu, I will need to set it up for offline files, incase the laptop is being used outside the network.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    No you won't notice any slow down. I have Folder Redirection operating on quite a few wired and wireless networks.

    You may be better configuring Desktops and Start Menus by editing the:

    C:\Users\All Users (Vista)
    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users (XP)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    It is fair to say that Offline Files is troublesome on XP, however over the last 2 years of using it on Vista in my school, we have found it to be much improved over XP's implementation, and we have very few problems.
    I have got everything set up now. Logons are almost instant which is fantastic. I have redirect all the speical folders (Contacts, Desktop, documents, downloads, etc) to a hidden network share \\192.168.0.100\Profiles$\\) then I have a roaming profile pointing to \\192.168.0.100\Profiles$\.V2 which contains AppData. I did try redirecting the appdata instead of roaming profiles but i had some problems. Anyway it seems to be working so the users are all happy - Happy users = Happy me!

    Just a quick question about Offline files.
    Did you set up a schdule to sync the files, for example, when the computer has been idle for 5 minutes?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fraser-09 View Post
    Is there a way i can turn off folder redirect for the desktop machines? I just roaming profiles eeryday at work but i've never used folder redirection.
    There is a way, all you need to do is disable offline folders in the Machine Configuration part of a GP that only applies to the desktops. I assign offline files on a machine basis so the laptops have a policy that enable them and set the appropriate user folders to be synced and the workstations simply have a policy that disables offline files.

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