Beginning with Windows Vista, the default locations for user data and system data have changed. For example, user data that was previously stored in the %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings directory is now stored in the %SystemDrive%\Users directory. For backward compatibility, the old locations have junction points that point to the new locations. The My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos folders in Windows Vista and above are now junction points. This can be viewed by clicking on Start | Username. A junction point is a protected operating system folder that points to another folder. The junction point is an important part of application compatibility and does not contain any data or other files.
Because of these changes made by Microsoft on the newer operating systems, Desktop Authority (DA) had to change the method being used to perform folder redirection (in DA 9.0 and greater) in order to accommodate the changes on the new operating systems. In previous versions of DA, all that needed to be done to redirect a shell folder was to change an entry in the registry. Now because of the junction points a new DA configuration component is used to configure Folder Redirection for Windows Vista and greater. This new DA component configures the shell folder redirection, creates an “OldFiles” directory and makes a backup copy of the original files, and then removes the original folder. The backup folder and its contents will always be located in the root of the user’s local profile. Example: C:\Users\JSmith\OldFiles\Date_ShellFolderName. If the original folder was not removed when redirected, the user would see two folders when looking at the view in (Start | User Name). Example, the user would see two “My Documents” folders, one which points locally and one which points to the redirected location. The new component logs very limited information in the user’s trace file. However, the details of the results of the executed folder redirection elements are now logged to the %temp%\Desktop Authority\SLTrace%Event%CC.log file.
WARNING: A Folder Redirection element does not create a sub directory for the item being redirected (Meaning the path configured in the element is the exact path where the item is going to be redirected to). Therefore, it is recommended to specify a sub folder of the folder being redirected. Example: A path of \\Server\Userid\My Documents should be specified when redirecting My Documents as opposed to merely \\Server\Userid. It is important to note that if everything is redirected into one folder, that we will not be able to separate it out later.
NOTE: If the specified folder in the path “My Documents” does not exist, then the “My Documents” folder will be created by DA. Example: If redirecting Personal or My Documents to \\Server\Userid\My Documents and the My Documents folder does not exist, it will be created.
Troubleshooting Folder Redirection
Desktop Authority’s Folder Redirection simply automates what can be manually done. A user must be able to manually redirect their shell folder(s) if Desktop Authority is to automate it.
To test Folder Redirection:
1. Log onto a machine as the user and click on the start menu.
2. Click on the username.
3. On the right pane, locate the folder and choose properties from the context menu.
4. Click on the “Location” tab, change the location and hit Apply.
5. Was the user’s account able to change the setting? If so, then Desktop Authority should be able to automate it.
If the input section is greyed out, then the user does not have the correct rights to change a folder’s location. A user’s account does not need to be a local administrator in order to change the folder location.
Two possible causes for this are:
- Does the user account have the proper privileges necessary on both the source and the target to perform the copy?
- Are any files being copied to the destination?
- Try to copy the files manually as the user.
- What happens if you uncheck the option to copy files on the element, Does the folder redirection now take place?
Additional Folder Redirection Troubleshooting Knowledge Base Articles: