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Slow sync of profile when any user logs off.

Robert Davis
Robert Davis asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I have a windows 2000 server and a mix of 98 and XP workstations on my network.  I have recently given myself a roaming profile for convenience however it has backfired quite a bit and I wonder if their is a way to improve this.  I have no plans on giving anyone profiles as they are resource hogs, space and bandwidth as well as time, however it is a pain to redo all my settings on every computer and like having them 'roam' with me.  None of the workstations were affected by this except the XP workstations.  That is to say the XP workstations a log onto.  The ones I don't stay unchanged but after logging on and off of an XP workstation at least one time when any user logs off it tries to sync my profile.  I'm assuming it's trying to download and cache my profile for later use but I am not sure.  At any rate I want it to be disabled since for one it fails saying it can't access the file and two it's slow and useless.  The other problem I have with my profile is on curtain computers it takes a long time for it to sync, handing on the first process until it finally synchronizes which takes all of 2 or 3 seconds.  This escalates my first issue which makes it even more of an issue.  If anyone can solve these to problems, or even can help to improve my position.

Robert Davis
Watch Question

How did you go about configuring your roaming profile?  

It should have been configure in "Active Directory Users and Computers" under your username.   That is the correct place assuming you have a Microsoft domain set up on your network and your 2000 server is a domain controller.  Use the profile tab under your user account and set the profile path to something like \\[servername]\[profilefolder]\[username].


Yup that's what I did.  It is a domain controller and the profile is set up in my profile tab of my user name in active dirrectory as \\pdserver1\profiles\Robert, no changes there...

Robert Davis
Thanks for humoring me.  You can setup roaming profiles for local users (on the PC's) as well.  Just wanted to make sure that you didn't do that, or put it in the login script or something.

Microsoft document on profiles:

Honestly, I am still digging at the cracks in what is happening on your network.  I will keep thinking about it.  Maybe someone has had this exact issue and knows what is wrong.  What I have personally experienced is some major difficulty with profiles and XP in our Server 2000 network.  Lots of wierdness, in fact, until we added our first server 2003 unit.  Then we updated our schema (master) to allow for the additions to the AD that 2003 requires, and "poof," most of our problem were gone!  I am trying to find documentation on if this is a good idea if you do not have a 2003 server in the domain.  Hmmmmmm.

However, in the mean time, we should reduce the size of your profile.  Do you have any actual folders or large files (not shortcuts) on your desktop?  Consider creating shortcuts to them and placing their contents on a server somewhere.  Remove temporary internet files.  Scale down any photo's that you have added as your desktop background.  Check HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Run to see what programs might be starting up for you when you log in.  Slim down the list if possible.

In the article I posted, it recommends the following:

Turn off the Fast Logon Enhancement

With the fast logon “enhancement” in Windows XP when users change from a local to a roaming profile, it will take two logons on each machine for profile changes to be registered. This is because the user always logs on with cached credentials; therefore it takes one logon for the network to notice that the user has become roaming and the second logon to apply these settings.

To ensure the best possible experience, enable the setting Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon, located at Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon.

Roaming Between Different Operating System Versions

Although roaming between Windows 2000 and Windows XP should be a smooth process, there are some precautions you can take to minimize possible issues:

• If you can avoid roaming between versions of the operating system, then do so. There's nothing inherent in roaming that will cause problems, but the data that applications put in the profile may have unintended side effects on other versions of the operating system.
• Make sure that you have the same application versions installed.
• Make sure that applications are installed to the same path and drive.
• Make sure that the different versions of the operating system are installed on the same %systemdrive% and in the same %windir%.
• If Users roam between Windows NT 4.0-based clients and Windows XP- Windows 2000-based clients, consider setting the Profile Path during install on Windows XP or Windows 2000. Differences in the default profile path (%windir%\Profiles vs. %systemdrive%\Documents and Settings) may cause problems for users roaming between Windows NT 4.0-based clients and Windows XP- or Windows 2000-based clients. To minimize the chance of problems, make sure the path to the profile is the same on both clients.


napoleon41: My general policy is to not use profiles but I'm admin right?  I have heard many issues with lag time, and heard about the sync on non profile log off from another admin at a separate network but haven't seen any solutions.  I have deleted everything off my desktop as I have read elsewhere this causes lag on sync however it did not help.  my documents folder is mounted on my network drive and all my files etc. are stored their except for my background and quick launch icons.  My temp files are however still their and am not sure how to get rid of them though I will toy with them tomorrow before winter break (this is a school network).

I will try this login enhancement but the problem persists after repetitively logging on and off any computer so I doubt this will change much but may be useful if we ever get some more funding for some new XP boxes, or by then Vista.  I realize the differences in roaming on XP on a 2000 server yet their is really no work around to that and it doesn't solve my greater issue of the sync happening in the first place whenever anyone logs off.  which is my real problem since I have time to wait a few more seconds (actually it can take up to 40) but users don't know what the heck is going on, and then the error comes up which requires user interaction to "ok".

Still looking for some solutions, anyone have an idea?

Robert Davis
What is the error that they receive?  Is it mapped Documents, program trying to start, background who's picture is in your documents and they don't have access, file path to your profile that is denied?  


We don't map documents, home dir is done via logon script.  The error when another user tries to log off is as follows:  

Offline files (\\pdserver1\Robert$ on pdserver1): Access to '[any of my documents files] is denied on \\pdserver1\Robert$\Documents

However disabling sync on other user log off would cure of this error and the sync lag.

Robert Davis
Ah. . . now we are getting somewhere.  Sometimes, just finding out what the exact problem is is half the battle.

Do you use offline files?  This is most likely what is causing SO much time logging off as it makes a copy of the user's document folder on the server locally.  If your documents are large . . . well . . . not only can it take a great deal of time, but it can also completely fill the hard drive.  If you are not wanting to use them (and you probably shouldn't for the reason I stated above), you should turn them off.

The settings for this are under you domain policy, both USER and COMPUTER policies, Administrative Template--Network--Offline Folders. Set all of the applicable setting to disable this feature.

You should/can open the hard drive (with my computer or explorer) and browse to the share on your server.  Again . . . do this from the server.  Right-Click the shared folder and go to properties-->Sharing tab-->Caching button--> and set the share to "files or programs from the share will not be available offline"
Hmmm.  I am wondering if the problem has to do with the logon script mapping the same drive for each person's docmuents.  Something like

net use H: \\servername\%username%

I am wondering if this is conflicting with offline files settings.  Maybe the local XP machine is configures H: for offline files while you are logged in, and then when the next person logs in, the login script runs after Windows sets the location for the offline files (still your directory) or something.
Kevin HaysIT Analyst

You should place your shared folder folder on another volume besides the DC.  Placing your shared profile folder on the DC can actually slow down the process.

If you are using roaming profiles (which I do with no problems with offline files disabled) you should consider Folder redirection as well.  I have application data and my documents redirected to a network file server (not a DC).  My clients usually take about 3-10 seconds to actually login.  Most of the time it's 3-5.

Liek the previous poster stated you need to share the volume where your "Profiles" folder is at with the appropriate permissions so that users can modify.  Looks like \\servername\sharedfolder\%username%

I can fully verify that using roaming profiles with offline files disabled and redirection of mydocs and application data there is no long login times (unless) users have a LARGE amount of files on their desktop, which i've got a quota limit on the size of their profile anyway to prevent this.

You do have all of your clients pointing toward your local DNS server and not your ISP DNS server right?



The offline features looks like the key!  Since I redirect the My Documents to my home drive having two sets of the files are redundant.  Unfortunately winter break is upon us and I don't really like the idea of having to fight my way in the school when no one is their.  I will try this offline feature when normal hours resume and get back to this question, I appreciate everyones time taken to resolve this question.  I also read some tweaks to the profile folder which I can't remember off the top of my head but will experiment with once I find the article in my browser history.

I doubt it is the login script as their have never been issues with it.  And for the home drive we use a slightly different script but same concept. As long as we disable documents from being sync should eliminate the lag when any user logs off.

Unfortunately as I stated before technology funding is limited as we have one power edge doing every server function.  If I had my way their would be several servers including a backup "bare minimum" server which would allow account logins and Internet as I have at another site.  My docs is redirected already!!  So it looks like at this point offline files are the cause of my issues and I will try that.  However the files in My documents total about 100k, the problem is not the sync of the files (which takes about 3 seconds) but the fact that it hangs for a half a minute before it actually tries to sync.  At which point it either succeeds or states the access denied error.  I have no issues with my desktop files as I have none and no other user but me has a profile as it would probably bring our server down, and their is no purpose for it as users only require Internet access and being able to say word documents, the last thing I want is our workstations customized.  All the workstations are pointing to the DNS server AKA pdserver1, the district (ISP) is isolated form this question.  Though I must admit the district has made my life difficult since their techies are not all that smart...they don't even know the IP protocols.  Well at least we know our tax dollars are hard at work right? ;-)

Robert Davis


I'm still getting lagg on logon and logoff but I'm assuming this is just windows.  I tried botht he disabling of caching and the user policy and it fixed the syncing of the files at log off and the issue of the failed to sync and the long sync time went away so good job!

Robert Davis

What are the pros and cons of disabling sync?

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