Roaming Profile

Posted on 2005-03-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2007-11-27
How often does roaming profile performs an update on the client's PC?  Does it check for changes every login?  If so, can this be controlled and say do it on certain days only?

Thank you!  In advance for your time on this matter.
Question by:CVCB-NetAdmin
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 13464027
Hi CVCB-NetAdmin,

Roaming profiles update the client on logon to the domain and only at the point. When the user logs off then the profile is copied back to the location on the domain.
So it's not configurable in the way you are asking.

LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Nirmal Sharma
ID: 13464677
>>>How often does roaming profile performs an update on the client's PC?  Does it check for changes every login?  

Yes. It checks.

How the roaming profile works ?

When the user login, the user's roaming profile is copied from the server to the hard disk of the computer. On logout, the local copy of the profile is copied back to server but there are some exceptions to this: -

Winlogon.exe (Windows Locator Service) and Userenv will check to see if user has made any changes to the profile. This task is achieved by quering the NTUSER.DAT. If these services find any changes it will synchronize the profile back to server (domain controller) and if it does not find any changes then a time stamp will be written on Local Profile and then profiles will not be copied to the server. So when user logs on next time this service will check the updated time stamp on profile if local copy of profile have updated time stamp then user will be logged on using the local profile and roaming profile will not be retreived from server.

>>>If so, can this be controlled and say do it on certain days only?
No. Its not possible because windows will check it automatically if it finds changes it will synchronize.

BTW: - What is your exact requirement ?

LVL 57

Accepted Solution

Mike Kline earned 500 total points
ID: 13465143
One of the best articles I have seen concerning how profiles work was from Darren Mar-Elia (MVP)

Inside User Profiles
Understanding how user profiles work

I even wrote him after that issue was released becasue I was really impressed.  Take some time and read that and you will be on your way to being a profile expert :)

Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409

Veeam® is happy to provide the Microsoft community with a study guide prepared by MVP and MCT, Orin Thomas. This guide will take you through each of the exam objectives, helping you to prepare for and pass the examination.

LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Nirmal Sharma
ID: 13465471

Can this article fullfill his requirements (<<< can this be controlled and say do it on certain days only?>>>)? If yes then he should read this article otherwise you should say "No Way. You can't control it". We could have submitted many good-good articles regarding profiles.
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Nirmal Sharma
ID: 13465478

You can do one thing...you can control it using Group Policy settings to exculde some directories but you can't control it fully.

Please see this: -

How to prevent folders from roaming with a profile in Windows 2000 and Windows 2003

Applies to all Windows OS Server except NT.

LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 13468923

The article can give him a better understanding of roaming profiles.  Every answer I give is not intended to get more points that is not my only purpose on these boards.  Other people in the future may come to these pages and I will always post great articles by authors that I respect and learn from.  Darren is one of those guys and he has written a great article.

Darren is also releasing a group policy book as part of the W2K3 resource kit and you will see links to that when that comes out.  

The author didn't ask about folder redirection but you gave a link to that.  I think that is a valuable link and I won't criticize you for it.

There is no reason to question my intentions, if it's about the points then I'll donate thousands of points to you and we can all be happy.  We don't get paid to be here and we are all trying to help.  

LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Nirmal Sharma
ID: 13473799
>>>The author didn't ask about folder redirection but you gave a link to that.

Which artcile you are talking about, Mike ? Is the article posted in my link related to Folder Redirection ?

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