Saturday 29 August 2009

SBS 2008 – Vista Business Folder Redirection Failing Long After The Migration

At a client site where we have recently migrated them from SBS 2003 RTM Premium to SBS 2008 Premium, we had one of the users call us claiming that they had lost access to their document folders.

Thrown into the mix was the fact that about a month after the migration we in-place upgraded all of their workstations to Windows Vista Business and deployed Office 2007 Pro Plus via Group Policy.

Talk about a whole host of changes in a short period of time.

One user experienced an inability to save new Favorites in the IE. We tried a few things like resetting both the permissions and ownership on the Favorites folder but nothing worked.

We ended up renaming the original folders, creating a naming a new one, and copying the favorite links into that new folder. From there the user was able to save new Favorites as they pleased.

The user that called us in just recently had no access to their Pictures, Music, or Documents folders at all. Click on the Start menu and the buttons for each were solid and unresponsive.

The workstation’s log showed that Folder Redirection was failing to apply. We checked the permissions on the folders at the server and all looked okay. We could \\My-SBS\FolderRedirections\UserName\Documents and make changes without a hitch.

So, we logged off the workstation and logged on as the local admin. We renamed the user’s local profile.

When we logged back in, Vista complained about the missing local profile and created a TEMP instead of a new one.

Funny thing was, the user’s redirected folders showed up and were accessible via the Start menu or Windows Explorer.

We ended up exporting the user’s Outlook content to PST, deleting their User account and recreating it.

Once we had imported the Outlook contents and copied over their Documents and other content things worked just fine!

This particular client’s SBS domain has been around for four to five years. Some of the profiles are day 1 and some have been renamed several times due to employee changes (we have stopped that practice with an explanation to our client as to the impact). So, it is not unexpected that we will run into some user profile issues . . . even a few months down the road.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac! (previous blog post)

Windows Live Writer


Daniel Mundy said...

Hi Philip, enjoyed the post as usual. I'd love how you justify to clients not to rename user accounts / profiles. I hate renaming user profiles but have a hard time explaining why.

Anonymous said...

Dan beat me to the punch. I was interested in seeing your comment about renaming profiles. How do YOU handle Bob leaving and Sue taking his place and she needs same permissions, desktop, my docs files, (everything he had), needs to get emails coming in for him, needs to have his old inbox, sent folder, contacts, etc.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


Have a read here: SBS - Reusing a user profile - Exchange and SharePoint changes needed.

That is a post on the bulk of the changes needed.

Now, depending on the size of the user's OST/PST, the time it takes to create a new profile and set that user up is actually quicker than reusing the previous profile.

Here are some of the key points:
+ #1 complaint from the user: Why does my Docs&Sets/Users\UserName say someone else's name?.
+ New user no longer needs access to certain files as their capabilities are not the same as OldUser.
+ Fresh profile is always better and cleaner for us to support.

Have a look at what happens when a profile is used and reused over and over: SBS 2008 – Vista Business Folder Redirection Failing Long After The Migration.

In the long run it becomes a value proposition for the business owner to have fresh profiles installed with each new user. Troubleshooting those old reused profiles for strange behaviours can be quite costly.

We came to realize that there was no real time savings in the long run.


Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

Can you tell the answer came after a long day? ;)


Jason Hausman said...

Hello. I've just migrated from SBS 2003 to 2008 where folder redirection was working. I've updated the GPO to reflect where each user share is now located on the new server. I'm getting the following error when i log in and My Documents is not accessible.

Failed to apply policy and redirect folder "Videos" to "\\Misc1\UserShares\Administrator\My Documents\My Videos".
Redirection options=9021.
The following error occurred: "Failed to build the list of regular subfolders under "\\MISCSRVR\Users\administrator\My Documents\My Videos"".
Error details: "The network name cannot be found.

MISC1 is the new server, MISCSRVR is the old. There is an obvious problem, i just dont know where to fix it.

Any help greatly appreciated!

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


Our Migration Guide leads to our post on Folder redirection caveats for migrations.