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Configuring Folder Redirection

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Use the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in to redirect special folders to network locations.

For information about deploying Folder Redirection on newer versions of Windows, see Deploy Folder Redirection, Offline Files, and Roaming User Profiles.

The primary tasks that pertain to configuring Folder Redirection include:

  • Creating or selecting a GPO for Folder Redirection.

  • Selecting Basic or Advanced Folder Redirection options. Advanced redirection allows you to apply the redirection to users that belong in a specified security group.

  • Identifying the target folder location. You can redirect folders to any of the following locations:

    • The root of a network file share

    • A folder on a network share

    • A local folder

    • A home directory (only applicable if you have existing home directories in your environment)

  • Setting permissions for root folders and users’ folders.

Note

  • If you allow Folder Redirection to create the redirected folders on a specified network, the folders that are created in this way have proper permissions assigned to them. If you create the folders manually, you must make sure that permissions are properly assigned.

Redirecting Special Folders

In most cases, you should redirect special folders to the root directory instead of to a specific location because this appends the correct paths for you, including %username%.

To redirect special folders to the root directory

  1. Open a GPO that is linked to the site, domain, or OU that contains the users whose special folders you want to redirect.

  2. In the console tree, under User Configuration\Windows Settings\Folder Redirection, double-click Folder Redirection to display the special folder that you want to redirect.

  3. Right-click the special folder that you want to redirect (such as Desktop or My Documents), and then click Properties.

  4. Click the Target tab, and then in the Settings box, select Basic - Redirect everyone’s folder to the same location.

  5. Under Target folder location, select Create a folder for each user under the root path.

  6. In the Root Path box, type a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path, such as \\servername\sharename, and then click OK.

  7. In the Properties dialog box for the special folder, click OK.

The user name and folder name are appended to the UNC path automatically.

To redirect special folders to a specific path

  1. Open a GPO that is linked to the site, domain, or OU that contains the users whose special folders you want to redirect.

  2. In the console tree, under User Configuration\Windows Settings\Folder Redirection, double-click Folder Redirection to display the special folder that you want to redirect.

  3. Right-click the special folder that you want to redirect, and then click Properties.

  4. In the Setting box on the Target tab, select Basic - Redirect everyone’s folder to the same location.

  5. Under Target folder location, select Redirect to the following location. In the Root Path box, type an UNC path, such as \\server\share, or type a locally valid path, such as C:\somefolder, and then click OK.

If necessary, you can return redirected folders to their original default locations by using the following procedure.

To redirect special folders to the local profile location

  1. Open a GPO that is linked to the site, domain, or OU that contains the users whose special folders you want to redirect.

  2. In the console tree, double-click Folder Redirection to display the special folder that you want to redirect.

  3. Right-click the special folder that you want to redirect (such as Desktop or My Documents), and then click Properties.

  4. In the Setting box on the Target tab, select Basic - Redirect everyone’s folder to the same location.

  5. Under Target folder location, select Redirect to the local user profile location, and then click OK.

Redirecting to the home directory

It is recommended that you do not redirect to a home directory unless you have already deployed home directories in your organization. However, if you have already deployed home directories and you want to maintain compatibility with your existing home directory environment, you can redirect My Documents to the home directory.

To redirect My Documents to the home directory

  1. Open a GPO that is linked to the site, domain, or OU that contains the users whose My Documents folders you want to redirect.

  2. In the console tree, double-click Folder Redirection to display My Documents.

  3. Right-click My Documents, and then click Properties.

  4. In the Setting box, on the Target tab, select Basic - Redirect everyone’s folder to the same location.

  5. Under Target folder location, select Redirect to the user’s home directory, and then click OK.

Note

  • Domain administrators have full control over the users’ My Documents folder when you redirect My Documents to the home directory. This is the case even if you select the Grant the user exclusive rights to My Documents option on the Settings tab in the My Documents Properties dialog box.

Redirecting special folders based on membership in security groups

You can redirect special folders for use by members of security groups to the root directory, a specific path, the local profile directory, or to the home directory.

To redirect special folders to the root directory based on security group membership

  1. Open the GPO that contains the users whose special folders you want to redirect.

  2. In the console tree, double-click Folder Redirection to display the special folder that you want to redirect (for example, Desktop or My Documents), right-click the special folder, and then click Properties.

  3. On the Target tab, in the Setting box, select Advanced - Specify locations for various user groups, and then click Add.

  4. In the Specify Group and Location dialog box, under Security Group Membership, type the name of the security group, or click Browse to search for it.

  5. Under Target Folder Location, select Create a folder for each user under the root path.

  6. In Root Path, type the UNC path to use for redirection (for example, \\servername\sharename), and then click OK.

  7. In the special folder’s Properties dialog box, click OK.

For more information about Folder Redirection, in Help and Support Center for Windows Server 2003, on the toolbar, click the Index button, in Type in the keyword to find, type folder redirection, and then double-click the topic that you want in the index list.

Troubleshooting: Creating a Log File for Folder Redirection

Folder Redirection logs events in the Application Event Viewer log. To aid troubleshooting, administrators can also create detailed log files for Folder Redirection.

Caution

  • Do not edit the registry unless you have no alternative. The registry editor, regedit.exe, bypasses standard safeguards, allowing settings that can damage your system, or even require you to reinstall Windows. If you edit the registry, make sure to back it up first and see the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Registry Reference on the Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit companion CD or at http://www.microsoft.com/reskit.

To enable logging for Folder Redirection

  1. In the Run dialog box, type regedit, and then click OK.

  2. Locate the following subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Diagnostics.

  3. Create a new entry called FdeployDebugLevel of data type Reg_DWORD, and set its value to 0x0f.

The log file is created in %windir%\Debug\Usermode\Fdeploy.log.

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