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Different Roving User profiles

Posted on 1998-03-23
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Hi all,

I have Desktops en Laptops in my network. They all can connect to my NT server (domain). I have User profiles enables so the profile is saved on the local computer (c:\windows\profiles\user) and on the server in their home directory. So far so good.
User can switch between a desktop and a laptop computer. As a result their profile settings get mixed up. DUN settings on the laptop doesn't exist on the desktop so things bound to get wrong.
What I would like to do is keep a different profile directory for Desktop and Laptop users.
e.g.
c:\windows\profiles\laptop\user1
c:\windows\profiles\laptop\user2
c:\windows\profiles\desktop\user1 etc.
and the same structure on the server in their home directory.
(Users use the same account name on Desktop and Laptop.)
I realize that users doens't have roving profiles when roving between desktop and laptop, but that's no problem.
I have a Microsoft doc which discribes how to put the profile in an other directory then the (default) home directory, but is doesn't seem to work. (Resource kit W95: Maintaining Roving Profiles on Other Networks).
Dows this make any sense? If so, please give me some input...
Thanks in advance,

Peter
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Question by:PJansen
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1552485
Hi Peter. The Cobb Group has posted a ton of articles this past fall on just this issue. Here's one that might help you. You might want to visit their site to see even more.
Dennis
==================
If you’re responsible for end-user support at your company, you know how much time you can spend reconfiguring users’ desktops every time they change PCs. However, you can use a technique called roving profiles to make your users’ desktops follow them from PC to PC. This technique will make your users’ lives easier, because they’ll no longer have to wait for you to add icons to their desktops when they change PCs. It will also make your life easier, because you’ll receive fewer phone calls. In this article, we’ll show you how to create roving profiles. As we do, we’ll provide you with a couple of tips for making these profiles function effectively.
Getting started
The real secret to creating roving profiles is that you must use either a Windows NT Server or a Novell NetWare server to validate your users’ logins. You must then create a special directory, which we’ll refer to as a home directory, for each user. How you create this directory depends on which server you’re using. Because of this, we’ll provide separate instructions for creating roving profiles in a Windows NT and a NetWare environment. Simply read the section that corresponds to your network operating system, then skip to the “Adding the Profile” section on page 13. Keep in mind that any procedure we tell you to perform on a Windows 95 workstation must be performed on all Windows 95 workstations.
Creating a home directory in Windows NT
You may have already assigned a home directory to each of your users, so they’d have a place to store their data. If this is the case, you should still read through this section to confirm that your home directories are set up in a way that will allow them to store user profiles.
Begin by creating a directory called Users on your hard drive partition with the most free space. Next, create a subdirectory for each user. Although you can call these subdirectories anything you want, you should typically name them to match each user’s login name.
Now, you must configure Windows NT Server to recognize these subdirecto-ries as home directories rather than just normal subdirectories. To do so, you’ll have to grant everyone rights to the directories. If you plan to use these directories as a place where users can store data, you should make each directory a share and assign each user rights to their own individual subdirectory. However, if you intend to use these directories only to store profiles, you can just give everyone rights to the Users directory. Remember that a user must have full access to the home directory, because Windows 95 will make updates to the profile each time the user logs off.
After you’ve granted the appropriate rights to the directories, open User Manager for Domains and double-click on a user who you’re creating a roving profile for. When the User Properties sheet appears, click the Profile button to open the User Environment Profile dialog box. Most of the items in this dialog box relate to a Windows NT Server profile, which is incompatible with a Windows 95 profile. However, you do need to use the Connect To option. First, select the Connect option and choose an unused drive letter from the dropdown list. (To simplify administration, we recommend using the same drive letter for all users.) Next, enter the path to the user’s home directory in the To text box, as shown in Figure A. Click OK twice to return to the main screen. Repeat this process for each user who you’re creating a roving profile for.
Figure A   Enter in the To text box the path to the user's directory.
Now, go to a Windows 95 workstation and double-click the Network icon in Control Panel. When you see the Network dialog box, make sure that the Primary Network Logon option is set to Client for Microsoft Networks, as shown in Figure B.
Figure B   Set the Primary Network Logon option to Client for Microsoft Networks.
Then, double-click Client for Microsoft Networks in The Following Network Component Are Installed list box. When you do, you’ll see the Client for Microsoft Networks Properties sheet. Make sure the Log On to Windows NT Domain check box is selected and provide the domain name in the Windows NT Domain text box, as shown in Figure C. Click OK twice, and restart your computer. You can now skip to the “Adding the Profile” section.
Figure C   Make sure the workstations are logging on to a Windows NT domain.
Creating a home directory in NetWare
Setting up roving profiles in NetWare is much easier than in Windows NT Server, because NetWare automatically creates a directory you can use to store the profile. To see this directory, open the SYSCON utility and select User Information from the Available Topics list box. Next, select the login name of the user who you’re creating a roving profile for and press [Enter]. Now, select Other Information from the User Information panel and press [Enter]. Windows 95 will then display the information shown in Figure D.
Figure D   The User ID tells the name of the Mail directory.
As you can see, there’s an 8-digit hexadecimal number listed as the User ID. Each user has a unique ID number. Net-Ware uses these ID numbers to create a subdirectory for each user in the Mail directory. If you look in your Mail subdi-rectory, you’ll see directories that correspond to each USER ID. Windows 95 stores profile information in these subdi-rectories. For example, in Figure D, the user ID is 27000069. As you can see in Figure E, NetWare creates a subdirectory in Mail called 27000069, in which Windows 95 stores profile information.
Figure E    NetWare stores a user’s profile in a subdirectory that corresponds to that user’s ID number.
Adding the profile
Now that you’ve configured your home directory, it’s time to establish the actual profile. To do so, go to a Windows 95 workstation and double-click the Passwords icon in Control Panel. When you see the Passwords Properties sheet, select the User Profiles tab, click the second option button and both check boxes, as shown in Figure F , and click OK. Now, restart the computer.
Figure F    Make the selections we’ve made here.
Testing the profile
To test a roving profile, have a user log in and log out. In response, Windows 95 should place a User.dat file, along with several directories, in the person’s home directory, as shown in Figure G . You should now be able to log in to another Windows 95 workstation as that user and see his or her desktop (assuming you’ve configured that workstation to accept roving profiles).
Figure G    Windows 95 automatically places profile information in the user’s directory.
What can go wrong
When you sometimes log on to a different PC, your desktop may look slightly different. For example, your icons may be in a different location. This happens because the PC you’re logging on to is set at a different screen resolution than the one you normally use.
You may also notice that icons look different or that your wallpaper is missing. These problems occur because your profile looked on the computer’s hard disk for the icon files or the wallpaper. To avoid this, we recommend keeping all your applications on the network rather than on your local hard disk. If a shortcut is programmed to look on the network for a program, the icon will usually remain the same, and the program will still run regardless of where you log in (assuming the PC meets the program’s minimum hardware requirements).
Conclusion
In this article, we’ve demonstrated how to create roving profiles in a Windows NT Server and a NetWare environment. We also explained some common pitfalls and how to avoid them.
The article entitled “Reducing Your Workload with Roving Profiles” was originally published in Windows 95 Professional, November 1997. Copyright © 1997, The Cobb Group, 9420 Bunson Parkway, Louisville, KY 40220. All rights reserved. For subscription information, call the Cobb Group at 1-800-223-8720.

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by:PJansen
ID: 1552486
Thanks for your answer dew_associates, but this is not what I am looking for. I am familiar with the way to setup user profiles. Maybe I wasn't very clear about this, but due to the different computers, I want to use different user profiles for the same user.
Like the example I gave: a profile directory when I am using the laptop, and another profile for my desktop.
Because NT always writes the profile in the user dir, I have problems realising this.
The Resource Kit article I mentioned should address this problem, but does not seem te work.Does this help?
Peter
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1552487
Peter, your going to have to assign separate logons and passwords for the different profiles, eg: laptop  123456 desktop 654321 etc. If your not getting this far, then there are other problems occurring.
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by:shawnd
ID: 1552488
How many users are you we talking about???
I think the simplest way if there aren't that many users, is to create to accounts for each user eg. Johndesk=desktop profile and Johnlap=Laptop profile. But something with a little more finesse probably does exist. If it's mainly the hardware profiles you are concerned with than maybe creating two seperate group policies are whats needed. Is there a way to have the server query the computer name and send back the appropriate hardware configuration policy perhaps? I'm sure there is a simple solution...i'll keep looking....
good luck
Shawn

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by:gfreeman081597
ID: 1552489
Gotta love how people cut and past entire manuals to answer someones question.  Only problem is, where are all the figures A through G that this article refers to?

Wouldn't it be nice if someone read them and made reference to quote and figures.  Or perhaps they didn't understand it either.

Obviously, it didn't answer the question.
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1552490
gfreemen, given the fact that you obviously don't know what's going on and you have nothing better to do with your time than post a negative comment, post it elsewhere. Some of us dedicate out time to legimately helping others. If you perceive your telents as being that great, post an answer!
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1552491
PJansen, sorry about that answer post, it was not intended as an answer!
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by:PJansen
ID: 1552492
I dont really want to use seperate logon names for seperate computers. Maybe it's the only solutions, but at this point I don't think so.
In my original question I reffered to a Resource kit article which could be the base for the answer to my question. In that article is is explained how to store you profile in an other directory than your home directory. With such a setup I can store the profiles of a laptop user in a seperate directory and I would be happy. But the strange thing is, it doesn't work. When I follow the exact instructions my profile is still stored in my homedirectory.
I think I need help in that direction. I'll post the article below (it is to be found on the technet, W95 Resource kit, Maintaining Roving Profiles on Other Networks:

Windows 95 has limited support for user profiles if the network does not have support for a 32-bit, protected-mode client or centralized network logon. This includes networks that provide only 16-bit network clients and peer networks such as Windows for Workgroups or Windows 95 without a Windows NT domain.
To enable roving user profiles on such a network, you must first establish a network directory that can be accessed by all users. For security reasons, you should ensure that this directory has read-only permissions so that users cannot modify it. You must create a text file in that directory that lists the home directories for all users who can use roving user profiles. For example, such a file might be named PROFILES.INI on \\BIGSEVER\PROFILES, and have the following contents:
 
[Profiles]
Mary=\\bigserver\homedirs\mary
John=\\bigserver\homedirs\john
Pat=\\bigserver\homedirs\pat
 
After you have created this file, you must configure each computer running Windows 95 to use it. First, disable roving profiles. For more information about disabling roving profiles, see “Enabling User Profiles” earlier in this chapter. Then do the following:
To configure a computer for roving user profiles on other networks
 1.      In Registry Editor, select the Hkey_Local_Machine\Network\Logon subkey.
 2.      On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click String Value.
 3.      Type SharedProfileList, and then press ENTER. Then press ENTER again.
 4.      In the Edit String dialog box, type the UNC path and filename for the home directory list (for example, \\BIGSERVER\PROFILES\PROFILES.INI). Click OK.
 
Thereafter, when a user logs on at this computer, Windows 95 will look in the specified text file to determine the user’s home directory. The user’s profile will be loaded from that home directory as it is from other networks. If the user is not listed in the text file, the user profile will be local only.
----

Thanks in advance,

Peter


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by:dew_associates
ID: 1552493
Peter, I believe the following applies to you. As I undertsand it now, you have essentially two profiles setup for your various workstations, regardless of whether they are a laptop or actual desktop. From what you have posted, one is

c:\windows\profiles\laptop\user1

and the other on the server being:

Mary=\\bigserver\homedirs\mary

If you are using user profiles and roving profiles, a user's local copy of the profile may overwrite the server copy. The local copy may be out of date or incorrect. The user is not prompted when this occurs. This behavior can occur in the following situation:
 
A user logs on at a workstation that does not contain a local copy of his or her profile, or that contains an outdated local copy of the profile.
 
The server copy of the profile is not successfully downloaded when the user logs on (for example, because of network problems).

The user logs off and then logs back on at the same workstation, but this time the server copy of the profile can be accessed.
 
When this situation occurs, the outdated or incorrect local copy of the profile overwrites the server copy. The server copy can also be over-written when the user logs off if the server becomes available at that time.
 
Windows compares the date and time stamps of the local and server copies of the profile when a user logs on. The newer copy of the profile overwrites the older copy. In the situation described above, the local copy has changed more recently than the server copy. When the profiles are reconciled, the newer local copy, although incorrect, overwrites the older server copy.

Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Microsoft Windows 95 and OEM Service Release 2 (OSR2). An update to address this problem is now available, but is not fully regression tested and should be applied only to computers experiencing this specific problem. Unless you are severely impacted by this specific problem, Microsoft does not recommend
implementing this update at this time. Contact Microsoft Technical Support for additional information about the availability of this update. This update checks for the sequence of events described above, and prompts the user before overwriting the server copy of the profile with the local
copy. This behavior can also occur when you are using mandatory profiles. You may be able to work around this behavior by setting the security permissions on the User.man file in the user's home folder to read access only. This behavior can also be resolved using the update described in this article. However, the user is not prompted if the local profile is not
synchronize with the mandatory server profile. The server profile is always used.

When the laptop or desktop logs on, do they look to the server logon information or are they looking to the profile on the local drive or the server? I would start their first. Make sure that the profile on the local drive is identical to the server profile and have the workstation logon using the server profile.
Dennis
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by:PJansen
ID: 1552494
Dennis,
thank you for your answer, but it's not what my problem is. I hope my poor english language isn't making this more complex than it already is.
The situation you describe is about profiles being overwritten by server copies, as in a behaviour NOT by design of Windows.
The situation I am describing IS behaviour by design.
Maybe I made it more complex by telling the whole story of what I am planning to do and bringing the laptops in this.
The bottomline is probably whats written in my last comment of 12:34AM. Forget the laptops, just read  the resourcekit article, what enables to have you profile stored on a different location than your homedir. This way I can store profiles of different types of computerusers in different locations.
I you have any comments or additional questions I am happy to answer...
Peter
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1552495
Peter, I have re-read your original post as well as your 3/26 12:34a post above, and I think part of the confusion your having is that your trying to use roving profiles on an NT network that has a 32bit protected mode client installed. If you re-read the article that you referred to above, it is intended for networks that provide only 16-bit network clients and peer networks such as Windows for Workgroups or Windows 95 without a Windows NT domain. Here's a suggestion, just for the purposes of clarity. We know you have several workstations and it doesn't matter whether they are desktops or laptops. You also have an NT Server setup. Given this information, explain exactly what you would like to do with this arrangement to make it function the way you would like.

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by:PJansen
ID: 1552496
Oke Dennis, I agree that the article refers to a 16 bit client, but I heard via-via from a M$ person that you can store profiles on for example a Unix box with Lanmanager. I believe it is done the same way as described in the article, although a 32bit tcpip client in used.

But the requested explaination:
When you setup User Profiles is functions as followes:
A user profile is created (User.dat & Start menu settings) This menu is stored locally (c:\windows\profiles\username) and at logoff it is stored in you Homedirectory (let's say X:\username). When a user logs on, the userprofile is downloaded from the server to his computer (A) and when he logs off, the profile is written to it's home directory. Agree so far?

Suppose I need to have Userspecific settings (user.dat) for a particular user. As an example (in reality more complex settings) let's say his default MS Office document dir is X:\data. So this setting is stored in the user.dat on the locale profile dir and on the homdir of the user.

There are computers (B) on the network with such a configuration that the MS Office data dir should be on D:\data. The following will happen:

User logs on on computer A and his settings are ok. When he logsoff from A and logs on on computer B the X:\Data setting is incorrect because the userprofile is downloaded from the server and overwriting the local user profile of that user.

When the user change the MS Office setting to D:\data, the problem is fixed untill he is using computer A again, because due to the roving profiles he gets the new (D:\data) setting from the server.

You could say, hey that's the result of using roving user! So switch it off...
No because it is very useful as long as a user stays on the same type of computer. Roving user works very well when a user travelles across computers like type A (90%). It works also very well when a user only travells across computers og type B (10%). The problem only occures when travelling from A to B. Okay so far?

A possible solutions to this is described in the resource kit arcticle. Save user profiles of computer type A in a different directory as profiles of type B. With this, users CAN change between the two types of computers.

I hope it is a little bit clearer now. I tried to keep it short, but I guess I failed...
Peter


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by:gfreeman081597
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Dew_Associates: Touche.

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by:gfreeman081597
ID: 1552498
Oh perhaps my last comment should have been an answer like Dew's comments to me were.
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by:PJansen
ID: 1552499
To gfreeman:
Please don't spam my mailbox unless you have something constructive to add.
If you have a problem with this site or the subjects on it: please don't visit it...
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1552500
A user profile is created (User.dat & Start menu settings) This menu is stored locally (c:\windows\profiles\username) and at logoff it is stored in you Homedirectory (let's say X:\username). When a user logs on, the userprofile is downloaded from the server to his computer (A) and when he logs off, the profile is written to it's home directory. Agree so far? NO

This profile is setup on the HOME directory on the Server, not the local machine!

Suppose I need to have Userspecific settings (user.dat) for a particular user. As an example (in reality more complex settings) let's say his default MS Office document dir is X:\data. So this setting is stored in the user.dat on the locale profile dir and on the homdir of the user.

..........If this is included in the logon script in the Home directory on the SERVER he will always have access to it.

The profile on the actual workstation should be a default profile only, this will enable the user to work on the workstation in the event server access is not available. He moves to the default profile ONLY if server access is denied!
Dennis
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by:PJansen
ID: 1552501
Dennis,

You wrote:
"Agree so far? NO This profile is setup on the HOME directory on the Server, not the local machine! "

I have to disagree with you. Maybe we have some confusion about User profiles. To enable user profiles I use Control Panel - Password - User Profiles Tab, check Enable profiles AND check include desktop icons AND check start menu settings.
When I logon to the domain from a computer for the first time, Windows asks me if I want to save my settings for future use (the exact message is unavailable, I am at home righ now). After answering with yes (otherwise het asks again on next logon) Windows makes a profile dir in c:\windows\profiles\<username>. In it is a user.dat (based on the default user of W95) and my desktop / start menu settings. In the homedir on my server I have only a Start Menu dir at that time. The rest of my profile is written there on logoff ! (really).

"The profile on the actual workstation should be a default profile only"
How? Although it's not what I want, I can't get Windows to do that. I am confused by your comment. Do I do something fundemently different than you or do we have serious collisions in our conversation :-)

Peter

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by:tcalesa
ID: 1552502
Just taking a shot here. In windows NT regestry I found this setting.

Hkey_Local_machine\software\microsoft\windowsnt\current version\
  profile list\<user SID> the value CentralProfile was set to
  <\\servername\profiles\..>

Assuming 95 has a similar key you may be able to leave that value blank and use the ProfileImagePath (my value set like <%systemroot%\path>)

I have no 95 pc to test, but it's woth a try.

I can see I'm not being very clear but I'd try manually clearing the centralprofile value on the laptop and setting the profileimage path value to appropriate value for laptop config.

then I'd set the centralprofile value on the desktop to the servers profile path and set the profileimagepath to appropriate value for desktop config.

I wish i could test and confirm prior to this post so your time wouldn't be wasted.

good luck
tim
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1552503
Okay Peter, let's do it your way. Let's start with the concept first and then you'll see why your roving profiles are not working right now. Roving profiles enable the user to logon from anywhere on the LAN from any workstation, I don't care what type it is, laptop of full blown workstation. The users dat file is called from the server which provides him/her with desktop settings familiar to him/her no matter where he or she has logged on from. Let's say you have 3 computers, a laptop, a workstation and the NT server. If you set up the profile on the laptop, then log off and log back in on the workstation, that workstation will need to have a copy of the users profile on it, which defeats the purpose of roving profiles. On the other hand, if the profile is on the server, and it enables all of the directories he needs including X:\Data and he had the NT server permissions necessary to span the LAN, he can sit at any machine he needs and that particular machine does not need his personal logon as it resides on the server.
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by:PJansen
ID: 1552504
Tim,
In W95 there is a Profile list item, but no CentralProfile value. In it are the usernames of persons who logged in before with a path to their local profile directory. When deleting the user from the list, W95 message comes: "You have not logged on at this computer before, Would you like this computer to retain your individual settings for use when you log on there in the futrure? Yes/No". When pressing Yes all is the same as before.

Dennis,
(Above the message I mentioned before).

"Okay Peter, let's do it your way."
Well, it's not my way, it's the way Windows is designed.

"If you set up the profile on the laptop, then log off and log back in on the workstation, that workstation will need to have a copy of the users profile on it, which defeats the purpose of roving profiles."
I agree that copying the profile to the computer is not neccessary, just using the one on the server is enough, but it's the way Windows works...

I don't know if you tested it, but my Windows is definitely behaving the way I described it. But Dennis, if we stick to the idea that I want to store my profiles in different directories on the server, do you have any comments on how this could be done.
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1552505
Begin by creating a directory called Users on your hard drive partition with the most free space. Next, create a subdirectory for each user. Although you can call these subdirectories anything you want, you should typically name them to match each user’s login name.
Now, you must configure Windows NT Server to recognize these subdirecto-ries as home directories rather than just normal subdirectories. To do so, you’ll have to grant everyone rights to the directories. If you plan to use these directories as a place where users can store data, you should make each directory a share and assign each user rights to their own individual subdirectory. However, if you intend to use these directories only to store profiles, you can just give everyone rights to the Users directory. Remember that a user must have full access to the home directory, because Windows 95 will make updates to the profile each time the user logs off.
After you’ve granted the appropriate rights to the directories, open User Manager for Domains and double-click on a user who you’re creating a roving profile for. When the User Properties sheet appears, click the Profile button to open the User Environment Profile dialog box. Most of the items in this dialog box relate to a Windows NT Server profile, which is incompatible with a Windows 95 profile. However, you do need to use the Connect To option. First, select the Connect option and choose an unused drive letter from the dropdown list. (To simplify administration, use the same drive letter for all users.) Next, enter the path to the user’s home directory in the To text box. Click OK twice to return to the main screen. Repeat this process for each user who you’re creating a roving profile for.

Now, go to a Windows 95 workstation and double-click the Network icon in Control Panel. When you see the Network dialog box, make sure that the Primary Network Logon option is set to Client for Microsoft Networks.

Then, double-click Client for Microsoft Networks in The Following Network Component Are Installed list box. When you do, you’ll see the Client for Microsoft Networks Properties sheet. Make sure the Log On to Windows NT Domain check box is selected and provide the domain name in the Windows NT Domain text box. Click OK twice, and restart your computer. You can now skip to the “Adding the Profile” section.

Now that you’ve configured your home directory, it’s time to establish the actual profile. To do so, go to a Windows 95 workstation and double-click the Passwords icon in Control Panel. When you see the Passwords Properties sheet, select the User Profiles tab, click the second option button and both check boxes, and click OK. Now, restart the computer.

Test the roving profile, have a user log in and log out. In response, Windows 95 should place a User.dat file, along with several directories, in the person’s home directory. You should now be able to log in to another Windows 95 workstation as that user and see his or her desktop (assuming you’ve configured that workstation to accept roving profiles).

When you sometimes log on to a different PC, your desktop may look slightly different. For example, your icons may be in a different location. This happens because the PC you’re logging on to is set at a different screen resolution than the one you normally use.

You may also notice that icons look different or that your wallpaper is missing. These problems occur because your profile looked on the computer’s hard disk for the icon files or the wallpaper. To avoid this, keep all your applications on the network rather than on your local hard disk. If a shortcut is programmed to look on the network for a program, the icon will usually remain the same, and the program will still run regardless of where you log in (assuming the PC meets the program’s minimum hardware requirements).


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by:PJansen
ID: 1552506
Dennis,
In your comment you just describe how to use User Profiles the normal way. That is, save the user profile on the homedirectory you define in the user manager for domains. That's not the problem here! I want to store it in different directories. Just take the above story to enable user profiles in the home directory and add the following functionality: I want to store the user profile for a certain user when he is on a certain computer on in a different directory. Thus, when working behind computer A, store the profile in his assigned home dir (\users\username), and when working on computer B store it in a different dir (eg \users\username\profile2). Do you understand the essense of this question?
Peter
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by:akb
ID: 1552507
I have not had time to read the entire post, but maybe Hardware Profiles (under Control Panel / System) will help.  Sorry to waste your time if this is not helpful.
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dew_associates earned 200 total points
ID: 1552508
Peter, I understand perfectly "what you want to do" BUT, there are limitations on what you "are able to do". Here's the facts, and from these you have to make choices. First, you don't want to create differing logons for people, eg: john1 for John on the laptop, John2 for john on workstation #1 or John3 for John on workstation #3, which means that John has only one unique logon, which must be on the server with everyone else and in the same place. Second, to have differing profiles for each user, the logon must be "unique" for each user and differing profile, and I repat, John1, John2 and John3 as above. Unless you do this, which in effect is telling the computer which profile to use, the computer doesn't have a clue which one to use. Third, if you want to foresake roving profiles, you can setup a profile on each workstation and laptop for each user and obtain what you want. Peter, there are choices to be made, but you cannot just substitute hard profiles within roving profiles, it just can't be done that way.
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Author Comment

by:PJansen
ID: 1552509
I found it!
Dennis, normally I would agree with the options you are giving me. Normally I would have accepted them, but with the resource kit article in my head, I could't accept that this couldn't be done. So this weekend I gave it a fresh try and found the solution.
The article from the resource kit gives the method to have you profile on another location than you homedir, as needed on "other networks" or 16 bit clients. This procedure seemed not to work on a normal NT network, although is feeled like the solution to my problem. After digging a little bit more I found an other article with "list of documentation corrections". What was the problem: unbelieveable big number of errors in the RK article.
So here is what the original article looks like:
--- begin original---
Windows 95 has limited support for user profiles if the network does not have support for a 32-bit, protected-mode client or centralized network logon. This includes networks that provide only 16-bit network clients and peer networks such as Windows for Workgroups or Windows 95 without a Windows NT domain.
To enable roving user profiles on such a network, you must first establish a network directory that can be accessed by all users. For security reasons, you should ensure that this directory has read-only permissions so that users cannot modify it. You must create a text file in that directory that lists the home directories for all users who can use roving user profiles. For example, such a file might be named PROFILES.INI on \\BIGSEVER\PROFILES, and have the following contents:
 
[Profiles]
Mary=\\bigserver\homedirs\mary
John=\\bigserver\homedirs\john
Pat=\\bigserver\homedirs\pat
 
After you have created this file, you must configure each computer running Windows 95 to use it. First, disable roving profiles. For more information about disabling roving profiles, see “Enabling User Profiles” earlier in this chapter. Then do the following:
To configure a computer for roving user profiles on other networks
 1.      In Registry Editor, select the Hkey_Local_Machine\Network\Logon subkey.
 2.      On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click String Value.
 3.      Type SharedProfileList, and then press ENTER. Then press ENTER again.
 4.      In the Edit String dialog box, type the UNC path and filename for the home directory list (for example, \\BIGSERVER\PROFILES\PROFILES.INI). Click OK.
 
Thereafter, when a user logs on at this computer, Windows 95 will look in the specified text file to determine the user’s home directory. The user’s profile will be loaded from that home directory as it is from other networks. If the user is not listed in the text file, the user profile will be local only.
--- End original article---

And here are the corrections!

--- begin corrections---
Online Help: Maintaining Roving User Profiles on Other Networks
---------------------------------------------------------------
 
The [Profiles] section states the following:
 
   [Profiles]
   Mary=\\bigserver\homedirs\mary
   John=\\bigserver\homedirs\john
   Pat=\\bigserver\homedirs\pat
 
This section should read:
 
   [Profiles]
   Mary=\\bigserver\homedirs\mary\user.dat
   John=\\bigserver\homedirs\john\user.dat
   Pat=\\bigserver\homedirs\pat\user.dat
 
The Resource Kit does not include these instructions:
 
 - Before following the instructions for setting up a Windows 95 network
   client to maintain roaming user profiles on other networks, you first
   need to ensure that user profiles have been disabled. To do this, click
   Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, double-click Passwords,
   click the User Profiles tab, click "All users of this PC use the same
   preferences and desktop settings," and then click OK.
 
 - You  must also add a DWORD value named "UseHomeDirectory" (without
   quotation marks) to the following registry key:
 
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Network\Logon
 
   Set the data value for UseHomeDirectory to 0x00000000
 
 - You must also add a STRING value named "SharedProfileList" (without
   quotation marks) to the following registry key:
 
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Network\Logon
 
   Set the string value to \\server\share\profiles.ini
 
 - After following the instructions for setting up a Windows 95 network
   client to maintain roaming user profiles on other networks, the last
   step is to enable user profiles. To do this, click Start, point to
   Settings, click Control Panel, double-click Passwords, click the User
   Profiles tab, click "Users can customize their preferences and desktop
   settings," and then click OK.
--- End corrections.

Do you believe the number of corrections! Man!
But following the above steps results in a perfectly working situation.
Every user has only one logon name (and account). When working at a certain type of computer, the above registry changes are effected and his user profile is stored in a different directory. Just the way I like it.

Dennis, thank you very much for taking the time to help me in my weird "i want it to work" problem. I'll grade your answer with a D, so some point will go your way. But most important, thanks for thinking with me...
Peter

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Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1552510
Very nice Peter, but the "D" was unnecessary, I would have preferred you rejected the answer, as the additional detail you provided as new information was in your NT Admin Kit and it is correct.
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