roaming profile backup


Colin Bondi

We are using roaming profiles with Win2000 server AD and Win XP clients and
have all users roaming profiles stored on a central server. Their My Docs
folder is redirected through group policy to a file server. The file server
is backed up regularly but the profile storage server is not. My question is
since users document folders are backed up, is there any need to backup the
profile share itself. If we lost the profile server, would the profiles be
recreated from the cache on each client machine? Any thoughts on this would
be appreciated.


I am not sure if the the profile would be recreated from the cache. However,
I would recommend backing it up, at least for CYA. You could do something
simple like uses ntbackup to dump the profiles to a share on the central
server where it will be picked up through normal backups.



How many locally cached copies are stored on the workstations? If you have
10 users logging into one machine and only keep 5 locally cached copies, then
you would only be able to recover the last 5 logins.

But yes, if the server copy of the profile is lost and a user logs into a
machine that has a locally cached copy, the profile will be loaded for the
user. When the user logs off, the server version of the profile will be
updated (or re-created)

Make sure also that your profiles allow administrator access if you are
going to back them up, otherwise you will get a lot of "Can't access" errors
on your backups.

In essence your questions is more an operational business rules kind of
question. What is important to your users? Their documents, or their
'experience' when logged on? There are other things in a profile (like
Outlook pst files, or Exchange ost files, thunderbird profiles, etc...) that
are gonna be critical if they are lost. You may want to consider redirecting
your application data folder as well, and make sure that it is being backed
up as well. Again, depends on how your environment works. If your users only
use Outlook with Exchange, IE for all browsing and never save important
documents anywhere but their My Documents folder, then the rest of the
profile loses some (and I stress some) of it's importance.

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