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Working with network files

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Folder Redirection

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Skip Navigation LinksWinservices Help Pages > NICE Environment > Working with network files > Folder Redirection



 

Folder redirection is a way to assure your documents are always available to you, while they are stored on a secure storage providing backups. All user accounts at CERN are submitted to the Folder Redirections if the user has not denied them. You can check on your Nice Account status your actual Folder Redirection settings.

Sum up of contents:


Folder redirection benefits

It provides the following benefits:

  • Reduced logon time. Folder Redirection reduces the time it takes to log on to and log off from the network when compared to Roaming Profiles.
  • User documents available from any computer. To ensure that user documents are available when they roam from one computer to another, Folder Redirection redirects user documents to a server location accessible from any computer connected to the domain.
  • User documents available when not connected to the corporate network. Folder Redirection can be used with Offline Files technology to make user folders available when they are disconnected from the corporate network.
  • Increased security and availability of user data. Folder Redirection stores the data on a shared network server that is backed up every day. This protects user data and requires no action on the user side. User data is protected when the computer operating system needs to be reinstalled or if computer hardware needs to be replaced. 

Desktop redirection

The "Desktop" and "Favorites" are folders normally contained in your profile (about a profile definition please see note at the end of the page), either roaming or local. At CERN we have observed that "Desktop" usually tends to be some times extremely big, as the user keeps documents on it and no quota is applied to this folder. One advantage of using the Desktop as data repository is that the information is backed up. But sadly this behavior can make login and logoff extremely slow if you have a roaming profile active (check status here).

To keep both nice features you can have your "Desktop" on a network share independent of the location of your windows profile. While you will not suffer from time consuming logon and logoff, your information will still be backed up.

At this point we would also like to recommend you not to use the "Desktop" as data repository. To keep documents on the server, please use the "My Documents" folder. It is also a network folder that can be also accessed by dfs e.g. \\cern.ch\dfs\Users\r\rgaspar.

To be sure that the contents of your Desktop will be accessible at any moment, these contents will be automatically made available offline. The first time that this happens you need to perform a logoff in order to have an up-to-date copy in local. This is specially important for laptops users.
Once your "Desktop" has been redirected, it will be located at \\<your_homeserver>\Desktop_<first_letter_of_loginid>\<loginid>, e.g. for the user rgaspar: \\CERNHOME07.cern.ch\Desktop_R\rgaspar

Note: Deleting content from your redirected desktop will permanently delete it. This is the behavior by design of Windows when contents from a network share are removed. If you need to recover some content you will need to ask for a recover action from a backup to the helpdesk@cern.ch.

Favorites redirection

The "Favorites" folder is traditionally small. The interest to redirect it is to keep always a backup copy. You can be assure that in case of reinstallation your "Favorites" will be still there.
Exceptionally you may be interested to keep your favorites in local, to avoid that they are merged if you need to work on several workstations. In this case please contact the helpdesk. As for "Desktop" redirection the same considerations for offline files are applied to "Favorites" redirection.
Once your "Favorites" has been redirected, it will be located at \\<your_homeserver>\Favorites_<first_letter_of_loginid>\<loginid>, e.g. for the user rgaspar: \\CERNHOME07.cern.ch\Favorites_R\rgaspar

Note: Deleting content from your redirected Favorites will permanently delete it. This is the behavior by design of Windows when contents from a network share are removed. If you need to recover some content you will need to ask for a recover action from a backup to the helpdesk@cern.ch.

My Documents redirection

The My documents redirection is a well-known redirection. It was introduced some years ago with the same idea behind as the "Desktop" redirection. That means keep the profile light which is translated in fast logon - logoff, and keep some documents in a secure environment where data recovery is assured.

Roaming profile policy

We have undertaken a global action to disable the roaming profile feature on all user CERN accounts. Roaming profile was troublesome for our user community, with usual problems like:

  • long log off/on
  • overwriting of documents located in the profile
  • mix of registry keys (different desktop machines)
  • permissions corruption

Advanced users requiring roaming profile functionality can always enable it on this page

Java applications affected by the Desktop redirection.

We realized that the Desktop redirection is not compatible with the way JVM is calculating the user home directory in windows platforms. This is a well-known bug on SUN JVM http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=4787931 (you will need a Java Developer ID to get in, you can also check this FAQ).

You have several possible solutions:

  • If the java application you are trying to run is web based, you can set directly set the 'user.home' via:
    Control Panel -> Java Plug-in -> Advanced: Java Runtime Parameters

    Be aware to use the folder short path version as blank spaces are not welcome e.g. 'C:\documents and settings\rgaspar' it becomes 'C:\Docume~1\rgaspar'
  • If you launch the application via an script, you can add directly the option to the java interpreter, e.g.:

    C:\>java -Duser.home="C:\Docume~1\rgaspar" .....

  • You can also disable the Desktop redirection policy. In this case if your Roaming Profile is not active, your Desktop will be not on the server. It means there will be not backup for its contents. You can always use the redirected folder "My Documents" to place contents that require backup.

Oracle JDeveloper work around.

To provide the developing environment with the information needed to obtain your home profile location, please follow the next steps:

  • Open the following file:
    <JDEV-INSTALLATION-DIRECTORY>\jdev\bin\jdev.conf
    e.g. C:\Program Files\jdev\bin\jdev.conf
  • Add the following line to the end of the file:
    AddVMOption -Duser.home=C:\Docume~1\<LOGINID>
    e.g. AddVMOption -Duser.home=C:\Docume~1\rgaspar
  • Save and close the jdev.conf file.
  • Restart JDeveloper

Disk Quota

In case you are lacking space on any of these folders, you will need to ask for more quota.

User profile definition

Profiles include files that relate to the following items:

  • All user-definable settings for Windows Explorer
  • Shortcuts
  • Favorites
  • Mapped network drives
  • Links within My Network Places
  • The desktop
  • Application data
  • User-definable application settings
  • Network printer connections
  • User-definable characteristics within the Windows accessories, such as Calculator, Notepad, and so on
  • Bookmarks within the Help system