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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

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Windows tip: Network Folder Redirection with Group Policy Object Editor

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All users during their work probably keep their files in private folders on their computers. As much as the company policy is respected, to keep the files on the network disks, most users will keep important documents either the Desktop or in My Documents. If in there is a domain in the company, and the users can log on other computers and start working on other computers, then problems might appear that users don’t have access to their recent documents.But those problems are incomparable with the problems if the computer breaks down, and the documents aren’t stored on network disks. In fact, in the first case the user can simply go to his computer, and share or copy these documents on the network. But what if the computer gets damaged? Then, there aren’t many options, except to hope that the administrator is capable enough to restore the data.

To avoid all that, Microsoft came out with a pretty nice gimcrack, which is called folder redirection. In fact, this option is configured in Group Policies, and offers a choice of what folders can be redirected. Four folders are offered namely Desktop, My Documents, Start menu and Application data. The configuration is done by creating a new group Policy, and by choosing User Configuration, Windows Settings, Folder Redirection and then a folder that will be redirected. When the redirection is done we have two kinds of options, the Basic configuration or Advanced. The Basic configuration offers the option of creating only one root folder, and creating the folders hierarchically for each of the users, while the advanced offers the option of creating a special root folder for each group of users, and users’ folders bellow it. When doing this, we should have in mind the size of the folder that will be redirected, which means that it shouldn’t be very large. In fact, there makes no sense to redirect the folder My Documents if it’s loaded with music and videos. Windows XP has an advanced option where, when the user is logging in or out, only the changes will be copied on the local machine, in order to speed up the tempo of logging in as well of logging out the computer.

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Computer repair said...

Folder redirection is really essential when you are using roaming profiles.