Adding a bit of group policy to SBS Essentials

So you want to do folder redirection on your SBS -Essentials and you’ve heard of this Win7 plug in thingy but you don’t want to wait for it?

No problem, just use plain old group policy.

Go to start, then to group policy management console,

Do a new group policy object

Now this is where the group policy purests will argue for how they set up group policy, SBS did them at the root of the domain.

My main thing is label it what you want.

Now right mouse click and edit

Now drill under – \User Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Folder Redirection

Now see all of the settings you can redirect?  Now you are probably looking at me and going.. okay but how do you turn it on?

Right mouse click on the folder name of what you want to redirect and click on properties.

In the properties tab you have the option to do basic redirection or advanced

You then get the option of redirecting to a specific location

You then pick a folder on the server (or set one up)

On the settings tab, you can choose to let the admin have access to the folder and allow the folder to move back to the local machine should the policy be removed.

The last little bit tricky step is to set up a WMI filter so that Vista/Win7 machines get more granular redirects then XP by setting a WMI filter.

About now if you are thinking – man I need a safety net — you do.  In the form of an existing  SBS 2008 or SBS 2011.  You can export out the group policies from a demo box of SBS 2008 or SBS 2011 standard and import it into Essentials –

In fact I’ll bet that gives you more control than the Win7 folder redirect plug in since it’s reported to only work with Win7.  (I haven’t seen it yet but I’ll betcha it’s just the wmi filter controlling it to work on Win7).

In SBS 2011 standard in fact there is no wmi filter at all, the redirection just dumps into a folder.

Documents are redirected:

Desktop is redirected:

Pictures is set to follow the documents folder

Music is set to follow the documents folder (you may want to not have that follow)

Videos is set to follow the documents folder

Bottom line, sometimes it’s easier to look at a policy someone else has set up and steal ideas from it.


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