Re: Files and Folders Reappear After Deletion in a Cached Profile

See tip 3160 » How do I use Group Policy to delete locally cached copies of roaming profiles?
in the 'Tips & Tricks' at

To clean up the existing mess, use tip 6360 » How can I remove old profiles from my workstations?

On Wed, 8 Nov 2006 07:09:02 -0800, Tech-More <tech-more@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Windows 2000 SP4 File Servers & Domain Controllers, Windows XP SP2 Clients

Users are set to use roaming profiles. Users roam within the Domain, logging
into different PCs. On some PCs on slower (11Mb/s wireless links)
logon/logoff time is unacceptably slow due to large "My Documents" folder
contents being copied to/from local cache and the server copy of the profile.
The solution chosen was to redirect the My Documents Folder to another

Profile path is \\server\profiles\username
In Group Policy "My Documents" is redirected to \\server\users\username by
use of the following:
Setting: Basic - Redirect everyone's folder to the same location
Target Folder Location: Create a folder for each user under the root path
Root Path: \\server\users
Move the contents of My Documents to the new location
Leave the folder in the new location wen the policy is removed

The Redirection works as expected but a big problem remains:
As users have roamed from PC to PC frequently, their local cached profile
could exist on as many as 10+ PCs.
When the Redirect "My Documents" setting is first applied to a user, the
contents of
C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents are moved automatically to
the new location. When the user logs out, the "My Documents" folder in both
the PCs Local Cache, and the users roaming profile will be empty.
C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents (empty)
\\server\profiles\username\My Documents (empty)

Which is the desired effect of "My Documents" redirection.

If the user continues using the same PC, no problems are experienced.
When they log on to a different PC they have logged onto previously (so an
old copy of their cached profile exists) The empty state of the roaming "My
Documents" folder is not copied to the local cached profile. The old "My
Documents" contents in the Local cached profile remain. When the user logs
out, these old contents are copied to the server copy of the profile. Whilst
this doesn't effect the redirected "My Documents" folder, it does mean that
the roaming profile now contains old unwanted files in the
\\server\profiles\username\My Documents folder.

Nothing I have read so far indicates this is by design. I understand that
when Roaming and Local Cached profiles are reconciled, files that have been
deleted and no-longer exist on the Roaming profile, should not re-appear
because a user logs into a different PC where they still remain in the Local
Cache. (These should deleted automatically when the two profiles are
reconciled whilst logging in)

Can someone please confirm whether this behaviour is by design?
If it is, I am left with the problem of many copies of a user's old "My
Documents" folder contained in the Local Cached Profile of any PC they have
previously logged into. If they log into any of them, their old, deleted or
moved files will come back to haunt them.
Again, if this behaviour is by design, the best solution I can think of is to:
Stop "My Documents" being copied to the server copy of the profile, by means
of a Group Policy Setting, and use a logon script to delete the contents of
C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents.

Jerold Schulman
Windows Server MVP
JSI, Inc.