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How to Move Redirected Files from One Server to Another RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello all,

    I am attempting to move the files for my ~50 users that are currently backed up using folder redirection and group policy on a 2003 domain level controller. The current location is not as redundant as I would like and want to put it on a more robust file server location.

    So basically I will copy the data and change the group policy to redirect from
    '\\server1\users\' to
    '\\server2\users\'

    I would hope that the users could then log out and back in to find their files waiting for them. But I am assuming the worst and feel like I am missing something. I would like to test this but in order to do that I still need to change the group policy and am afraid of corrupting something.

    Any advice on this venture? Articles on best practice for a move of this type?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

    Anthony
    Thursday, February 10, 2011 2:18 PM

Answers

  • No need to move the data to the new location. Here is what I did:

    1. I made sure that the following GP options, for the redirected folders, was enabled:

    Under the Settings tab enable "Move the contents of My Documents to the new location" and under Policy Removal enable "Redirect the folder back to the local userprofile when the policy is removed"

    2. Make sure all client computer have these new GP settings enabled and have restarted once at least. I gave it a two day grace period after changing the policy.

    3. Change the excisting folder redirection policy (as the same one you made the changes in step 1) redirected folder to the new server. Make sure you have created the base folder structure and share to accept the new redirection beforehand.

    What will happen then the clients data will then automaticaly move to the new server and in cases something goes wrong you should find the user's data on the old server or local userprofile. Make sure if you do have to copy a user's data manually due to the automatic redirection not working - you do it from the user computers logged in with the respective user account so that the file security gets applied correctly when copying the files into the new folder redirection location.

    Let me know if you need more details or screenshots. You can also test it out by creating a test OU and a sample policy and place a test user account in it.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 3:51 PM
  • Naraka is correct.  As long as you have the setting in the group policy for folder redirection set to "Move the contents of My Documents to the new location", after you update the target path the data will be moved by the workstation when the user logs in.

    Some considerations.

    1)  The folder redirection happen at user logon, and the desktop is not presented until the folder redirection has completed.  If the user has a large amount of data in their my documents, this can take a long time to complete.  If the user get impatient and resets their machine thinking it's hung, you could have an issue where some of the user data is in the old location with other user data is in the new location.  As long as you communicate the change effectively so the user knows to expect a one time long login, you should be fine.

    2)  Another consideration is distance from the server.  Using this methodology, the data move will be processed by the workstation.  If the workstation existing across a WAN or VPN connection, the data has to copy from the old location to the workstation across the WAN/VPN connection, then back from the Workstation to the new location across the WAN/VPN connection.  This can cause the move to be considerably longer.

    Another option is to perform the server to server copy as you originally planned, making sure your copy method preservse security and owner settings, then update your folder redirection group policy, making sure the setting "Move the contents of My Documents to the new location" is unchecked.

    A consideration.

    1)  For the server to server method to work, the old location must still contain the original directories where the user data was stored.  If you move the data to the new server, leaving your \\server1\users\ folder empty, the folder redirection process will fail because it cannot find the old folder to redirect from.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 6:53 PM
  • That option to move their data back to the local userprofile is just for failsafe. The most apparent case it would take effect is when you remove/unlink the folder redirection policy - it would then copy the data back to the users' localprofile instead of leaving the user with a blank e.g. My Documents.

    SitrucHtims also makes valid points! If these folders are not on your local LAN or across slow WAN links (10Mbps<) I would take the amout of data in concideration as well.

    My challange was always to copy the permission correctly over - there are so many different ways of doing it but none had failsafes like with the inplace redirected GPO change, providing the correct options are selected.

    Maybe I need to start taking DFS now more serious to avoid this in future :p

    Friday, February 11, 2011 6:20 AM

All replies

  • No need to move the data to the new location. Here is what I did:

    1. I made sure that the following GP options, for the redirected folders, was enabled:

    Under the Settings tab enable "Move the contents of My Documents to the new location" and under Policy Removal enable "Redirect the folder back to the local userprofile when the policy is removed"

    2. Make sure all client computer have these new GP settings enabled and have restarted once at least. I gave it a two day grace period after changing the policy.

    3. Change the excisting folder redirection policy (as the same one you made the changes in step 1) redirected folder to the new server. Make sure you have created the base folder structure and share to accept the new redirection beforehand.

    What will happen then the clients data will then automaticaly move to the new server and in cases something goes wrong you should find the user's data on the old server or local userprofile. Make sure if you do have to copy a user's data manually due to the automatic redirection not working - you do it from the user computers logged in with the respective user account so that the file security gets applied correctly when copying the files into the new folder redirection location.

    Let me know if you need more details or screenshots. You can also test it out by creating a test OU and a sample policy and place a test user account in it.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 3:51 PM
  • So I would make the change to move the user's folder contents back to their local machine, wait a couple of days for this to populate through, then change the policy to redirect the contents to the new server?

    Anthony

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 6:22 PM
  • Naraka is correct.  As long as you have the setting in the group policy for folder redirection set to "Move the contents of My Documents to the new location", after you update the target path the data will be moved by the workstation when the user logs in.

    Some considerations.

    1)  The folder redirection happen at user logon, and the desktop is not presented until the folder redirection has completed.  If the user has a large amount of data in their my documents, this can take a long time to complete.  If the user get impatient and resets their machine thinking it's hung, you could have an issue where some of the user data is in the old location with other user data is in the new location.  As long as you communicate the change effectively so the user knows to expect a one time long login, you should be fine.

    2)  Another consideration is distance from the server.  Using this methodology, the data move will be processed by the workstation.  If the workstation existing across a WAN or VPN connection, the data has to copy from the old location to the workstation across the WAN/VPN connection, then back from the Workstation to the new location across the WAN/VPN connection.  This can cause the move to be considerably longer.

    Another option is to perform the server to server copy as you originally planned, making sure your copy method preservse security and owner settings, then update your folder redirection group policy, making sure the setting "Move the contents of My Documents to the new location" is unchecked.

    A consideration.

    1)  For the server to server method to work, the old location must still contain the original directories where the user data was stored.  If you move the data to the new server, leaving your \\server1\users\ folder empty, the folder redirection process will fail because it cannot find the old folder to redirect from.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 6:53 PM
  • That option to move their data back to the local userprofile is just for failsafe. The most apparent case it would take effect is when you remove/unlink the folder redirection policy - it would then copy the data back to the users' localprofile instead of leaving the user with a blank e.g. My Documents.

    SitrucHtims also makes valid points! If these folders are not on your local LAN or across slow WAN links (10Mbps<) I would take the amout of data in concideration as well.

    My challange was always to copy the permission correctly over - there are so many different ways of doing it but none had failsafes like with the inplace redirected GPO change, providing the correct options are selected.

    Maybe I need to start taking DFS now more serious to avoid this in future :p

    Friday, February 11, 2011 6:20 AM
  • Hello,

     

    I have tried all the steps permissions and double and tripled checked all folder redirection and my documents still do not move from one server to another. I have 4 2003 R2 Terminal Servers in a Farm using GPO 2008 the folders get created but files are not moving over and i have been messing with this for 2 weeks now.


    Edward Perrier
    Thursday, October 27, 2011 5:18 PM
  • I have done same thing recently between two remote offices in UK.

    Generally this is completely automated process if GPO amended with new location. But this may bring extended logon time for user on first logon if any user has lots of data on redirected folder.

    Note : Must keep share ready with correct permission on destination server

    This is why I choose following method for around 25 users who had 2.5GB in MyDoc per user.

    1.        Copy data from source to destination using following command. This command works per user folder.

    Robocopy "\Server1\Users\User1" "\Server2\Users\User1" *.* /S /E /COPYALL /ZB /NP /R:1 /W:5 /xo

    1.        Now on source server cut and paste data from User1 folder to somewhere else but must keep empty folder for some times including security permission.
    2.        Now simply change GPO to change folder redirection server location

    Run the same command again if any error as /xo switch will exclude any previously copied files.

    Robocopy switches reference

    http://www.computerhope.com/robocopy.htm

    Folder redirection GPO for My Document reference

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwFEQOqyOq4

    Monday, August 1, 2016 4:48 PM