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Start menu / explorer personal folders pointing to local drive rather then redirect to server location RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a problem with “personal folders” in a domain environment.

    I use roaming profiles and folders redirections, like lots of places do.

    I have found out that users, when clicking on their “personal folders” (their name in start menu or explorer) get lots of local folders (i.e. download, contacts, documents) pointing to the C:\users\usersname\folder instead of to their network space on the server.

     

    I added the redirection policy to all these new folders to redirect them to the network rather then to the C: drive. I even checked “move the content of xxxx to the new location”. But that didn’t get rid of the local folders, now there are two folders of the same name under the user’s personal folders (i.e. “download” pointing to c:\... and “download” pointing to \\server\share\...).

     

    Of course this is extremely confusing and users will definitely not know which one to save into.

     

    Also users have the right to save to the root of the personal folders location, so if a user click on his user name and decided to save file right there with out going into any of the folders it will save it into his profile location on the C: drive.

    Once user will save thing to the root of personal folders or any local personal folder, then the files becoming a part of their profile, and  when you use roaming profiles it will be copied across every time you move around making login time extremely long.

     

    I can’t see the point of it, it is a big fault in the design of Windows 7, thinking only from home user’s point of view rather then corporate.

     

    I would be very happy if someone has a good idea how to stop users from saving anything to their local profile and only to the server area.

     

    I would really ask Microsoft to take it into consideration in future updates, service packs.

     

    Regards

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011 1:28 PM

All replies

  • Hi Zivsh,

    Thanks for posting in TechNet Forum

    I would like to check the group policy setting on your Windows 7 client.

    Please run cmd as administrator, then input gpresult /h gpreport, then upload the report to your SkyDrive in a public folder.

    In addition, a default network user profile is optional. Windows 7 uses the local default user profile when it cannot locate to a default network user profile.

    Regards,

    Miya

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com


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    • Edited by Miya Yao Wednesday, March 30, 2011 2:35 AM add info
    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 2:27 AM
  • Hello Miya,

    I've uploaded the result file and a screen shot of my personal folders to my SkyDrive space under a folder called Technet.

    Please notice that this is nothing to do with the default user profile, I have no problem with the profile being loaded.

    According to another Microsoft engineer this is the default behaviour for folders redirection, so I think this is not a problem whith my computer but rather a bad design, althoguh I am not sure.

     

    Regards

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 1:29 PM
  • Hi Zivsh,

    Please give me a link about that folder. I'll check it.

    Regards,

    Miya


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. | Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Thursday, March 31, 2011 2:25 AM
  • Thursday, March 31, 2011 10:17 AM
  • Hello Zivsh,

    Thanks for your files. I have checked both gpresult and the screenshots.

    From the gpresult, I found that both folder redirection and roaming profile are used. The excluded folders under the roaming profile policy is only "Recent", so I suppose all the user profile folders are successfully roamed to the server side.

    In such a situation, there are possibly duplicated folder shortcuts exisiting locally. So, I recommend you to temporarily disable roaming profile and use folder redirection only, and then check if the issue get mitigated.

    If not, we will go on research more indepth.

    Please also let me know the version of the domain controller and the domain's functional level.

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Miya


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    Thursday, March 31, 2011 2:40 PM
  • Hi Miya,

    I disabled roaming profiles but that didn't make any difference.

    I use, Domain Controllers are 2008R2 (no SP1 yet), domain funcitional level is 2003, workstation Windows 7 SP 1 (although it was the same before SP1).

    Regards

    Friday, April 1, 2011 2:03 PM
  • Hello Ziv,

    Thanks for your feedback again.

    On the client side, please check the Event Viewer's System, Application and Security categories, if there is any folder redirection errors or information logged.

    Besides, please refer to the following post, which has similar senario as you described:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/pl-PL/winserverGP/thread/42e94fd7-e1ed-4740-9bbe-be9862ff047a

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    Miya


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. | Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Monday, April 4, 2011 8:01 AM
  • Hello Miya,

    There are no errors in event log regarding folder redirection.

    Folder redirection does happen, but the local one is not removed.

    The post you mention is not the same problem, he didn’t have the remote location appear at all under personal folders, in my case both the remote location and the local appears.

    Could you please try it on a test system as I think it would be easy to replicate the problem, as I think it is more of a bug then a problem with my system?

     

    At the moment there are two problems, 1. Both local and remote personal folders appear. 2. Users can also save into the root of there personal folders, which cause saving into their local profile and make it roam when using roaming profiles.

     

    Regards

    Monday, April 4, 2011 1:37 PM
  • Hello Ziv,

     

    Thanks for your feedback.

     

    I have built an test environment for this case. I use quite similar environment as yours:

     

    ·         Windows Server 2008 R2-based Domain Controller, with functional level Windows Server 2003;

    ·         Windows 7-based client.

     

    I use the following steps for reproducing the issue:

    Note: The key steps are with screenshots and information files. You can download them from the workspace I included in the end of this post.

     

    1.       Add test user account FR1, logon the client and check if the local profile works correctly.

    2.       Manually create share folders on the domain controller, the structure is the same with yours:

    \\<dcname>\<hiddenfolder>\<username>\

    Contacts, Desktop, Downloads, Links …. (I redirect the 4 folders in my test at first)

    3.       Add FR1 to OU called Folder Redirection Test, and apply an OU-linked group policy object to it. The core setting of the GPO is redirecting Contacts, Desktop, Downloads, Links, etc. to the manually created folders. The options are totally the same as your gpresult file shows.

    4.       Manually update the group policy and logoff/logon. The folder redirections work fine. The folders are using offline folders with synchronization symbols and no duplicated folders appear. <See “Screenshot 1”>

    5.       On the domain controller, I change the FR1’s user profile to be roaming type, and locate the profile folder to the hidden folder too. (This is not necessary to be the same folder.)

    6.       Logoff/logon on the client side, everything works correctly. When the first logoff occurs, the folders are synchronized with roaming locations. Still, there is no duplicated folders. <See “Screenshot 2”>

    7.       I add “Exclude directories in roaming profile” and “Do not automatically make redirected folders available offline” policies into the group policy object and that leads to the offline symbol disappear, but the redirected folders still work fine. <See “Screenshot 3”>

     

    Till now, all the tests are successful. I review the gpresult file from you but cannot find the important differences that may lead to the duplicated folder issue. Therefore, if possible, I recommend you to setup a clean test environment and try the steps above. I include the gpresult file of my environment in the workspace too, for your reference. <see “msgpresult.html”>

     

    To get the related files above, please:

     

    1.       Visit https://sftasia.one.microsoft.com/choosetransfer.aspx?key=7af83720-e4f8-48d3-b836-6212deede275;

    2.       Select “Receive Files From Microsoft”

    3.       Input password MIVCsP#w{$WthON$

    4.       Click Go.

     

    Hope it helps. Thanks!

     

    Regards,

    Miya

     


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. | Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Wednesday, April 6, 2011 3:39 AM
  • Hello Miya,

     

    I tried it now all on a test environment and the problem looks exactly the same.

     

    I created two shares on the server one for user data and one for the roaming profiles.

     

    I then set the permissions according to KB232692.

     

    I created a group policy for folders redirect.

    I redirected all the folders and set it to the userdata share and selected the option: also apply redirection policy to windows 2000, XP…

     

    I didn’t select the options - move the contents … or  grant user exclusive rights.

     

    All redirections were pointing to \\server\share\username\foldername

     

    I created two users

     

    I logged in as user testredir and I had the same double the name of folders, one for local version and one for server version.

     

    Please look at screenshot  personal folders2.jpg

    http://cid-b21e5a2a7fbc6e55.office.live.com/browse.aspx/Technet?uc=2

     

    I then went back to the group policy and add the option Move the contents… on each redirection policy.

    I then logged in again as user testredir and it was like nothing has changed still two folders for each type.

     

    I then logged in as a different user testredir2 this is a new user with no profile, this time the user had only one set of folders in its personal folders.

    But still I could created files and folders in the root of the personal folders, please see personal folders2.jpg  from the link above.

    These new file and folder were saved in to the user’s profile on the local disk and when the he logged off it roamed to the server share.

     

    So two problems.

    1. Double folders name if user already have a profile before setting the group policy to use the Move the content option. This will be only good for new users, or by resetting the profile for all existing users (which is extremely difficult as you have to delete not only the roaming version, but also the local version on each computer that the user might first log on).
    2.  User can create files and folders on the root of his personal folders this is then become a part of his profile and roam with it which can make the profile extremely large, also not all data is saved in the same location which will make it difficult to locate and backup. If you don’t use roaming profile then data will be saved only on the local disk, and user will not know where is it disappeared once moved to new computer, also it will not be backup as it is not on the server.

     

    I really think it is a very poor design of Windows 7.

     

    I’ll be happy to know if you have any advice how to avoid it.

     

    I am not at work for two weeks, so will be back 26th April.

     

    Thanks

      

     

    Thursday, April 7, 2011 3:12 PM
  • Hi Zivsh,

    I'll do more research on this and reply to you before you come back.

    Regards,

    Miya

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If  you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. | Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Thursday, April 14, 2011 6:49 AM
  • Hello Miya,

    I am still waiting for some help.

    Can anyone help please.

    Thanks

    Ziv

     

    Thursday, May 5, 2011 1:42 PM
  • Hi Ziv,

    I've tested several times and failed to reproduce the issue as yours, and it's hard for troubleshooting.

    Therefore, I'm trying to involve someone familiar with this topic to further look at this issue. There might be some time delay. Appreciate your patience.

    Thanks for your understanding and support.

    Regards,

    Miya

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. | Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Friday, May 6, 2011 3:08 AM
  • The move contents to the new location takes affect only when it is applied the first time the Folder redirection policy applies. If you enable it later, the local folders would be visible. You can either remove folder redirection and let all content be redirected back to local. Once that is done, apply a new FR policy with the option to move contents to the new folder checked before the policy hits the users

     

    Or you could you the following command

     

    You can use attrib to hide\unhide folders. So I would say test this on a test machine and see if this suits your requirement.

     

    So for example, you want to hide the documents folder for user “User1” – Try running this command Attrib +h +s C:\Users\User1\Documents and hit enter. Does it meet your requirement?

    If you want to unhide, run Attrib –h –s C:\Users\User1\Documents

     

    OR use the option documented  here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverGP/thread/4dd89a73-e538-458d-8cb2-427d77373d83/


    Ketan Thakkar | Microsoft Online Community Support
    • Proposed as answer by ketanbhut Tuesday, May 17, 2011 11:00 AM
    Monday, May 9, 2011 7:48 AM
  • Hello Ketan, we meet again.

    As I said I think it is avery poor desigen by Microsoft.

    Not only that you get two folders with the same name, also users are able to save into the root of Personal Folders, which result in saveing to their roaming profile, they can also create new folders in the root of their Personal Folders and save into them, that will cause more files to be save to the local roaming profile, making the profile big and also will not save the users files to the central location on the server where all the user's files should be which can make it very difficulte to locate the files when needed, backup, restore and so on.

    Hidding the folders is also not much of a solution, because if the user can enable to view hidden folders then he can see them, and also make them back to be unhidden.

    The only way I can see is to try to remove the Personal folders from the start menu and from explorer.

    Is there any whay to ask for this feature to be changed?

    Regards

     


    Wednesday, May 18, 2011 10:04 AM
  • Hi,

    Still waiting to hear if there is a way to reported this problem and ask for change in desigen for future releases, as I can see it is a major problem in a crop. environment.

    Regards

    Thursday, May 26, 2011 1:27 PM
  • Hello, is there a way to make the developers aware about this problem?
    Thursday, June 9, 2011 3:20 PM
  • Hi,

    I have made relevant prople aware of this feedback. However, we cannot commit on timeframe.

    If you have a PSS case, the support team can take proper call on this looking at the business justificateion/severity/usability.. etc lot of factors.

    Thanks.


    Ketan Thakkar | Microsoft Online Community Support
    Friday, June 10, 2011 5:55 AM
  • I have exactly the same issue.  Users have roaming profiles and redirected folders.

    Their personal folders contain two of each folder: one to the redirected folder and one to the local user profile folder.

    I have tried deleting their roaming profiles, to create another clean profile, but it's had no effect on this problem.

    Monday, July 11, 2011 10:05 AM
  • Having the same issue here as well.  User's "personal folder" has both local (which they don't have access to) and remote locations from redirection.  The local folders don't show up anywhere else... in libraries or explorer.

    I'm guessing it's an issue explicility with "personal folders"...  debating just removing it from the build or through GP.

     

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:54 PM
  • Hi 

     

    I have the same problem but can't seem to find a solution any where so I just wounder how you guys solved it.

     

    Regards

    Monday, January 30, 2012 7:35 AM
  • Me too. No solution found yet.

    Its confusing for the users becuase the folder on the desktop "user's files" does not go to their network "home folder"

    Here is a better screen shot which i think illustrates the problem nicely.

    I want to get rid of ALL the local folders and links. I want this WHOLE folder to go to the X: drive (in this case \\kelly\homedirs$\%USERNAME%)

    So i will spend some time digging around for a solution with this, but as you can see, this folder is completely useless to most people. they have multiple directories with the same name (!!!). Like how could anyone NOT find that confusing? So there must be a work around for this.

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:14 PM
  • I don't know if anyone posted this already, but the solution we used to fix this problem was to have to set the group policy for folder redirection to "copy up" the contents from local computer.  I don't know if Microsoft did this by design thinking that if you don't use this option for the policy users would still like to access their local special folders...

    I can't remember for certain that this setting will fix the dupes if you apply this policy change after a user's local profile has already been established.

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:45 PM
  • Hmm didnt seem to work. I assume the following setting is the one you mean:

    I created a brand new user, but the problem still exists for him. The folders are all built fine (ie my videos folder is created under my documents) but you still have these local folders which are still on the hard drive with a link to them from the desktop icon.

    Anyways i will keep searching. Just to confirm though, you are able to right click on the desktop, go to "personalize" and then enable "users's folder" and that folder on the desktop now completely redirects to a UNC path???

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 9:49 PM
  • Yes, but the folder redirection policy needs to be effect with that "move the contents" option enabled at the user's first logon to that machine.  If the user already has established a profile on that box then they will get the dupes no matter what.  There might be other factors at play here, but this is what fixed the problem in our environment.  Hope it helps.

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:00 PM
  • Its a new user, so by definition they are not created on the machine.

    But i think i know what the root problem is. We do not use roaming profiles, but rather home directories. However, %userprofile% is the folder that i wish to redirect. So obviously i would need to use roaming profiles to do that!

    however, most of the appdata i do not care about. I just want a more transparent redirect, easier to see and find the correct my documents. I think i will simply try and get rid of the menu shortcuts and libraries folders. Not physically, just any links to them (on the desktop, in file save dialogs, etc..)

    I have found out one of them, the libraries folder, which i can get rid of with the following registry key

    Remove "Libraries" from explorer browse / save / open window:
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\NonEnum]
    "{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}"=dword:00000001

    For the desktop portion, i have created a shortcut named "My Documents" and used the path "\\SERVER\homedirs$\%username%" . I then put this on the default network user profile (default user.v2).

    To remove the %userprofile% folder from applications open and save, its the following GUID.

    Remove "%userprofile%" from explorer browse / save / open window:
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\NonEnum]
    "{59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}"=dword:00000001

    seems to work ok as a work around!

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 11:14 PM
  • Hi there, same problem here !

    https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=b21e5a2a7fbc6e55&sc=documents&id=B21E5A2A7FBC6E55!113

    Above picture is exactly the problem we have to. Strang enough it will show duplicate maps.

    SOLUTION for new domain users: Make sure c:\users\default does not have the maps in there.

    A new user will create a new profile on a pc and will get all the local profile map directions, then the policy get loaded and then windows should(!) let go of the local links to the c:\users\%username%\'maps' This does not work for existing users that have already the maps in their profile. Therefor I use a workaround in my policy. Every time a user logs in a batch file will remove the local profile maps from the profile of the user.

    Works as a workaround, but what causes the problem in the beginning ?? Anyone?

    Friday, May 4, 2012 6:51 AM
  • SOLVED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Every new user migrating from xp to windows 7 wil get a new profile (v2). Meaning the user will get a new default profile when logging in. When getting the c:\users\default profile the policy's will apply.

    Therefor, if disabled "MOVE THE CONTENT" policy then you will see two items when logging onto win7: c:\users\%username%\documents and \\server\share\%username%\documents

    SO, make sure you ENABLE 'move the content' so it will let go of the local profile folders. !!

    (this ofcourse is also for new users on win7)

    Thx to:

    sharepointisneedlesslycomplex and nickelize

    • Edited by bart112233 Monday, May 7, 2012 9:21 AM
    Monday, May 7, 2012 9:19 AM
  • Not solved at all.

    If you look at my post on 7 April 2011, I told that it is not a problem for new users how's profile was created after the group policy was created and configure properly. It is still the problem for existing users.

    Even if you change or add the policy to move content it will not remove the local folder.

    In your case the users profile was newly created so you didn't have the problem.

    what do we do for all the users that are already there? you would expect Microsoft to address it by now.

    Monday, May 7, 2012 9:35 AM