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Installing Windows 2000

How do I set up Roaming Profiles by Seaspray0
Posted: 9 Dec 05

Roaming profiles are designed to allow users to log onto different computers but keep the same desktop on every computer they use.  Basically, everything that is in the user profile like "my documents", desktop icons, IE settings and shortcuts... all this is preserved in the roaming profile.

To create a roaming profile for your users you must perform 2 tasks:  1.  generate a share to store the profiles and 2. change the user properties in active directory to point to that share.

1.  Generate the share.  Create a share on one of your servers (can be a member server).  I would recommend using a seperate drive for this as it can get large.  For this example I've installed a new NTFS drive d on server1, created a folder called user profiles, and shared it out under the share name user$ (note the $ will make this a hidden share).  I'm also implimenting quotas on this drive before anyone writes anything to it to make sure everyone falls under the quota restrictions (currently set to the size of the drive because I'm being generous in this example).  I edit the share permissions and remove the everyone group and replace it with the domain users group with full permissions (not required but a good idea).  I edit the NTFS permissions on the folder.  Using the advanced button, I change the permissions for everyone to "List folder/read data" and "create folders/append data" only.  That's it, this share is now ready for user profiles.

2.  In active directory, for each user on their profile tab, I set the profile path to \\server1\user$\%username% and save.  BTW, you can use a script to do everyone at once if you wish; %username% will be replaced with each user's name by windows.  Done.

The next time the user logs on, a folder will be created automatically in the share and the profile the user is currently using will be cached to this location when they log off.  Each user will have exclusive NTFS permissions to this folder in the share - other users will not be able to browse it.

Are there dissadvantages?  Yes... network bandwidth.  when a user logs on, it synch's the profile to the PC and when the user logs off, it resynch's the profile back to the server.  To cut down on the size of the transfer, encourage users to save files to a network share rather than the "my documents" folder and set IE to minimize the size of the temporary files and history.  Also, you do not need to set up roaming profiles for every user; only those users who log onto different computers.

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