Folder Redirection - Roaming Profiles



  • So I read Roaming profiles are more of a headache than its worth and it's more beneficial to use Folder Redirection (desktop, docs and appdata). Would you agree Folder re-direction is best and if so, has anyone got a nice guide on how to configure this on Windows Server 2012/16?
    Thanks
    Jase



  • Often, yes, but we'd really want to step back and look to see what your exact needs are.



  • I redirect desktop/docs/downloads, etc to Nextcloud. I don't touch %appdata%.



  • @joel said in Folder Redirection - Roaming Profiles:

    configure this on Windows Server 2012/16?

    You don't configure this on the server. It is a user setting.



  • So our needs are relatively small. Small office network (10 users).
    The sometimes hot desk and swap places and would like their desktop/docs/favourites/outlook to move across. I'd like to find the simplest solution for this and think a folder redirection will do the trick - they do have a windows 2012 server on site.



  • @joel said in Folder Redirection - Roaming Profiles:

    So I read Roaming profiles are more of a headache than its worth and it's more beneficial to use Folder Redirection
    Correct, in my experience.

    Also, I agree with Jared, don't redirect appdata.



  • @jaredbusch said in Folder Redirection - Roaming Profiles:

    I redirect desktop/docs/downloads, etc to Nextcloud. I don't touch %appdata%.

    For this you would also disable offline files in the client correct? Or is that only when redirecting to a share?



  • @syko24 said in Folder Redirection - Roaming Profiles:

    @jaredbusch said in Folder Redirection - Roaming Profiles:

    I redirect desktop/docs/downloads, etc to Nextcloud. I don't touch %appdata%.

    For this you would also disable offline files in the client correct? Or is that only when redirecting to a share?

    That only exists on shares. Nextcloud is still local and then synced, so is basically a more robust offline mode already.



  • @jaredbusch how do you redirect to next cloud? How do you handle mapping all the users out to their respected folders, manually?



  • @mattbagan said in Folder Redirection - Roaming Profiles:

    @jaredbusch how do you redirect to next cloud? How do you handle mapping all the users out to their respected folders, manually?

    Yes, manually, because the users do not switch often.

    IIRC, you can script it with GPO, but as I use NC, that would need setup on each profile also.



  • Roaming Profiles can be a real bear to manage and when they break they break hard.

    We've been using Redirected Folders since the 2000/2003 days. We redirect My Docs and subfolders, Desktop, Links (Favourites/Quick Access links in File Explorer), IE Favourites, and that's it.

    Redirecting AppData can be a bad thing. There's certificate and security service content in there that tends to not like being redirected.

    Some pearls and caveats involved with Redirected Folders:
    1: If user content needs to be redirected back to their machines logon times can be very long especially if they have a lot of content.
    2: If a new server destination is set logon times can also be very long as files/content get transferred to the new destination.
    3: Destination permissions need to be set as per Microsoft's KB to allow for traverse but exclusive to user access.
    4: Be mindful of user OU structure and Redirected Folder destinations relative to Sites especially WAN based sites.
    5: If exclusive access is set in the GPO then don't mess with the permissions on the user's home folder (they get created automagically).
    6: In cases where the destination server's name is different use the Disable Strict Naming setting in Group Policy to allow DNS to point to the new location and just connect the old file server VM's VHDX/VMDK and share it. Note that the new destination will need to have a new share name.
    7: Make sure to use File Resource Manager to set quotas and file type filters and have e-mail set up to warn the user and the admin(s).
    8: Offline Files should be set via Group Policy with file types such as .PST, .QBxx, and other active content excluded from redirection.
    9: Limit the Offline Files cache size based on the smallest storage being delivered to users or GPO/OU delimit the size for different groups.
    10: Redirected Folders and the GPO settings tend to tattoo so keep this in mind.
    11: We use GPPreferences to create a set of folders on the C : drive: C:\ClientData\AppName\SubFolders <-- Users are trained to put their active data such as archive PSTs, QB, Sage, ETC data there.

    Long story short, there would be a lot less grief with Redirected Folders.

    EDIT:
    12: Enable Access-based Enumeration on the root share (we do this for all shares)

    Some posts that have aged well:
    http://blog.mpecsinc.ca/2009/06/sbs-2003-to-sbs-2008-migrations-folder.html
    Root folders permissions setup:
    http://blog.mpecsinc.ca/2010/12/sbs-2008-and-sbs-2011-folder.html
    Microsoft's official doc:
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-server-2012-R2-and-2012/jj649078(v%3Dws.11)


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