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roaming profiles windows xp pro

Posted on 2005-04-13
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Hi Folks,

Had one windows XP pro workstation with 4 users configured (with that login splash screen where you click the profile to log in.

Now i have installed a new win XP pro, and hope i can now use all the existing profile setting on the original computer in situ.

In other words, i would like user profiles on the new computer to be loaded from the original - desktop, my docs, and outlook mail files all loaded from the current location on the orignal computer over the network.

I also have a windows 2003 server available on my home network if absolutely necessary, but as it is earmarked already for a different (importnat ;-) purpose, i'd like to try to avoid using it for this job if poss.

Any suggestions as to how i can go about acheiving my goal? :-)

Thanks and regards,  Mike.
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Question by:meverest
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by:JBlond
ID: 13770367

1. share C:\Documents and Settings on the target computer and activate full access to the share.
2. Create four users on the target computer with the same names und login once on every account.
2. Logon on the source workstation with the administrator account (press Ctrl+Alt+Del twice when the simple logon page appears)
3. start 'Control Panel/System' (in classic view) und select the tab right of hardware (I have only the german version, so I don't know the exact name), under profiles select 'settings'.

A windows opens with a list of all profiles. Now you should be able to copy the profile via the network to the target computer. (choose the profile and then 'copy to...' or something like that). If you're asked for username and password use the administrator account of the target workstation with it's password.

But... You scould make a backup of the target 'Documents and Settings'-directory. This will only work completely if you have installed every apllication on the target computer to the same paths. Otherwise you'll get some trouble with broken links and so on. And in this case broken links are only the slightest problem.
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by:Chris Dent
ID: 13770379

Hey Mike,

I take it you don't have a domain and centralized user accounts?

If you do it should be relatively easy to setup roaming profiles with them stored on the XP workstation.

If you don't then it gets a bit more difficult - but many settings could be duplicated with scripts to copy the files from a central location on startup. In that instance some things just won't copy (registry settings), but the majority of the application data folders should travel.

The scripts could potentially be run from the Local Policy on each system (Logon and Logoff).

Is that the kind of thing you had in mind?

HTH

Chris
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by:Chris Dent
ID: 13770384

Oh and I was assuming you wanted continuous synchronization, JBlonds solution is probably nicer for single copy :)
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Expert Comment

by:JBlond
ID: 13770443
Mike, do you want to use the profile on two machines at the same time or just want to copy it?
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by:Merete
ID: 13770523
How to Create and Copy Roaming User Profiles in Windows XP
SUMMARY
You may have reason to copy a defined user profile to a number of users. This presents each user with an identical initial profile at logon. Each user can then modify this profile as required.

This article explains how to copy a profile to another location. It may be difficult to determine the correct syntax to use in the Copy To dialog box for the destination path when you attempt to create a roaming profile. This article addresses this issue.

Create a Roaming Profile
To create a roaming profile, follow these steps: 1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu that appears.
2. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under User Profiles.
3. In the Profiles stored on this computer list, click the profile that you want.
4. To change the type of profile, click Change Type, click Roaming profile, and then click OK.

Copy a User Profile
To copy an existing user profile to another user's account, follow these steps: 1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu that appears.
2. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under User Profiles.
3. In the Profiles stored on this computer list, click the profile that you want to copy.
4. Click Copy To.
5. In the Copy To dialog box, do one of the following:• In the Copy profile to box, type the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path to the target user's profile folder. For example type the following:
\\ServerName\ShareName\UsersProfileDirectory
-or-

 
• Click Browse, and then navigate to the user profile folder that you want to copy the profile to. Click OK.
 
6. Under Permitted to use, click Change. Type the name of the user that will be permitted to use this profile, and then click OK.

NOTE: Verify that you are not choosing users or groups from a Microsoft Windows NT-based domain, because Windows XP is designed to use Active Directory to select domains.  
7. In the Copy To dialog box, click OK. If you receive a "Confirm Copy" message, click Yes.  
8. Click OK twice.  

Update the User Profile Path
Update the user profile path to point to the new profile. To do this, follow these steps: 1. On a domain controller, start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. Expand the domain, and then expand the organizational unit that contains the user account that you want.
2. Right-click the user account that you want, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu that appears.
3. Click the Profile tab, and then type the UNC path to the new profile folder in the Profile path box.
4. Click Apply, and then click OK.
After the user has successfully logged on, the profile is saved on the server as a roaming profile, and any profile changes are saved to the server.
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by:Merete
ID: 13770578
and to cover everything if possible :)

How to copy data from a corrupted user profile to a new profile
SUMMARY
This article describes how to copy user data from your Windows XP profile to a new profile.

When you copy user data into a new profile, the new profile becomes a near duplicate of the old profile, and contains the same preferences, appearance, and documents as the old profile. If your old profile is corrupted in some way, you can move the files and settings from the corrupt profile to a new profile.

Note The method that is described in this article may not transfer the Outlook Express e-mail messages and address user data that are associated with the user profile where you are transferring data from. When you delete the old profile, you may delete that data if it you do not first transfer it by using other methods. For additional information about transferring Outlook Express user data, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Create a New User Profile in Windows XP Professional
1. Log on as the Administrator or as a user with administrator credentials.
2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
3. Click User Accounts.
4. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Advanced.
5. In the left pane, click the Users folder.
6. On the Action menu, click New User.
7. Enter the appropriate user information, and then click Create.

Create a New User Profile in Windows XP Home Edition
1. Log on as the Administrator or as a user with administrator credentials.
2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
3. Click User Accounts.
4. Under Pick a task, click Create a new account.
5. Type a name for the user information, and then click Next.
6. Click an account type, and then click Create Account.

Copy Files to the New User Profile
1. Log on as a user other than the user whose profile you are copying files to or from.
2. In Windows Explorer, click Tools, click Folder Options, click the View tab, click Show hidden files and folders, click to clear the Hide protected operating system files check box, and then click OK.
3. Locate the C:\Documents and Settings\Old_Username folder, where C is the drive on which Windows XP is installed, and Old_Username is the name of the profile you want to copy user data from.
4. Press and hold down the CTRL key while you click each file and subfolder in this folder, except the following files: • Ntuser.dat
• Ntuser.dat.log
• Ntuser.ini
 
5. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
6. Locate the C:\Documents and Settings\New_Username folder, where C is the drive on which Windows XP is installed, and New_Username is the name of the user profile that you created in the "Create a New User Profile" section.
7. On the Edit menu, click Paste.
8. Log off the computer, and then log on as the new user.

Note You must import your e-mail messages and addresses to the new user profile before you delete the old profile. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:  

313055 OLEXP: Mail Folders, Address Book, and E-mail Messages Are Missing After You Upgrade to Microsoft Windows XP
SYMPTOMS
Outlook Express mail folders, e-mail messages, and Address Book are missing after you upgrade to Microsoft Windows XP.
CAUSE
This behavior occurs because the Windows XP file structure is different and the files for Outlook Express are no longer in the same location
RESOLUTION
This Knowledge Base article provides a step-by-step procedure to help you find your previous mail, folders, and Address Book, and import them back into Outlook Express.
Your Previous Mail Messages and Folders
Find Your Previous Mail Messages
1. On your desktop, create a new folder called XPMail. To do this, right-click your desktop, click New, and then click Folder. If you use identities, create a new folder for each identity.
2. Click Start, and then click Search.
3. In the What do you want to search for box, click All files and folders.
4. In the All or part of the file name type *.dbx.
5. Click More Advanced options, click Search hidden files and folders, and then click Search.

NOTE: If you had previously used identities, each user will have their own identity folder. Each identity folder will have a unique alphanumeric number (for example, {9EFEBDEA-CE00-4DD7-A4D6-CDB85C3EEDBF}) followed by "\Microsoft\Outlook Express".

You can differentiate between the previous identity and the new identity even though they may share the same alphanumeric number. The new identity will be followed by "\Microsoft\Outlook Ex".

Copy the Mail Folders
Before you copy the mail folders from the previous identity folder to the new folder on the desktop called XPMail, please review the Note about differentiating between old and new identities in step 5 of the "Finding Your Previous Mail Messages" section. 1. In the Search window, you may select each .dbx folder individually or select multiple folders by pressing the CTRL key and clicking each folder.
2. After you have selected the folders, click Copy on the Edit menu.
3. Open the XPMail folder, and then click Paste on the Edit menu.

NOTE: Make sure to include the Folders.dbx file when you copy the folders. This file is necessary for the import functions in Outlook Express.
This procedure copies all the files from the selected folder into the XPMail folder. Perform this procedure for each identity folder, but make sure to create a separate folder, such as XPMail1, for each identity folder found.
Import Your Mail and Folders
1. Open Outlook Express.
2. On the File menu, click Import.
3. Click Messages.
4. Click Microsoft Outlook Express 5, and then click Next.

NOTE: In some instances you may only see the options to import Outlook Express 4 and Outlook Express 6. If your previous version of Outlook Express was version 4, use the option for Outlook Express 4. If you are importing from Outlook Express 5, or 5.5, you can use the Outlook Express 6 option.
5. Click Import mail from an OE6 store directory, and then click OK.
6. Click Browse, select the XPMail folder that you created earlier, click OK, and then click Next.
7. Click All folders, and then click Next.
This procedure imports your previous mail into the current Identity. After it is finished, click Finish. Repeat this procedure for each of the folders that you created earlier.
Your Windows Address Book
Find Your Windows Address Book
1. Click Start, and then click Search.
2. Click All files and folders.
3. In the What do you want to search for box, click All files and folders.
4. In the All or part of the file name type, *.wab, and then click Search.
5. When the search is finished, double-click each file to open it. When you have found the correct one (it will contain your Contact information), note the exact location and name of the file.

Import Your Windows Address Book
1. In Outlook Express, click the File menu.
2. Click Import, and then click Address Book.
3. Point the Look In field to the location that you noted in step #5 of the "Find Your Windows Address Book" section.
4. Click the .wab file, and then click Open.
5. Click OK to import the Address Book.
After you have verified that the import was successful, remove all folders that you created during the mail recovery process.
 Back to the top


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

APPLIES TO
• Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0
• the operating system: Microsoft Windows XP
• the operating system: Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)

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Author Comment

by:meverest
ID: 13770726
wow - what a wealth of information with such speed! :-)

to answer a few of the questions, yes, i want these profiles to be continuous synchronising, so like i hope that they will run from the source location.  ie when someone logs on to the 'new' computer, and open 'my documents', then they will see the content of 'my documents' on the existing computer.

same goes for desktop - when the user logs on to the new comp, i hope to let them see the desktop folder from the old computer, so when they add a shortcut, then that shortcut will also be on the original computer.

yes, i know that there will be problems regarding addressing local files vs remote, but i can deal with that ok.

thanks folks thus far,

regards,  Mike.
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Author Comment

by:meverest
ID: 13770851
now looking through the supplied info, it is the suggestions offered by merete that seem closest to what i want to acheive - except that when i follow the steps to user profiles, i am not allowed to choose 'roaming' profile - it is greyed out (disabled).

i suspect that this is because i am not doing domain auth?  can i do something similar with just local auth (per workstation) - i don;t care if passwords are different, since this setup is mostly for the kids to stop them fighting (so muchj) over the one computer and the passwords will either be blank (not used) or they won't change anyway.

Cheers.
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 13770919

You need Domain Auth for roaming profiles because you need centralized account control to set the Profile Path (really a profile source that gets copied onto the local PC at logon, and up to the server at logoff).
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Author Comment

by:meverest
ID: 13799545
OK, so the answer to my question is: "you need a server configured as domain controller to implement roaming profile"?

Cheers.
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 13800575

If you want to implement roaming profiles in the domain sense yes (which the MS documentation above covers).

But the effects of a roaming profile can be replicated in part with logon / logoff scripts in the local system policy. The main problem with this method is that it can't copy the registry settings effectively.
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Author Comment

by:meverest
ID: 13821504
Thanks for the clarification,

>> But the effects of a roaming profile can be replicated in part with logon / logoff scripts in the local system policy.
>> The main problem with this method is that it can't copy the registry settings effectively.

That is the point of my original question.  "How to implement roaming profile without a domain controller (if at all possible - even partially)"

Cheers.
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 13822991

This might require additional modification...

Run it on a Test Profile first so you can be relatively confidant it doesn't break anything important. It doesn't automatically create the Profile Store on the server so it won't copy unless it can connect to ProfileStore\<UserName>.

Two seperate scripts:

' Logon Script (Copies Profile from Server)

Const DRIVE = "s:"
Const PROFILESTORE = "\\Server\Share"

' If you need authentication to map to the drive...

Const USERNAME = "SomeDomain\SomeUser"
Const PASSWORD = "Password"

Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set objFileSystem = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")

' Retrieve the User Profile Path

Set objEnvVar = objShell.Environment("process")
strProfilePath = objEnvVar("USERPROFILE") & "\"
strUserName = objEnVar("USERNAME")

' Map the Temporary drive to the store

objNetwork.MapNetworkDrive DRIVE, PROFILESTORE, , USERNAME, PASSWORD

' Check connection to the Profile Store

strProfileStore = DRIVE & "\" & strUserName & "\"

' Copy the Files from the Store to the Profile

If objFileSystem.FolderExists(strProfileStore) Then
      Set objStoreFolder = objFileSystem.GetFolder(strProfileStore)
Else
      wscript.echo "Error connecting to Profile Store"
      wscript.quit
End If

' Continue on Permission Denied Errors

On Error Resume Next

For Each objFile in objStoreFolder.Files      
      If (InStr(LCase(objFile.Name), "ntuser") = 0) Then
            objFile.Copy strProfilePath, True
      End If
Next

For Each objSubFolder in objStoreFolder.SubFolders
      If (LCase(objSubFolder.Name) <> "local settings") Then
            objSubFolder.Copy strProfilePath, True
      End If
Next

Set objStoreFolder = Nothing

' Disconnect Temporary Network Drive

objNetwork.RemoveNetworkDrive DRIVE


And a script for Logoff:

' Logoff Script (Copies Profile to the Server)

Const DRIVE = "s:"
Const PROFILESTORE = "\\Server\Share"

' If you need authentication to map to the drive...

Const USERNAME = "SomeDomain\SomeUser"
Const PASSWORD = "Password"

Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set objFileSystem = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")

' Retrieve the User Profile Path

Set objEnvVar = objShell.Environment("process")
strProfilePath = objEnvVar("USERPROFILE") & "\"
strUserName = objEnVar("USERNAME")

' Map the Temporary drive to the store

objNetwork.MapNetworkDrive DRIVE, PROFILESTORE, , USERNAME, PASSWORD

' Check connection to the Profile Store

strProfileStore = DRIVE & "\" & USERNAME & "\"

If objFileSystem.FolderExists(strProfileStore) Then
      Set objProfileFolder = objFileSystem.GetFolder(strProfilePath)
Else
      wscript.echo "Error connecting to the Profile Store"
      wscript.quit
End If

For Each objFile in objProfileFolder.Files      
      If (InStr(LCase(objFile.Name), "ntuser") = 0) Then
            objFile.Copy strProfileStore, True
      End If
Next

For Each objSubFolder in objProfileFolder.SubFolders
      If (LCase(objSubFolder.Name) <> "local settings") Then
            objSubFolder.Copy strProfileStore, True
      End If
Next

Set objProfileFolder = Nothing

' Disconnect Temporary Network Drive

objNetwork.RemoveNetworkDrive DRIVE
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Accepted Solution

by:
Chris Dent earned 2000 total points
ID: 13822998

Ho hum.. and I still managed to post typos

Corrected version of Logoff Script

' Logoff Script (Copies Profile to the Server)

Const DRIVE = "s:"
Const PROFILESTORE = "\\Server\Share"

' If you need authentication to map to the drive...

Const USERNAME = "SomeDomain\SomeUser"
Const PASSWORD = "Password"

Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set objFileSystem = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")

' Retrieve the User Profile Path

Set objEnvVar = objShell.Environment("process")
strProfilePath = objEnvVar("USERPROFILE") & "\"
strUserName = objEnVar("USERNAME")

' Map the Temporary drive to the store

objNetwork.MapNetworkDrive DRIVE, PROFILESTORE, , USERNAME, PASSWORD

' Check connection to the Profile Store

strProfileStore = DRIVE & "\" & strUserName & "\"

If objFileSystem.FolderExists(strProfileStore) Then
      Set objProfileFolder = objFileSystem.GetFolder(strProfilePath)
Else
      wscript.echo "Error connecting to the Profile Store"
      wscript.quit
End If

For Each objFile in objProfileFolder.Files      
      If (InStr(LCase(objFile.Name), "ntuser") = 0) Then
            objFile.Copy strProfileStore, True
      End If
Next

For Each objSubFolder in objProfileFolder.SubFolders
      If (LCase(objSubFolder.Name) <> "local settings") Then
            objSubFolder.Copy strProfileStore, True
      End If
Next

Set objProfileFolder = Nothing

' Disconnect Temporary Network Drive

objNetwork.RemoveNetworkDrive DRIVE
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 13823013

Hmm.. one more for Logoff...

strUserName = objEnVar("USERNAME")

Should be

strUserName = objEnvVar("USERNAME")

Or it won't work so well...

Sorry about that...
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Author Comment

by:meverest
ID: 13829275
cool!  Thanks :)

I shall try it out asap and get back.

cheers!



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Author Comment

by:meverest
ID: 13855454
thanks Chris, got an adequate setup working in the end based on your scriptd :)

Regards,  Mike.
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 13856744

Smashing.... glad it helped :)
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