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How do I make changes to user profiles without knowing user password

We have a Windows 2000 domain with both Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 servers and Windows 2000 and Windows XP workstations.  User passwords are configured to expire every 45 days, so I often don't know a users password.  If I need to add an application, printer, setting, etc. to the users PC I have to change the users password, login, make my changes, then set their password to change the next time they logon, then communicate the current password to them.  This is a huge pain when I have several machines to work on.

We are using roaming profiles and have a Default User folder in the Netlogon share that sets most of the default settings, but we have many applications that must be configured from within the users profile to function properly.

Is there a way to impersonnate the user that I am not aware of?

How do you handle this situation?

Thanks EE
2 Solutions
Why aren't you just logging into their machine with your domain admin account and then installing the programs and setting them up that way?  
"many applications that must be configured from within the users profile to function properly"

Can you give an example?  
bluefingerAuthor Commented:
luv2smile  That is what I do for the application installation, but some application need setting specific to the user profile, in other words just because I made certain setting changes as administrator doesn't mean the user will get the same settings.  If I setup POP e-mail on the PC as Administrator, the user's POP mail will not be setup when they log in.
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Well for adding a printer...you just use a script that maps the printer for the user.

Since you're using roaming profiles, their profiles are stored on the server...you can access their desktop folder, etc.

Like for example, We use Eudora so I have to setup a special folder for each user....I just access their my documennts folder from my admin account, install the folder I need, then place a shortcut on their desktop for them.
bluefingerAuthor Commented:
luv2smile  I see what you are saying, and I copy icons and files to the users workstations and profile folders all of the time, but how do you set the users POP mail settings without logging in as the user.  I also have databases that must be logged into with the user's user name to propogate a table before I can set permissions in the database.  We also have some medical apps that need paths setup under each user to function properly.  

Is there no way to impersonate a user without their password?


try this out, create a n administrator account specifically for installation purposes only. use roaming profiles as well.

then, copy the profile of the user you want to log on as to the installer account. then you logon to the machine, do the installation and after you complete the installation. Use the installer profile to overwrite the original user profile. this will carry all the original settings and the new settings for the installation.

The original user will just log in as usual with the new profile.

hope this helps.
No, I know exactly the scenario your talking about and it is one of my wish list items.

Basically, you install something as admin but need to make user setting changes as the users wouldnt have a clue where to start and dont see it as something they should be doing ....

Wish list item is allowing an admin to 'logon as' the user with the admin password but this then lets you into the users profile - this would be perfect ... but I dont think it exists yet. it should but it doesnt.
bluefingerAuthor Commented:
raclo: Thanks for the idea, I'll give that a try.
ja50n: thanks for the input, this should definately be feature added for admins.

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