Mark this one down as one of the strangest things I’ve encountered in awhile.  The longer you are in any field, the less likely you are to see something that stumps you, but today was the exception. First, the setup:

  • Group policy in place to have My Documents redirect to a network storage folder \\servername\root\username
  • Group policy in place for laptops to have the My Documents folder available offline

On a laptop that follows those two policies, My Documents was not redirecting properly.  If you manually try to browse to the UNC path of the redirected storage you get a permission / access denied error.  After scratching my head and double checking server permissions (which of course had not changed at all) I tried accessing the share using IP address instead of server name and was able to access the folder.  However, I knew it wasn’t a DNS issue because the server name could be resolved just fine and other network folders on the same server could be viewed without issue.  Knowing that DNS and permissions had been ruled out that left me quite confused.  Next, I tried disabling offline files on the laptop and rebooted.  Much to my delight the redirected folders showed up without issue so I knew I was on the right track.

Solution: In the end, after disabling offline files I navigated to C:\Windows\CSC\.  Under C:\Windows\CSC\namespace\ you should be able to identify a folder with the same name as the file server (first, you will need to take ownership of the CSC folder and sub-folders in order to view the subfolders).  I deleted the suspect namespace as well as the files within the temp folder.  After doing these steps, I re-enabled offline files and restarted the computer.  Problem solved.

  1. Doug Ashton says:

    Thank You!!! Thank You!!! For writing this…. I have been working on this issue for hours. I’m setting up new computers for a client. Logged on as the admin, folder Redirection worked fine. Added the user as a local admin, logged off, logged on as the user, and folder redirection did not work. The old computer worked fine, so it was not a permissions issue. I had you exact issue, could not browse the share.

    Deleting the files and rebooting worked great. Thanks Again!!!!!!!

  2. Andy Parkes says:

    Thanks for this!

    Being able to connect via IP really through me

    Good work!