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User Profiles vs Folder Redirection


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Would just like a few people's opinions.

Have been trying to set up roaming profiles. I have set up default user etc and got the desktop and apps configured how I want. I am getting confused by the share level permissions and ntfs permissions, although thats not my concern regarding this.

I essentially suggested Roaming Profiles to my organisation so I could centralise backups as when I arrived people had to manually copy folders into a shared drive on the network, which is a pain and not exactly efficient.

Anyway I was reading about folder redirection and found it very useful and set it up as specified in ms documentation.

My main question is now peoples desktops and my documents are getting backed up are roaming profiles worth all the hassle?

I would just like to know what other companies in relations to backing up people's work.


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  • 3 weeks later...

We just have a users directory on the file server. Just set up a Home folder in their profile and have them save their work there instead of My Documents. You don't need to have roaming profiles unless user's are traveling to various locations and using different workstations constantly. I worked at one company that used roaming profiles and I got a ticket about a user that said that it was taking almost an hour to logon. Their profile was over 500MB and it had to download it every time they logged in.

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1. Roaming profiles are really only good for two scenarios - one, users who travel from workstation to workstation and need their configuration settings, desktop, etc, to follow them; and two, users who use both a desktop and a laptop, and may need to have a local copy of a profile that they can sync with their desktop.

The drawbacks are that logon times can be slow due to copying the profile down from the file server, and logoff times can be slow due to copying everything back during logoff, as well as the fact that settings may be lost or may not work from one machine to another, if they don't have the EXACT same configuration. Also, profiles between Vista / Server 2008 and XP / 2003 / 2000 are not compatible, so you'll end up with 2 profiles if/when you ever move to Vista or Server 2008.

2. Redirected folders are useful only when users never leave the network (they'll always need access to their redirected profile folders, like "My Documents" or "Desktop"), and you have a fast LAN (redirected folders can cause a lot of network congestion).

The drawbacks of this are if users ever leave the network (where's my data from my "My Documents" folder, or where did my "Desktop" go?) or if the network itself goes down (same types of issues).

If you're looking to back up profiles centrally, redirecting folders is not a bad idea if you have a fast (gigabit) LAN and user's don't ever leave the network, or a mixture of roaming (for traveling users) and redirected (for the network-bound).

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