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Information: My department hosts a very large file share (~50TB currently in use) that is used by groups all over my company. We control the storage and backups, but each department is responsible for managing permissions, adding/removing content, etc...

The problem: We have a rule that users cannot use this file share for setting up roaming user profiles due to network latency and some other issues.

The question: We do not manage the active directory for our company (we do have control of our departmental OU and group policy) and we don't mind users having roaming profiles. we just want to prevent them from using them on this particular share. Is there a server side setting or GPO that we can put in place to prevent users from pointing user profiles to this one share without modifying user gpo settings?

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From the point of view of the file server, a roaming profile is just a bunch of files stored on a share. There's no "this is a roaming profile" flag.
You might be able to use file screening to prevent files called "ntuser.dat" and "ntuser.dat.log" or somesuch from being written to the share. This will break roaming profile functionality, but it might not stop the client from writing other files and folders (eg Desktop) to the share.
Ultimately, it sounds like you need to have words with whoever is configuring user accounts to store roaming profiles on your server.

  • From my research it looks that way as well. I've actually thought of the ntuser.dat file and .log block, but was wondering if there was a more elegant solution. I will wait a bit to see if there are any other answers. If not I will mark yours as the answer. – TOSM Dec 2 '14 at 17:37
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If you have AD access, then you should be able to query AD for all users with a ProfilePath set to the server in question (replace "fileserver" with the actual server name):

Get-ADUser -filter {profilePath -Like "`\`\fileserver*"} -Properties profilePath

This won't actively prevent setting up the roaming profiles, but a periodic "fix the non-compliance" email to the managers of the users in question should do the trick.

Unfortunately, any method of searching for specific filenames will likely lead to unintended consequences regarding users backing up their home directory (I assume that this is okay) or programs/applications using similar names.

  • Thanks Hyppy, I will definitely use the script to look for users. – TOSM Dec 2 '14 at 20:25

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