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NT Roaming Profile question.

Posted on 2003-10-27
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I currently have roaming profiles configured for seven users.  The problem is we have this 3rd party application that we are using and withing the application we have to set the computer name of the computer we are on.  We have seven workstations in the domain. In wkst1 I set pc1 as the computer name in this application.   The problem is this is saved in the uses roaming profiles and when we log onto a different computer say wkst 2, pc1 is automatically set into the application,but we want pc2 instead.  If I change it to pc2, then when we log onto wkst1, it is now set to pc2 instead of pc1 as computer name.  Is there anyway to keep roaming profiles, but to omit an application from using roaming profiles.
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Question by:Janice1967
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Expert Comment

by:pfitchie
ID: 9630968
No! That is  the way they work.  

You could try not using roaming profiles at all or even switching to manditory profiles.
Another option would be that if the "Application computer name" is a registry key which it pretty much has to been if you are experiencing this behavior you could use a login script that reads the "Workstation Computer Name" and then Sets the registry key for the "application computer Name" appropriately.  I have used Kixtart for this kind of thing in the past.  There are many more advanced tools to do it with I'm sure.  If your a programmer you could even do this from VB or C and have it run from a login script.

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Expert Comment

by:Roly_Dee
ID: 9650129
The first thing you should try is this: substitute the actual name of the workstation with "%computername%" without the quotes. This DOS variable will contains the actual name of the PC as its value. If your application only resolves the name at runtime, then you should be OK.

Otherwise you will have to find out how the application stores the Computer Name, maybe in an .ini file, or the registry etc.
If this value is stored in a file within the User Profile, then you can tell Windows to exclude certain directories when it saves the profile back. As long as this file is in a convenient place this would acheive your goal. The registry value is ExcludeProfileDirs stored in the HKLU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon key.
Here's a reference from MS: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;188692

If it stores the value in the registry under HKLU, then let me know.
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Author Comment

by:Janice1967
ID: 9651239
There are actually two settings within this application that I do not want to be set to roaming.  the computer name (pc7) and a number (07).  pc2 would have number 02.  I tried the %computername% without qotes, but that did not work.  I tried to find where the computer stores the computername and this number in the application.  I looked in the roaming profiles folder for the user located on the server, but could find no files referencing this application.  Should I be looking in the profiles folder on the server?  I noticed on the local workstation there is a setting for this computer name (pc7)  and the number (07) in the registry, but this is not roaming is it?  This is the only location I could find these values.  The Excludeprofiledirs will not work since I cannot find any references to the application in the root profile folders.  What do I do if the value is stored in the registry?

Thanks
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Accepted Solution

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Roly_Dee earned 80 total points
ID: 9651979
If the value is in the registry, then it gets tricky. The part of the registry called HKey_Current_User (HKCU) is actually stored in a separate file (aka hive) called user.dat which DOES get copied around as part of the roaming profile. This allows per-user settings in the registry to roam with the user.
The values you refer to must be stored within here, otherwise they would not follow your users around.

These settings should instead be stored under HKey_Local_Machine (HKLM) so that they are associated with the machine not the user. This is really an issue for the application's programmer.

If this can't get fixed via the programmers, then you could try one of these options:
1 - Export the key in question (from each machine), and save it as a .reg file on the All Users desktop. Users can then double-click this to import the correct the settings each time they run the app.
A bit clunky.
2 - Using the same exported .reg file, you could write a simple batch file that imports the .reg file and then runs the app e.g. "regedit /s blah.reg" then "app.exe".
Does the job.
3 - Replace the registry values with newly-created ones of type REG_EXPAND_SZ with the same name. Set the value using DOS variables as per earlier post. (You would need to define a new variable e.g. APP_NUM and set this to 07 first on the machine. This is a one-time job per machine.) This option depends on the app, but I have seen it work.
Pretty slick.

Let me know how you get on
Good luck!
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Author Comment

by:Janice1967
ID: 9672461
I talked with the programmers of the application and they are going to lookinto this and get back with me.
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