Should have known

When I got caught by a train on the way to work, and the gate on my side of the road didn’t go back up after the train went by, I should have known it was not going to be a good day. Sure enough, my boss was out sick, leaving a bunch of extra stuff for me to cover, we had a hang up on our Exchange server that stopped all the network traffic and threw everyone “off-line” just as I had sat down to eat my lunch in the lunch room, and the help desk was absolutely swamped all day long! I even got a tech support call at home tonight.

The best part of the day was coming home to find that my wife had dinner, and an open Sam Adams on the table after knowing it had been a long day. I love her! 🙂

But, my technical question is this. We store a lot of our user preferences on the network, so that they follow the user to whatever machine they log in to. (It’s not quite roaming profiles, it’s more of a folder redirection.)Those settings sync at login/logoff so that any changes you made locally go out to those network locations. Whenever there’s a network outage and the machine goes into “off-line files” mode, there are always a bunch of random things that don’t sync and we spend so much freakin’ time cleaning up after people who’ve lost the custom dictionary, or their email signatures, etc. (Actually they don’t really lose them, they don’t go anywhere, but their user preferences lose the location for some reason and they need to be pointed to the proper place again.)Does anyone else have a similar set-up and see similar problems? Is it just something we have to live with as a result of this set-up or is there something we should be doing to mitigate it? I’d be curious to know how you handle users logging on across your Active Directory machines? If you use roaming profiles or some other tool.

Tags: RoamingProfiles, OfflineFiles, networking

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  1. Ouch… tough situation there. I suppose we’re lucky then in that we simply don’t support roaming profiles, or redirection — 1 user, 1 machine. If users do need to logon from another machine, we simply ensure that their mail is kept on the server rather than being downloaded to a PST file and simply create a profile on the secondary machine.

    Looking forward to following this thread.

  2. We’d like to not have to do this, but with floater secretaries, who cover assignments when other secretaries are sick or on vacation we simply have people moving around too much. The other issue we run into is the need to save a whole lot of email for e-discovery. Some of our attorneys have more email than would be feasible in mailbox, and we only recently moved to a document management system that they could store emails in. Needless to say, some will never get out of the habit of using PST files to store all that email. (stored on their network drive so they get backed up..)

    Interestingly, I posed this question to our network engineer, and he doesn’t really see why these options get wiped out. He actually suggested we test stopping and starting explorer.exe on a machine when we have a network outage instead of restarting. If that eliminates the problem we may look into writing a batch file to do that.

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