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Laptop Roaming profiles

By mg_roberts ·
All the users in our domain have roaming profiles. When a laptop user makes changes to their profile at home, then come in and log on to the domain, it reverts the files on the laptop back to the last time they were on the domain.

Some of our users are gone from the office for weeks at a time, so sometimes they lose weeks of data.

I really need help on this, its a huge issue at our company.

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How is the profile set up?

by Amnezia In reply to i dont know

I'll have to look at the way I set ours two years ago - we have a limited number of laptops, and I copy a template folder to the laptop when I set up a new user - rare. But I would have thought if the profile redirects the user's local my documents folder to the server, (client or laptop), and synchronisation/offline folders is set up correctly from the laptop while logged in as the user, then the server-based home-folder "should" be updated from any pc or laptop the user logs into. Unless I've missed something, (and that's possible, it's very early in the morning).

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Ooops! I misread your question.

by Amnezia In reply to How is the profile set up ...

Sorry about the above post. Why do laptop users need to change the profile at home? Can their not be built to show them their usual workstation desktop on the laptop so there's no need to alter the profile when they're away from the office - even for months at a time? As long as the laptop has the same software available as on the workstation it shouldn't be a problem, and then the user syncs when they're reconnected to the network. Perhaps it's NOT sync per se, but rather a profile issue?

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let me restate

by mg_roberts In reply to Ooops! I misread your qu ...

i've recieved a lot of good advice from this thread. but i don't think i explained my situation well enough.
our laptop users only use the laptop they were given. so when they are in the office they are using the laptop no problem. when they go home, or are on the road, they take their laptops with them.

ok, say its january 1st, they are working in the office, they log off and everything is up to date. now say they are on the road, they create a couple new word documents, and delete a power point file. they also re-organize their desktop to make it easier to navigate through their mess of files. its januray 4th and they log into the office. their current profile is reverted back to the profile they saved on april 1st, the last time they were in the office.

now, to make things even more complicated, this doesn't happen every time.

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Drop Roaming Profiles

by ldsibert In reply to Laptop Roaming profiles

I have been through this myself. Here we go. Drop the roaming profile. They will become corrupt...on either server or client side. Then you have to delete them both. Another thing, Dude gets a virus or trojan, comes back and infects his profile on the Server, then possibly infects the Network. Roaming profiles are nice...when they work. They also get huge, and you have to manage it. Too much administration. Offline file sync has it's on problems also, like free space on the local hard drive, or a folder was deleted or moved on the server. Let them save locally and then copy whatever they need to save over to the Server. I do this now, and it has saved me hours of administration. Hope this helps.

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In Addition...

by ldsibert In reply to Drop Roaming Profiles

I was at a Microsoft seminar, and Microsoft even admitted that roaming profiles could be a pain in the butt. I do agree also that there are instances when you have to do it. I also understand that this problem was addressed in Windows 2003 and it's supposed to be better. But, roaming has not been good to me. Slow boots and I was constantly fixing their profiles on the local machine. Also, if they are on two or more boxes,made changes to theses boxes and have not shut those down, there is no write back to the server. Hence, it's not foloowing them on their "normal" machine. Just my opinion.

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rp's have their uses

by bpe In reply to In Addition...

I find roaming profiles work exceptionally well if the IT people concerned understand them properly and educate the end user correctly. It is far easier if you are trying to deal with something else and a user is having problems with their machine to rediect them to another workstation temporarily and not have to do anything to setup that station. offline file/folder sync is something I find very prone to problems and most of my users have had to have their cache "hard reset" often causing loss of the last few days offline work which they chose not to backup because they always assume, no matter how many times they are told, that IT just works. I will admit that RP's can grow to huge sizes, try a user with a 40GB Ipod storing his music in My docs\my music or someone downloading installation files for software and leaving them on his desktop. I find that a regular watch on server hdd capacity which we should all do anyway is the cure. Either that or wait until the user says his machine is taking a long time to logon and then reiterate the importance of storing this **** elsewhere. What is itunes doing on a corporate machine anyway, eh!!!!

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Say no to roaming profiles

by JamesHsh In reply to Laptop Roaming profiles

I agree with the other opinions that roaming profiles are useless in this case. We've organized almost the same task using folder redirection with our desktop management tool, Desktop Authority. My documents, desktop folder, ie favourites, cookies are redirected to a central location - home directory and users can access this stuff from any pc. I't something like settings that follows the users.

Have a look at this this tool:
http://www.scriptlogic.com/products/DesktopAuthority/

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Roaming Profiles and Mobile users

by chris In reply to Laptop Roaming profiles

I buy into the value of roaming profiles. On a local LAN/Network they work (fore the most part) well except for the mobile users. On occasion users loose recognition of their profile HIVE files either from the local copy or the server and a download of a second or third profile is made as the user has never logged in before. Its easy to tell as they will in affect have document and settings\username, username_domain , username _domain001. This scenario creates a real issue and I have never really been able to get around or a fix to address it. it woul dbe great if there was some logic that over wrote the local (or vice versa) HIVE after invalid unsuccessful login.

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Single out the laptops...

by steve.allison In reply to Roaming Profiles and Mobi ...

We put the laptops computers in their own group and create a GPO specifically for them which disables roaming profiles. My Documents is shared using Folder Redirection and this and their Home drive is cached with Offline Files.

The problem with mobile users is I think the server sees the laptop as an old version if the user logs into a local workstation before bringing the laptop back to the office.

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Simple.

by matthewhadley16 In reply to Laptop Roaming profiles

Why not use all 3?

Use roaming profiles. That way whenever a user logs on they have their desktop just how they like it, WITH their favorites folder and Application Data.

In conjunction with this, you could also use folder redirection. This means that people with large 'My Documents' folders don't have to spend ages waiting to log in while his/her 'My Documents' are being copied to the client computer. (the client computer now just accesses the 'My Documents' folder on-demand, from the server)

Now, the best thing to do is have all the users folders (My Documents, roaming profile etc.) on their own individual share on your server. (e.g. \\Server\Users\%Username%\%roaming profile + documents etc.%)

This would work absolutely fine on a LAN with no laptops at the moment, everyone has their desktop layout wherever they log in (due to roaming profiles), and their bigger folders are accessed on-demand from the server (folder redirection).

The problem you then encounter is that you've got laptops. People take their laptops home, and are pretty unlikely to be connected to your server from home. This means they can't access their roaming profile, nor can they access their 'My Documents'. BINGO! Offline files. Set up offline files to sync with their individual share on the server. This means that their roaming profile, documents, desktop, app data etc. is synched between their laptop and the server. When they go back to your LAN changes they've made to their documents and roaming profile are updated!

Hope this helps, if you need some clearer explanations don't hesitate to ask

Matt.

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