Monday, May 9, 2011

Creating a “Home Folder” in Active Directory at the root of a Windows file server throws the error: “The home folder could not be created because: The network name cannot be found.”

It’s been awhile since I’ve had to do a greenfield deployment of Active Directory as most of the projects I’ve done in the past few years involve established networks so simple setup principals I used to remember back when I originally studied for my MCSE are faint in memory.  With this in mind, I was recently asked to create a few new users for a client and as I went into the Profile tab to enter in a home folder share, I was quickly presented with the following error message when I clicked the OK button:

The home folder could not be created because: The network name cannot be found.


Having not done this for awhile, I started reviewing the profile path setting as shown here:



Note: Excuse the actual adminterence$ name I used in the example above because what I actually used was %username% but because I forgot to do a screenshot, I used the one I had.

Don’t ask me why but this standard was in there before I got here so I was just simply copying the settings.  What I noticed was that I could actually manually create the share folder first, assign the proper permissions then configure it in the screen above and I would be able to proceed.

After thinking it through for a bit, I had a hunch that perhaps specifying a folder that’s in the root of the server may be my problem so for my next attempt, I specified the following path:



Once I put in a top level folder, the configuration would proceed without any error messages.  I haven’t had a chance to test whether it was because:

1. It was a top level folder

2. It had a $ sign at the end so that it would be hidden

… so it could be either or.  I don’t recall ever creating shares at the top level in the past which would explain why I’ve never come across this problem.  Hope this serves to provide a quick answer for anyone who might experience the same problem.  I typically create a folder named users or userprofiles and share that folder out.