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We will be implementing a remote desktop server farm, where users' profiles will be hosted on a file server. I believe that doing this will allow users to delete files from their desktop/documents folder etc, and still provide a way to restore from the recycle bin.

We also need to provide shared folders for users, so they can store documents pertinent to their department. The way we would normally do this would be using mapped drives to a SMB share on the file server.

The drawback to this, is that when deleting a file on a mapped drive, it is a permanent deletion, and unless we use shadow copies or somethin of that nature, we would have to restore from a tape/disk backup.

Are there any other recommended ways to provide access to shared folders on a central server, which are not permanent deletions?

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Are you looking for a reason to avoid backups, or??? What is wrong with shadow copy? The step up would be to use a DMS (document management system) eg sharepoint. –  Zoredache Mar 14 at 17:13
    
This question doesn't have anything to do with RDP. Whether the user is logged onto an RDP session or logged directly on to a workstation, a file deleted from a mapped network drive does not go to the Recycle Bin. I see 3 possible solutions: 1. Deny the users the ability to delete files in the shared folders. 2. Use Shadow Copies or backups on the file server. 3. Use a third party product to capture deleted files on the file server. –  joeqwerty Mar 14 at 17:18
    
We don't want to eliminate backups as such, we just want users to be able to restore documents they have deleted without our intervention. My understanding is that shadow copy would still require us to restore the document for them? @joeqwerty the only reason I described our RDP scenario, is in case it had an effect on suggestions, as I am sure different scenarios call for different solutions. –  Eds Mar 17 at 9:26
    
@Eds - users can restore files from Shadow Copies. www2.slac.stanford.edu/comp/winnt/backup/vssrestore.htm –  ETL Mar 18 at 13:23
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up vote 9 down vote accepted

I believe that doing this will allow users to delete files from their desktop/documents folder etc, and still provide a way to restore from the recycle bin.

I can confirm that with Folder Redirection, Recycle Bin still works on Windows 2008R2. Probably works on 2012 as well. But Folder Redirection and WinXP clients for example, Recycle Bin does not work.

Are there any other recommended ways to provide access to shared folders on a central server, which are not permanent deletions?

I think Shadow Copies is the way to go but maybe I missed something. There are some NAS which provide a "trash" folder where deleted files go.

With Shadow Copies (and probably also with 3rd party utilities), users can restore files without administrator interventions (See http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/comp/winnt/backup/vssrestore.htm for an example of how to do this as a user).

There are other 3rd party utilities which I personally have no experience with such as Undelete which is a Recycle Bin for File Servers.

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I've used Undelete in the past and it worked like a champ. –  joeqwerty Mar 14 at 17:20
    
+1 VSS is the answer here. –  MDMarra Mar 15 at 13:56
    
Thanks all. Just did some testing with VSS in my test environment, and it works exactly as I had hoped. It's fantastic, and I feel ashamed for not having looked at it sooner!! –  Eds Mar 18 at 11:15
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