How can I have OUTLOOK profiles roam with the user where ever he/she logs on?

Posted on 2004-09-15
Last Modified: 2010-04-11

Server: Small Business Server NT4
Clients: Windows 98

Outlook 2000 via pop3 NOT exchange

I want users to be able to view, send & receive email at which ever win98 pc they log on is this possible at all?
Question by:Tijani1150
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Expert Comment

ID: 12068574
Yes, this is possible, but it's way more trouble than it's worth and fraught with peril. Is there any chance at all you can upgrade your PCs to at least Windows 2000 Professional?

Expert Comment

ID: 12068815
So you dont have a local exchange or email server on your NT4 box, your using some type of internet or external email?  There's always the webmail option that most email services have available, some of them alot better than others, not sure how much of an option it is.

If your insistant on setting up a local application that allows you to do this, I wouldnt even attempt it without being on a domain.  It's possible to set up roaming profiles on your server, change your Outlook2k configs so that they are all in the part of a users profile that will be replicated in the roaming portion that will copy to each machine at logon, and back to the server at logoff.  As Jasper said, this is a horrible solution using windows 98, and without being on a domain, or using NTFS file systems on each local computer, your basically leaving peoples email posted to the wall for others to read.

If you need specifics on how do to this, just post and I'll go into detail.

Author Comment

ID: 12068963
Thanks for your input guys, as far as the netwokr then yes it is a domain I wish I can upgrade to win2k but with the MD's mood these days about cost it would like landing on venus so yes please freakyuno if you can go into the details of how to do it I would be very grateful

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Expert Comment

ID: 12069061
One last try: how much is the MD paying you? Because you're probably going to spend days setting this up and it still probably won't work right, and even if it does, it will probably spontaneously break all the time, requiring hours or days to fix every time it does. This is my last post in this question, but I strongly urge you to urge the boss to let you upgrade the workstations, and possibly the server, if this roaming capability is truly required. Good luck.

Accepted Solution

freakyuno earned 300 total points
ID: 12069853
I wholeheartedly agree with Jasper on this one, and will say it again.  This solution is a band-aid that will end up costing the company more money in the long run than implementing technology that fixes this problem.  But Job Security right...:)

Now without further adou, here's how you do it:

Go to each workstation that will be acting as a station for a roamer, you need to locate the .pst for the person that is currently using that station, and "copy" it from it's current location to the My Documents folder, which will be replicated in the roaming profile.  Make sure you Copy it, and not move it, or when you start Outlook it's gonna freak out on you.  After you have the file copied to a location in My Documents  (Ex: C:\My Documents\Outlook\outlook.pst) then start up Outlook.  I dont remember specifically how you change the location of the data file in Outlook 2000, but it's pretty straight forward.  The setting is somewhere under the Tools menu, you basically want to point your old data file to the new one you copied.  You are going to need to be an administrator on the domain, with full user folder control to perform any of these steps by the way.  Repeat this for each computer, and multiple times per computer, if it had multiple users.  Make sure also that your putting it in their Domain folder, not the local account folder.

Log off the User.

Go to your domain controller, go into administrative tools, then Users and Computers.  You need to modify each user account under the "Profile" tab, and give a path to the directory where you are going to store roaming profiles.  Be carefull that this area is a local drive, and has plenty of space. ( I would also recomend you have disk quota's set up for each user, so that they dont flood your server with gigs of junk they keep in their My Documents folder, or other replicated paths.) It's good to set up a seperate folder off the root of one of your drives just to store roaming profiles. Also under that same root folder, add a path for their home folder.  Once you have the profile path in, and the home folder setup, apply the changes, and head back to the Win98 Machines. (You should have done this for each user that will roam, and your profile and home directory paths should be shared over the network).  You will then need to log each user on to create the profile on the server.  Log them back off, and as an administrator, copy their local profile to the remote profile path.

You should about be setup.  It's been a while since I worked with either windows 98, or windows NT4, but I dug through the microsoft website and came up with this;EN-US;185587

Read that article, it provides the best pratices for doing as described above.  Details all the security concerns, and ways to fix common problems you'll run into.  It's 6 parts, and kind of in depth.  I'd print it out and keep it as a manual. :)


Author Comment

ID: 12069961
thank you very much

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