Windows 7 / Getting Started

Understanding Folder Redirection in Earlier Versions of Windows

Because of the limitations of roaming profiles, a second corporate roaming technology called Folder Redirection was first introduced in Windows 2000 and was basically unchanged in Windows XP. Folder Redirection works by providing the ability to change the target location of special folders within a user's profile from a default location within the user's local profile to a different location either on the local computer or on a network share. For example, an administrator can use Group Policy to change the target location of a user's My Documents folder from the user's local profile to a network share on a file server. Folder Redirection thus allows users to work with data files on a network server as if the files were stored locally on their computers.

Folder Redirection provides several advantages as a corporate roaming technology:

  • You can implement Folder Redirection with RUP to reduce the size of roaming user profiles. This means that not all the data in a user's profile needs to be transferred every time the user logs on or off of the network-a portion of the user's data and settings is transferred instead using Folder Redirection. This can considerably speed up logon and logoff times for users compared with using RUP alone.
  • You can also implement Folder Redirection without RUP to provide users with access to their data regardless of which computer they use to log on to the network. Folder Redirection thus provides full corporate roaming capabilities for any folders that are redirected. On Windows XP, these include the My Documents (which can optionally include My Pictures), Application Data, Desktop, and Start Menu folders within a user's profile.

Folder Redirection as implemented on earlier versions of Windows has some drawbacks, however:

  • Folder Redirection is hard-coded to redirect only a limited number of user profile folders. Some key folders, such as Favorites and Cookies, are not redirected, which limits the usefulness of this technology for corporate roaming purposes unless combined with RUP.
  • Folder Redirection by itself does not roam an application's registry settings, limiting its usefulness as a corporate roaming technology. For an optimum roaming experience, implement Folder Redirection with RUP.

Note RUP is the only way of roaming user settings (the HKCU registry hive); Folder Redirection is the primary way of roaming user data.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Managing Users and User Data
  2. Understanding User Profiles in Windows 7
  3. Types of User Profiles
  4. User Profile Namespace
  5. User Profile Namespace in Windows XP
  6. User Profile Namespace in Windows Vista and Windows 7
  7. Application Compatibility Issue
  8. Disabling Known Folders
  9. Windows 7 Understanding Libraries
  10. Working with Libraries
  11. Including Indexed Folders in a Library
  12. Adding Nonindexed Remote Locations to a Library
  13. Creating Additional Libraries
  14. Managing Libraries
  15. Implementing Corporate Roaming
  16. Understanding Roaming User Profiles and Folder Redirection
  17. Understanding Roaming User Profiles in Earlier Versions of Windows
  18. Understanding Folder Redirection in Earlier Versions of Windows
  19. Enhancements to Roaming User Profiles and Folder Redirection Previously Introduced in Windows Vista
  20. Additional Enhancements to Roaming User Profiles and Folder Redirection Introduced in Windows 7
  21. Improved First Logon Performance With Folder Redirection
  22. Implementing Folder Redirection
  23. Configuring the Redirection Method
  24. Configuring Target Folder Location
  25. Configuring Redirection Options
  26. Configuring Policy Removal Options
  27. Folder Redirection and Sync Center
  28. Considerations for Mixed Environments
  29. Additional Group Policy Settings for Folder Redirection
  30. Troubleshooting Folder Redirection
  31. Implementing Roaming User Profiles
  32. Creating a Default Network Profile
  33. Configuring a User Account to Use a Roaming Profile
  34. Implementing Mandatory Profiles
  35. Implementing Super-Mandatory Profiles
  36. Managing User Profiles Using Group Policy
  37. Working with Offline Files
  38. Enhancements to Offline Files Introduced Previously in Windows Vista
  39. Additional Enhancements to Offline Files Introduced in Windows 7
  40. Understanding Offline File Sync
  41. Modes of Operation in Offline Files
  42. Managing Offline Files
  43. Managing Offline Files Using Windows Explorer
  44. Managing Offline Files Using the Offline Files Control Panel
  45. Managing Offline Files Using Sync Center
  46. Configuring Offline Files on the Server
  47. Managing Offline Files Using Group Policy
  48. Offline Files Policy Settings Introduced in Windows Vista
  49. Additional Offline Files Policy Settings for Windows 7