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Setting up Profiles

Posted on 2006-06-02
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Hi

I'm planning to changing the way roaming profiles on Windows Server 2003 network work this year.

At the moment I have ordinary roaming profiles, but I need to fix it so that the desktop is reset when a user logs out. Meaning, any files, screen-savers or other changed preferences are wiped away when that user logs out. (The reason is because we have a small training programs running where we fixed account names - the accounts are used for a few days and then, we clean out the folders and recycle them, ready for the next user).

I still want participants to have a roaming profile, with containing application data and history and favourites etc.

I'd like to make the change through group policy if possible, in some central way that involves as little work as possible.

Thanks in advance.

Jason
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Question by:Jason210
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by:2hype
2hype earned 450 total points
ID: 16817981
You could restrict saving to the desktop and changing screen saver etc... Through group policy.

If you want them to save to the desktop you could write a script at logon or logoff that deletes the items off there desktop.  That way they always have a clean desktop.

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by:Jason210
ID: 16818812
Yes, I want them to be able to save to desktop, but then have it wiped clean at logoff. Also have any background images removed etc.
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LohInc earned 600 total points
ID: 16819867
A few thoughts:  

1. You could write a batch file that deletes all desktop files (user created ones in the profile that is) when the user logs off.
 
del \\servername\profileshare\%username%\desktop\*.* /y
you can also control background settings via group policy.

2. Another thougth would be to setup the profile exactly how you want it and then make it a mandatory profile.  This makes it so that the users can not permanently change profile settings.  To make the profile mandatory, set it up how you want it and then rename the NTUSER.DAT file to NTUSER.MAN    When a user logs on, they can change the desktop picture, but as soon as they log off, / back on, it reverts to the default that was set.    When you setup the mandatory profile you could put a shortcut right on the desktop to a network share for users to save information.

here is some further info  http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307800
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by:Jason210
ID: 16819936
Mandatory profile sounds good, but doesn't that mean it will go through application settings everytime a user logs on? Are there any side effects with this method?
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Expert Comment

by:LohInc
ID: 16820100
It restores what is set in the profile everytime you logon.  If you want, setup a dummy user with a roaming profile, customize the profile how you want it, add some icons to the desktop and after you log off  rename the NTUSER.DAT to .MAN  (be sure to do this on the local workstation and the profile share directory on the server)  then logon with the mandatory profile, make changes and log off / back on.
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by:Jason210
ID: 16859685
LohInc: What would be the point of setting up a mandatory roaming profile?

What I want is this. A clean desktop every time a user logs on. No pictures or files.

What I don't want is Office and other apps configuring themselves everytime a new user logs on, and having the same dummy data for every user. It has to have some sort of roaming abilty, because I need favourites, history and application data to follow the user around.  I don't think MAN profile would have work for this, unless the application data can be stored somewhere else other than the profile.
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by:dooleydog
dooleydog earned 450 total points
ID: 16861016
the easiest way is use roaming profiles, and rename the NTUSER.dat to .MAN

this will not save any changes that a user makes.

Good Luck,
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by:Jason210
ID: 16861085
dooleydog

I understand it will not save any changes the user makes, but doesn't that mean that each user gets a generic profile, for example "dummysuser" and also what happens to the application data, that is part of the profile? Does that stay the same too?
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Expert Comment

by:LohInc
ID: 16861980
Jason210,

Before you make the profile mandatory, you make all the changes you want to it.  Log in a few times, setup printers, open up office and other apps so that they configure themselvs.  Other things that you could do if you want users to be able to save favorites / history, is you could redirect those to items out of the profile to the user home directory and still leave the profile a "mandatory" profile.

Here is a real good article in setting up default users, and doing folder redirection:

http://isg.ee.ethz.ch/tools/realmen/det/skel.en.html

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by:Jason210
ID: 16984852
I'm looking at this possibility as a solution:

1. Set a profile how I want it, then rename the NTUSER.DAT file to NTUSER.MAN, copy it to default user.
2. Redirect user Application Data and My documents to a special folder elsewhere.

Would this work?

What about favourites?
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Expert Comment

by:LohInc
ID: 16986780
you can redirect favorites too, the same way you do the "my documents" and anything else you want to redirect from the profile.
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by:Jason210
ID: 16991366
I don't have a working solution to this so what I'm going to do is award some points and post a similar question again. This time more specific. Thanks for your help.
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