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Work Folders Demonstration

This video performs a quick setup of Work Folders. Work folders allows files to be shared between your computers and devices. This video shows the basic setup, however if you deploy this in your organization you will also need to deploy certificate services.

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Demonstration Server
1. If you do not have a folder to store the data for work folders, open Windows Explorer and create a folder on the D drive called work folders.
2. To install work folders, open Server Manager from quick launch bar and then from the welcome screen select the option “Add roles and features”.
3. For the add roles and features wizard, since the install will be performed on the local server, accept all the defaults until the “Select server roles” screen. The option that needs to be ticked is found under “File and Storage Services” and then under “File and iSCSI Services” tick the option “Work folders”. You may be prompted to add additional features like “IIS Hostable Web Core”. If this is the case press the button add features when prompted.
4. No additional options need to be configured in the wizard, accept all the defaults and finish the wizard.
5. Once Work Folders has been installed, to access it, in Server Manager select the option on the left hand side “File and Storage Services” and then select the option “Work Folders”.
6. Once inside Work Folders, to create a new Work Folder select “New Sync Share” under tasks to start the “New Sync Share Wizard”.
7. Once past the welcome screen, the next screen will show what shares are configured on the server and also give you the option to enter in a local path to use. In this case I will use a local path d:\workfolders. Once a folder or share has been selected, press next to move onto the next screen.
8. On the next screen the folder structure that will be used to store the data needs to be selected. The top option “User alias” will store each users data in a folder named after the username. The second option “User alias@domain” will store the user data in a folder username @ followed by the domain name. The domain name will be Netbios domain, or, in other words, the short domain name and not the fully qualified domain name( e.g. ITFreeTraining not ITFreeTraining.local)
9. The option “Sync only the following subfolder” will sync only the folder entered. This is useful if other data is stored in the folder and the administrator only wants a small amount of the user data to be synced using Work Folders.
10. The next screen allows the administrator to enter in a name and description for the Work Folder. This helps the user determine what the Work Folder is being used for or what its purpose is.
11. The next screen allows the administrator to decide which users will be able to access Work Folders. In this case the Domain Users group was used.
12. On the “Grant sync access to groups” screen, there is also a tick box at the bottom of the screen “Disable inherited permissions and grant users exclusive access to their files”. When this option is ticked, only that user will be able to access the files in that Work Folder. If this option is ticked, this means the administrator will also not be able to access the files using Work Folders.
13. The screen “Specify devices policies” allows encryption and screen locking to be configured. If the option “Encrypt Work Folders” is ticked, EFS will be used on the device. It is recommended that if you use EFS you should consider setting up a recovery agent to recover the files if required. The second option “Automatically lock screen, and require a password” will use the screen saver functionality on the device to lock the device if the user has not used the device for a little while. If you use either of these options, you need to ensure that the device that you are using Work Folders on supports the options that you have selected.
14. Once all the options have been selected, on the last screen it is just a matter to press create to create the Work Folder and then close the wizard.

Demonstration Client
The setup is a simple set up that does not use certificates and thus should only be used in a test environment. In a production environment, for additional security, certificates should be setup and used.

1. By default Work Folder will require certificates. This requirement can be disabled by using RegEdit to add a DWORD (32-bit value) to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WorkFolders\AllowUnsecureConnection and set it to 1. If the container WorkFolders does not exist, you will need to create it.
2. To configure Work Folders, open the control panel and then search for Work. This will display the control panel applet for Work Folder which you will need to select the option “Manage Work Folders”.
3. Open Work Folders, select the option “Set up Work Folders”.
4. Work folders can work off an e-mail address or URL. The e-mail address option requires more configuration so for this example the URL was used. The URL that needs to be used is the URL of the server which, in this example, is http://nydc1.itfreetraining.local
5. The next screen will ask where the Work Folders files will be stored. By default the files will be stored in the user’s profile.
6. The next screen will ask the user to accept the security policies. These are the two settings that were configured on the server for encrypting files and locking the screen. It is just a matter of ticking the option “I accept these polices on my PC” and completing the wizard.
7. The setup for Work Folders in now complete. If the user adds files to the Work Folder these will automatically by synced with the server. If the user opens Work Folders in the control panel they can see when a sync was last performed. They can manually start a sync by selecting the option on the left hand side “Sync Now”.

References
“Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 Exam Ref 70-410” pg 89
“Deploying and Managing Work Folders” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxwuH9iMRIc
“Step-By-Step: Creating a Work Folders Test Lab Deployment in Windows Server 2012 R2” http://blogs.technet.com/b/canitpro/archive/2013/11/13/step-by-step-creating-a-work-folders-test-lab-deployment-in-windows-server-2012-r2.aspx

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