Why do network servers sometimes show up as a Recycle Bin Location?

A customer wanted to know why some of their users showed network servers among the locations shown in the Recycle Bin property sheet.

Answer: Because those users are using Folder Redirection.

In particular, if you redirect the My Documents folder, then a network Recycle Bin location is created to hold the files deleted from My Documents.

The Recycle Bin folder in the user interface shows the union of all the recycled files in the individual Recycle Bin locations.

Comments (6)
  1. Henri Hein says:

    Since we are on the subject of the Recycle Bin, I had a strange issue where SHFileOperation aborted because of an error it encountered traversing the Recycle Bin on a removable drive (a USB flash memory drive).  I know IFileOperation superseded SHFileOperation, but I need to support XP, and mostly asking because I'm intellectually curious why SHFileOperation would have an issue with the Recycle Bin, since they are both owned by the Shell.

  2. Derlin says:

    Since Folder Redirection is frequently coupled with Offline Files (it may be required, though I'm not sure), the local copy would already exist as part of the offline file synchronization.  

  3. @Maurits: it's on the network.  Has to be, really, or the content of the Recycle Bin for your Documents folder would change depending on which computer you were using; it would also empty itself unexpectedly if the machine is configured to not keep local profiles, and so on.  I don't see that the security issue is significantly different than the case of "deleting" a local file.

    @Derlin: you can do folder redirection even if offline files are disabled.  However, the offline files functionality does behave differently for redirected folders, which may result in it turning itself on unexpectedly.  (I forget the exact details; I think it ignores the setting on the share, so to turn it off you have to disable it in group policy.)

  4. Dan Bugglin says:

    @Maurits It has to be on the network.  When files are moved to the Recycle Bin they do not cross volume boundaries (so the operation is as fast as a delete).  Every drive on your system has an invisible folder used to store recycled files from that drive.

  5. > a network Recycle Bin location is created to hold the files deleted from My Documents

    Is this location on the network, or is it local?

    If it's on the network, that means when you delete a file from the network, it's not *really* deleted, which could be a security issue if the user expected it to be deleted.

    If it's local, then deleting a file from the network involves copying it locally, which creates interesting performance conundra.

  6. xpclient says:

    Vista beta 2 had a network Recycle Bin feature without using folder redirection but it was removed in RC1: http://www.techrepublic.com/…/investigating-windows-vistas-recycle-bin-properties

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