Folder Redirection Woes

Today I came across a very interesting problem in regard to Group Policy folder redirection in Windows 7. All folder redirection was failing with reason codes similar to the one below:

Application Source: Microsoft-Windows-Folder Redirection
12:12:58 PM
Event ID: 502
Task Category: None
Error Keywords:
User: username
Computer: computername
Description: Failed to apply policy and redirect folder "Documents" to "\\server\share$\username\". Redirection options=0x9020. The following error occurred: "Failed to build the list of known sub folders".
Error details: "The system cannot find the file specified. "

This was happening for all redirected folders – Start Menu, Documents, Music, Desktop etc etc. I assumed firstly that this was a permissions issue. I checked and rechecked all permissions. I logged on as a user – saw the redirection fail, and tried to access the “failed” directory as that user. The user could access (and write) to the documents directory without any problems. I sort of already guessed this was the case because XP clients weren’t having any problems. I also knew that I was in a bit of trouble because googling this error returs no results (sigh).

I cast my mind back to a couple of days ago and remembered that I approved a bunch of updates that had been piling up (I know, I shouldn’t let them pile up but I don’t often get time to approve them). Anyway, after a LOT of painful update installs (pretty much one at a time – took me and some colleagues 3 hours), I found the update that broke folder redirection: KB980408

Microsoft’s description of this KB is: Install this update to resolve reliability issues with Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.

Well, that didn’t work. After some careful googling, I found that other people have had problems with this update too. Not the same problem mind you. There was a fix recommended in this forum. I wasn’t sure that it was going to solve my problem, but it did.

The [temporary] solution I used involved the following: Make a reg File with the following in it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00</code>











Run the reg file. It’s important that you reboot after the fix has been applied. I’ve got a friend who is emailing Microsoft about this issue, and hopefully they’ll release a hotfix or something. I’d be interested to know if anyone else has had similar issues (or fixed it using these steps).

EDIT: A side-effect of this fix is that renaming via Windows Explorer sometimes fails. Still… better than having no folder redirection