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Roaming profiles in domains

Discussion in 'Networks' started by nugget, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    Not sure if it's the right place but it has to do with network problems.

    How do people with small/medium (50-60 people) domain setups configure their user profiles? Roaming or local?

    The reason I ask is that we are having problems with our profiles (roaming) setup. Deleted items from the desktop reappearing the next day, users logging on up to 10 times before their profile is found, profiles getting corrupted and many more.

    Our thoughts are to do away with roaming profiles and have local profiles for everybody. Their user folder is already mapped and they would need to learn to save any documents on the server shares. Is this feasible?

    Our main concern is with network shares (about 15) which different groups have access to. Is it possible to set network shares to be published group wise via GPO?

    Any advice accepted willingly and gratefully.
     
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  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Roaming profiles are such a pain in the butt. I've never seen it work well. I typically set everyone up as local, with a redirect for their documents to be stored in their home directory on a server.
     
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  3. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Do you have offline folders enabled on the PCs mate? This seems to cause some problems with the reliability of roaming profiles.
     
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  4. simongrahamuk
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    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Agree.

    Local profiles with GPO's doing folder redirection and locking the pc down. 8)
     
  5. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    You could also map the My Docs folder to the users home directory as well through a GPO.
     
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  6. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    But can I publish the network shares via GPO or would it have to be via login script?

    I take it the same would apply to printers?
     
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  7. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    You could always put the script in the GPO instead of putting it in the user object in AD.


    I noticed that there is an option for mapped drives on Server 2008 but I havent seen it on a Server 2003 DC

    http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Group-Policy-related-changes-Windows-Server-2008-Part3.html
     
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  8. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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  9. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    hee hee! Wish it was that easy.

    Me: I want to upgrade all DCs to server 2008
    Customer: Why?
    Me: So I dont have to write batch files.
    Customer: Go for it!

    :biggrin
     
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  10. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    What can I say except :cheers:clap
     
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  11. Teebor

    Teebor Nibble Poster

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    This is by design.

    Roaming profiles on the PC are merged with the profile on the server. so if a user deletes items and then logs on to a PC with an older profile the new profile on the server is merged with the old one on the PC and then old stuff "reappears" its a pain in the butt

    There is also an issue with logging out sometimes, typically with XP by choosing shutdown it will kill a network connection before the PC has had time to send all the traffic over the network (if it is a big profile)

    Using Logout negates this to some extent as the PC isn't on a, lets call it "timer", before shutdown.

    Its a problem that causes me almost daily grief, I just can't be bothered right now to get around to changing the old roaming system over to local profiles with folder redirects which would work better
     
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  12. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Really? :blink Ive seen the same problem with a user that uses the same PC everyday. In that case I disabled 'offline folders' and then the profiles worked ok.
     
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  13. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    I never use roaming profiles wherever I work - hate them with a passion. Absolute pain in the arse, requires loads of time & resources to troubleshoot and pretty much every benefit can be achieved so much more cleanly with GPOs & folder redirection. Sorry but "I like my desktop set up this way" is not a good enough reason for me to waste my valuable time implementing, supporting and troubleshooting a technology that, frankly, is crap and far too over-complicated.

    Like Mike, I've never seen it work well anywhere.
     
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  14. Arroryn
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    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I've only ever been on the troubleshooting end of roaming profiles, so whilst I can't suggest a feasible alternative for you, I can agree that they are a total pain in the rear.

    They are often corrupt, a cow to troubleshoot and put right (especially when they're left scattered across multiple PCs), and some users don't understand our downright fits when it turns out they have 100MB+ often just sat on the desktop. And a lot of them wonder why it takes so long for them to log in..... pfft.

    Don't. Do. It. :)
     
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  15. Obinna Osobalu

    Obinna Osobalu Banned

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    Often, when using roaming profiles users normally report slow response time for shared folders. That actually makes the whole thing frustrating both for users and administrators. Though roaming profiles do have their good side but that has to be configured properly. Anyway, to ensure that the My Documents for each user is stored and maintained on the user's client computer;

    Create a GPO, change the redirection setting in the GPO to Not Configured. Run the gpudate command on the server on which the share resides.
    In the GPO, change the specified path to %USERPROFILE%\My Documents.

    This leaves out the use for roaming profiles.
     
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  16. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    I always understood that any changes were written back to the profile on the server. If you have 2 docs on the desktop and then delete them then when you log off/shutdown the desktop folder has changed and will be written to the server minus the 2 deleted files. The next time you log on they are not there. If merging was the case then we'd never be able to delete anything.

    Also the users generally only use their own pc. I have also had a couple of cases where users have logged onto multiple workstations, saved files on the desktop and logged off, then later logged off the other workstation and the files are not there anymore.


    I've also done this and we have less problems but still some.


    I'd be a happy man if it was "only" a couple hundred megabytes. Some users have folders with up to 2 GB on their desktops, 2.4 GB mail archives and as I found in one users my documents folder yesterday, over 7GB of Jericho (tv series) videos. Time to get nasty methinks.:x


    Seriously thinking about implementing local profiles but I'm not too sure how I get around the access to all the network shares though.:blink.
     
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  17. Obinna Osobalu

    Obinna Osobalu Banned

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    You could try disk quotas for the users.
     
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  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    ...except when the network isn't immediately available when the user logs on, which brings up a cached copy of the profile... you can never really trust roaming profiles to do what it's supposed to do (in theory) every single time.

    If that's the case, why bother with roaming profiles? :)

    Had a bank that insisted on using it until I told them that that's what was causing several-minute-long logons in the morning.

    Don't you have admin access?

    Just set up a Users folder, then point each user's home directory to \\servername\share\%username%. :)
     
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  19. Arroryn
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    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    2.4GB.... 7GB... yikes :blink yer good luck with that :blink

    sod the profiles. Take their PCs off them, and give them typewriters and crayolas, then see how far they get with local saving :rolleyes:
     
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  20. Teebor

    Teebor Nibble Poster

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    Exactly as he said.

    There are a shed load of settings you can change in Group Policy to "attempt" to control this however it just doesn't quite go to plan all the time :(

    I have had to deal with similar problems that you are describing, I tell our staff to save things on their own personal drive space on the server as that is backed up, but if they save things on their desktop this is on their local machine and therefore IT will not be responsible for if it is lost.

    Obviously that statement is not entirely true :rolleyes: but they don't know that, and now important documents are saved to network drives and are kept safe :biggrin
     
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