Folder redirection

How to setup folder redirection in the event you choose to not use user profile disks

Craig Medland avatar
Written by Craig Medland
Updated over a week ago

Itopia deploys session collections with user profile disks configured to hold all of the users’ data in them. There are issues at the moment with user profile disks, however, such as being unable to index outlook correctly. If you choose to create a deployment without the user profile disk option, some other manner of profile/folder redirection will need to be used in order keep users data with them when logging into multiple session hosts. This can be achieved by creating a group policy for folder redirection and setting up a folder which will house all of the user data. In the following article, you will be shown how you can accomplish just that.

The User Data Folder

The first step to being able to redirect user folders is to create a share on the network where your user's data will be saved. In order to accomplish this go ahead and create a folder on your file server or where ever you want to house this data. For this example, I will create a folder on the root of the Data disk on my file server and call it "UserData"

Once the folder has been created right click the folder and click on Properties

This will open up the folders properties window

Click on the Security tab

Once in the Security section of the folders properties click on the Advanced button

Once in the Advanced security settings section click on the Disable Inheritance button and in the Block Inheritance window that comes up click on "Convert inherited permissions into explicit permissions on this object."

After disabling inheritance you'll notice that there are two entries for the local Users group. Highlight the one with the "Special" access and click on Edit

Once the permissions entry window is open, in the "Applies to" drop-down select "This folder only" and click OK

Do the same for the local Users groups with the "Read & execute" access

Once you have made the change to both entries you'll notice that the local Users group will have merged and will have "Special" access. Click OK to finish the security settings portion of this process.

Back in the folders Properties window, click on the "Sharing" tab and the click on the "Advanced Sharing..." button

In the "Advanced Sharing" window check the box for "Share this folder" and in the "Share name:" text box add a $ to the end of the share name. This is done to keep the share hidden from users without permissions to this folder. Once you add the $ to the share name click on the "Permissions" button

In the Permissions window check the Full Control Allow box for Everyone and click OK

Click OK again on the Advanced Sharing window and now in the Properties windows in the Sharing section, you'll now see a Network Path for the share. Take note of this path since you will need it when creating the group policies for folder redirection.

Open the server manager and enable "Access Based Enumeration" for the share you just created. This will prevent users from seeing other folders to which they don't have access to. To do this in the Server Manager click on File and Storage Services

Once you're in the File and Storage Services module click on Shares and right click the share you just created and select Properties

Once in the shared properties windows, click on Settings and check the box for "Enable access-based enumeration" and click on OK to save the change

The Group Policy

Once you have the share created, the next step is to create a group policy which will redirect user folders to that share. Start by launching the Group Policy Management Console

Once the Group Policy Management console is open, expand the Forest, the domain and right click the Group Policy Objects container and select "New"

A new window for the New GPO will come up. In the Name text box give the new GPO a name and click OK. For this example I named the GPO "FolderRedirection"

Right click the GPO you just created and click "Edit..."

Folder redirection is a user based policy so under User Configuration, expand Preferences > Windows Settings > Folder Redirection and right click the folder you want to redirect and click on Properties

This will open up a new windows where you will configure where the folder will be redirected to. In the Settings drop-down, select "Basic - Redirect everyone's folder to the same location" and in the Root Path: put in the network path from the share you created earlier. Once you finish that don't click on Apply or OK yet, click on the Settings tab at the top

In the settings section make sure to only have the option "Move the contents of %FOLDER% to the new location." and under Policy Removal select "Leave the folder in the new location when policy is removed." and click OK. Leaving the option to grant the user exclusive rights to the folder unchecked will allow admins to browse to the users folder in case you need to assist in finding data or any other request.

Repeat the steps above for all of the folders you wish to redirect. Only the folders listed under Folder Redirection are configurable and can be redirected.

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