Folder Redirection encounters errors and redirection fails

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Folder redirection encounters errors when redirecting the user’s folders on the client. As a result, the user’s folders are not redirected successfully.


Several conditions must be met in order for users' folders to be redirected successfully. If these conditions are not met, the following Folder Redirection errors may occur:

  • Folder redirection initialization fails.

  • The Folder redirection path specified by the administrator is invalid, too long, inaccessible, or offline.

  • You do not have adequate privileges to create or access the redirected folders on the server, or there is not enough free disk space on the server.

  • Folder redirection is unable to set the shell folder registry keys to redirect the folders to the required destination.

  • Configuration errors occur in the event that a parent folder was redirected to a subfolder.

  • Folder redirection is unable to acquire the fdeploy.ini config file from the GPO.

  • Some files to be moved as part of redirection are locked on the client.


To troubleshoot Folder Redirection problems, try one or all of the following:

  • Look at the Event Viewer logs for Folder Redirection events. Based on the event, one or a combination of the following steps may be required to resolve the issue.

  • If Folder redirection initialization fails, ensure that there are no memory or security issues on the client and that there are no issues with the GPO (this applies only if there was an error extracting the fdeploy.ini file). Ensure that the correct Fdeploy.ini file is available on the domain controller that the client is accessing.

  • Verify that the folder redirection path specified by the administrator is valid and accessible. If the target paths are longer than the set limit, you need to make them shorter (look at the event log to see if the path length exceeds permitted number of characters). If the path to the folder does not exist (for example if the path specification is mistyped in the policy setting, if folders in the path have been renamed or removed, or if the server is unavailable), Folder Redirection will fail.

  • Ensure that the folder redirection configuration is correct and that you are not redirecting parent folders to subfolders.

  • Ensure that no files to be moved are locked by an application or service.

  • Ensure that the user has the required ACLS on all the folders and shell folder registry keys.

  • Verify that the user has appropriate permissions to create folders at the redirected location and that there is adequate free disk space to create the redirected folders. If disk quotas are applied, adjust the quotas to ensure the user has the required disk space required.


In order to use the folder, the file system and share permissions must be set such that the user can navigate the path to the folder, and if the folder exists the user must have ownership privileges on it. (The user is given ownership of the folder by default if you allow the folder to be created automatically.) This is a common cause of confusion with Folder Redirection. When using Folder Redirection Policies, it is best to allow the system to create and set permissions on the folder. This reduces the likelihood of errors due to incorrect security settings. For more information about Folder Redirection permissions, see the "User Data and Settings Management for Windows Server 2003" white paper on the Microsoft Web site at If you need to set permissions manually, you must ensure that the user has the appropriate minimum file system and share permissions. For more information about the required permissions, search for "Folder Redirection" in Windows Server 2003 Help and Support.

For more information about disk quotas, search for "Manage Disk Quotas" in Windows Server 2003 Help and Support.

  • Folder Redirection, like Software Installation settings, can only be applied during computer startup or user logon. On computers running Windows XP with logon optimization enabled, this can mean that the user needs to log on more than once before the setting takes effect.