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Copy W2k user profiles automatically

Posted on 2004-08-25
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Hi
I am looking for a way to copy W2K profiles which are stored locally(not roaming profiles) from client machines within a domain onto a server to be then tranferred back onto a new or reghosted machine.
I have a batch file that works for 95 and would like something similar(automated).

The client should basically see no difference i.e. Outlook settings, I.E. settings, Desktop icons etc.
I know how to do it manually but I am looking for something a bit more efficient. It can get a bit messy manually with things like the email address cache, shortcuts becoming corrupt, the ntuser.dat stopping the copying process...

It would also be handy to be able to back up these settings occasionally as people are inclined to mess things up and then try to somehow blame the I.T. department for their own stupidity.
Any help would be much appreciated.
Darragh
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Question by:darraghk
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Expert Comment

by:jdeclue
ID: 11892315
I would suggest setting up Roaming Profiles for your Windows 2000 Users, this will put there profiles on the server, and when they log into a new or other machine, it will use the profile from the Network. Basically it gives them a Network Profile rather than a local profile. Afterwards (if you don't want Roaming profiles), then you can remove the roaming profiles so they will use the locally cached profile, once all of the users have logged into the domain and recieved the profiles.


How to Create Roaming Profiles in W2000
http://www.heise.de/security/artikel/50051
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by:exx1976
ID: 11908586
Indeed, I would use roaming profiles.  If, however, this is not something you want to do, then I would suggest using a logoff script to copy out the complete contents of the c:\documents and settings\%username% directory to a directory on the server.
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Author Comment

by:darraghk
ID: 11910883
I don't want to go the way of setting up roaming profiles my clients are distributed quite a varied distance away with different means of access isdn, dial-up, leased lines, wireless and then two hundred or so on site.  People also tend to built up extremely large MyDocuments despite our best efforts to keep data on file servers.
Are you aware of on any product on the market that will take the user settings???
There seems to be plenty of migration tehniques from one Os to the next (user state migration tools) why not from 2K to 2K.
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by:jdeclue
ID: 11911679
Windows XP has a migrate settings function built in. It allows you to copy the settings to a network location and then copy them back to a new machine. There are two seperate tools. File and Settings Transfer and User State Migration Tool.

Here is a KB from microsoft on the USMT. In addition this KB has the links to all info about both tools.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;321197


J
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Expert Comment

by:jdeclue
ID: 11911685
Doh... I got screwed up.... your clients are w2k... sorry

J
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by:jdeclue
ID: 11911694
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by:jdeclue
ID: 11911716
Here is a better link to the download http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/reskit/tools/new/usmt-o.asp with more information. Have you tried this, I am pretty sure it works 2K to 2K.
J
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Author Comment

by:darraghk
ID: 11913659
I tried the usmt already

my earlier post
"There seems to be plenty of migration tehniques from one Os to the next (user state migration tools) why not from 2K to 2K."

This is what the log returns "Scanstate can only be run on Windows NT 4, Windows 95, and Windows 98."

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by:exx1976
ID: 11913702
Well, c:\documents and settings\%username% is where all of their settings and such are stored.  You could use a GPO to erdirect the My Documents folder to a file server share, or some other directory outside of their profile.  And if the roaming profile is not available, they will still be able to login, they will just receive whatever the last locally cached copy of their profile was (if they use the same machine the majority of the time, this won't be a problem).

With such varied methods of access and small pipes, why not look at Terminal Services or Citrix??  Terminal Services uses only 48K of bandwidth per session, and Citrix uses even less, coming in at 16K!
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Expert Comment

by:jdeclue
ID: 11913796
Given the My documents problem, you can set the romaing profiles up to only move the data you want. A GPO can restrict my documents, desktop etc, from being included in the Roamin Profile. If you would like specific details on that I will post them for you.

J
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Author Comment

by:darraghk
ID: 11914139
I am able to setup roaming profiles.  I guess what I am looking for is some type of script which will gather all these settings copy them to a server to be copied seamlessly back to a newly created profile.  I know where all the settings are stored I was just hoping someone might have an already created batch file or something.

thanks for your help
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by:jdeclue
ID: 11914313
The problem with a batch is... it runs under the users account that logs in. When the user logs in they open their profile before the login scripts runs... when they open it, some of the files become exclusively locked. Becuase of the file locking you cannot use any process to copy the profile. The only way to copy a profile is to do it as a local administrator, against a profile that is not in use (the administrator can't copy it's own profile when logged in).

J
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by:
exx1976 earned 168 total points
ID: 11914373
Or, to use roaming profiles.

I still don't understand the argument against the romain profiles.  It sounds to me like you are trying to re-create something that MS has already been nice enough to make function for you..  Why re-invent the wheel?  If you're concerned about the size of My Documents, then just redirect it with GPOs and call it a day.

??
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Author Comment

by:darraghk
ID: 11914566
I have come across that problem with a file copy being stopped due to a file being in use i.e. "ntuser.dat".
I thought maybe there might be a batch file / application ... that takes the important profile specific data i.e. the nk2 file for the email address cache, a copy of desktop items and settings etc.

When you get people building up internet caches of half a gigand more/filling their desktop so full of files it reaches max capacity then it puts you off roaming profiles and our network is under enough strain as it is.  200 people pulling down profiles virtually sumultaneously at 9.30 over a distributed network of circa 200 miles the phone would be burning up because they would lose a couple of minutes trying to clock in.
I know these could be kept under control by using group policy but when i suggested it i was told that a member of our executive committee often saved files in the OLK directory (this is what i have to deal with)???
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Assisted Solution

by:jdeclue
jdeclue earned 166 total points
ID: 11914614
Below I have listed an example of Profile restrictions. Essentially you set this up in the GPO and then enable roamin profiles. Roaming Profiles will not copy anything that is inclded in the exclude.

J


User Configuration
Administrative Templates
System/User Profiles
Policy Setting
Exclude directories in roaming profile Enabled

Temporary Internet Files;Temp;Desktop;Cookies;Start Menu;FrontPageTempDir;My Documents;NetHood;PrintHood;Recent;SendTo;Templates;Windows;.hotjava;.java;java_plugin_AppletStore;Oracle Jar Cache;.jpi_cache
 
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Assisted Solution

by:kelo501
kelo501 earned 166 total points
ID: 12272877
A few things...

1 You either need a new company computer use policy or stonger enforcment of a currnet one.

2 USMT is the free tool otherwise start looking at NET IQ or Fast trcker....  READ BIG MONEY!!!!!

3 even with these tools I doubt you could be sucsseful do to connection issues.

4 if you do invest the cash in a migration produce your plan puts you i the same position when your done.

Summery:  
If you are going to put this kind of investment into desktop migration of only 200 to 300 boxes, you should migrate to roaming profiles or a company established defult user profile.  


kelo501
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Expert Comment

by:exx1976
ID: 12333059
Each expert should receive a portion of the points.  It's not our fault the asker abandoned it...
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Expert Comment

by:jdeclue
ID: 12362609
I have noticed that you are closing most of these questions Hewitt... I have been unavailable for about a month, but most of the time a Questioner does not come back, is because, they got the right answer. In this case the questioner received multiple answers, all of which would accomplish the job.

J
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Expert Comment

by:kelo501
ID: 12364237
I feel a split would be fair also.

kelo501
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