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This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. The opinions expressed within are my own and should not be attributed to any other Individual, Company or the one I work for. I just happen to be a classic techie who is passionate about getting things to work as they should do (and are sometimes advertised and marketed as being able to?) and when I can I drop notes here to help others falling in to the same traps that I have fallen in to. If this has helped then please pass it on - if you feel that I have commented in error or disagree then please feel free to discuss with me either publically or privately? Cheers, Dave
Thin Clients, VDI and Linux integration from the front lines.... Raw and sometimes unedited notes based on my experiences with VMware, Thin Clients, Linux etc.

It seems recently we are getting quite a number of potentially new customers asking us to help with issues that they seem to have had some difficulty getting on top of. Generally the quickest and easiest way is just to fire up the trusty GoToAssist session and have a real "look" at what their issue is, that's when the fun starts. 

But what has really prompted this blog is that when I did my first Citrix Admin course (It was on Winframe 1.6 back in 1996) it was really hammered in to us that you needed a Home Drive and a TS Profile Path - both of these were paramount - otherwise you were asking for trouble. Now it seems that this message has been missed time and time again, when we have been looking at clients problems we find that this is something that has been missed.

Don't forget that when logging on to a Terminal Server if there is no Terminal Server Profile Path set, then by default this session will utilize the MS Profile Path (if it is set), and only then - if there are no paths set it will just use the Locally created Profile. The main danger with this is that if typically Terminal Servers/Citrix Servers are positioned under a separate OU in the AD with a much more restrictive template that locks down things like Wallpaper, Screensaver, etc. If the same profile is used for both you are inviting trouble of the kind where users may be getting strange and inconsistent errors that would appear to defy logic.
MS Article - Terminal Services Client Roaming Profile Is Inconsistent or Overwritten

So, we were looking at this users issues when one of the first things we discovered was the lack of TSProfile Path, and as a consequence there were 300 odd users who had been connecting in to 4 Load Balanced Servers and each Server had some 150 - 200 Local Profiles under each C:\Documents and Settings representing nearly 500Mb of wasted space. In addition to this, the Admins were finding that occasionally they would have to "setup" the users Outlook Profile... ;-) but could never quite understand why.
The first step is to create the
Roaming Profile Path and then leave everything alone for a while so that as users log in and out the Local Profile will copy itself back up to the new location - hopefully this way you won't have to rebuild each users Profile from scratch? If you are concerned about a single point of failure then consider creating a DFS Share? and hang the Roaming Profiles off that.

Once the Roaming Profiles have been created in the Share location (you might want to monitor this?) you can then return to the Terminal Server/Citrix Servers and start clearing out the Local Profiles. From this point you might want to consider installing UPHClean from MS and then set the system to delete the Cached Profile on logout - this can either be set manually from the Registry or via the GPO.

So that's how it should be done.....  Unfortunately in the above scenario we were trying to fix a crisis, and were being somewhat "led" by the Admin and it when I was told that the "Terminal" share for the TSProfiles was being replicated across the Domain Controllers I just took it at face value.
After quite a bit of time trying to get to the bottom of an inconsistent error, I had nailed it down to a possible DNS issue as the TSProfile path was using a DNS alias to reference both the Domain Controllers where the TSProfile Path was being replicated - remove the DNS alias, and set it with one of the DC's and it worked a treat.

What it actually turned out to be was that the Admin had created two TSProfile Path's under each DC, and had failed to actually set the DFS Replication, hence the  inconsistent error, it was almost as bad as no TSProfile Path being set.......  Grrrrr!!!!  
And don't forget to consider Folder Redirection?  
Profile and Folder Redirection In Windows Server 2003

Don't let TSProfiles get you down......??

Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 7:21 PM Citrix , IT Management , Real Cool Stuff , Microsoft Tips , VMware and other Virtualization tools | Back to top

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