Join "new" network, but keep user profile?

Posted on 2006-05-13
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
We have a number of xp professional pcs which log on to our network through a win 2000 domain controller.  We rebuilt the domain controller - same IP, same network name, same everything, but the pcs won't recognise it until you force it to rejoin the network (network wizard or go to workgroup, then back to network).  Problem is, when I do that, the user's profile is recreated.  Eg, the folder "username" in documents and settings is no longer theirs, they start using "username.networkname" instead.  The profiles contain all their emails, so we're talking up to 20GB per user, which is a lot of data to copy across every time.  Is there a way I can force them to see the domain controller without having to go through all this?  I've tried just adding the computer name into the list of computers on the server itself but no joy.  We use active directory on the server, if that helps (or hinders!!). Thanks for your help!
Question by:GlobexCorp
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    by:Mark Brady
    U can save the desktop settings on a local network drive from where it can be retrieved.

    This happens when joins a domain coz domain profile is different from local user profile.

    Use windows File and settings transfer wizard to save the settings before joining a domain and save it to a drive which is accessible after joining the domain.

    After joining the domain,

    Open File and settings tranfer wizard again and retrieve the settings to the new domain profile.

    File and Settings Transfer Wizard

    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    Unfortunately as far as your pc's and newly rebuilt server are concerned you're now on a completely different domain - all the security id's are now different - it doesn't work by names of domain or pc's which is why your pc's have to be rejoined to the domain and why user profiles are recreated. The only way around this would have been to add a second DC to the domain, transferred the fsmo roles to it, and this could have held Active Directory and all the account info etc. whilst you rebuilt the first DC then re-promoted into the domain and transferred the fsmo roles back. All you can do now is transfer necessary data from the old profiles to the new user profiles once they have been created after logging in. There's no way you can force the old profiles to be recognised as current. I learnt this one myself a few years ago after doing the same thing. Fortunately we didn't have many users at the time....
    Deb :))
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    What you can do is this, but it going to take some time to copy and initialize the profile of each user :
    1. Create on the server a shared directory eg. Profiles
    2. Give this share a Full Control on Domain  users
    3. Copy into that directory all the profiles that you want to restore.
    4. Open the active directory users and computers ( ADUC ) and from the users select one bu one the users that their profiles will be restored and do this. Let's say we have user1 with a profile named user1profile. On the ADUC locate user1, right click on it and click properties. Then go into the tab named Profile and in the text field named Profile path write \\server\profiles\user1profile , click ok.
    5. Go to the workstation that user1 is using and delete/rename his current profile from c:\Documents and Settings.
    6. Logon with the user1 account ( this will take some time, depenting on the profile size )
    7. After the profile is copyed, you can go from the ADUC and delete that reference on the profile located on \\server\profile\user1profile .
    8. That's all. And don't forget, be patient :)

    Hope this helps..
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Redoing this in 3 weeks time, and will definitely try your suggestion, mrenos

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