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We've got an Xserve with Snow Leopard Server running our domain, with mostly Mac clients configured with "roaming" Home Sync directories. There are several Windows workstations that also use roaming profiles that sync to the Mac server, but they behave inconsistently; sometimes they synchronize on login/logout, sometimes they don't. But in any case, the Windows machines always take forever to log on and off, like there's some kind of problem copying data between.

On the server, each user has a home profile under /home/username. There's another subfolder where those users' Windows profiles are stored separately called /home/profiles/username.V2 (I think the V2 comes from Vista profiles?).

My question is, is there an alternative, fairly simple way to synchronize the profile data on those Windows machines back and forth from the server outside of letting Windows handle it? Like manually running a script at logon/logoff that copies the delta of the profile between server/client?

We're just looking for a smoother solution to the issue... We'd love to have every client machine backup the users' profiles on the Macs and PCs, but not if it causes such slowdown with login times.

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2 Answers

There are third-party profile management applications (like Flex Profiles). I suspect, however, that you're probably not redirecting the user's "My Documents" (and potentially "Desktop" and "Appliation Data") folders out of the profile, and this is probably causing a lot of data to fly across the wire that really should be "at rest".

I don't know how to tell you to configure Folder Redirection in a non-Active Directory environment other manual registry hacking, but this is very probably the "right solution" since it maintains the native Windows "roaming profiles" functionality but limits the amount of data subject to profile sync.

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I suppose we could redirect at least the MyDocs folder elsewhere from the user level, to avoid moving that entire directory each time... I'm not sure how much control OSX Server has over Windows profiles, seems like not much. –  colemanm Dec 10 '09 at 19:34
    
Unfortunately I doubt you have much control. The specs to control folder redirection via group policy have been published by Microsoft but I don't think anybody has implemented that much of Active Directory's functionality in a competing product. I've written scripts (for hire, so I can't provide them here) to mimic the functionality of "Folder Redirection" in a non-Active Directory environment (checking the user's registry for the "User Shell Folder" paths, changing them to refer to servers, moving the files to the server) so it's certainly possible, but not w/o development. –  Evan Anderson Dec 10 '09 at 19:41
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I backed up the users' ".V2" profiles on the Snow Leopard Server DC and relogged in to create new profiles. Everything seems to be in proper order now. Login times are reduced to normal and everything is syncing correctly. I found out that at some point in the past the permissions on the net shares got hosed and a "repair permissions" was run on the entire server, so the original issue may have been a repercussion of that.

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