After SysPrep: How to use a custom "Default User" profile?

Posted on 2007-08-11
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
We are using Sysprep to prepare our computers for our computer labs for students. We use dynamic profiles from Netware/Zenworks so that every time a person logs in, a profile is created based on "Default User", and then the profile is automatically deleted when the person logs out. Prior to sysprep, we would configure a profile as we wanted it, then copy it to default user. It was time consuming but at least all bookmarks and browser settings worked. However, the problem we are having is that after imaging with Sysprep, the Default User profile resets to the Microsoft created one and users have to answer all of the Internet Explorer questions when they start the browser.

Is there any way we can make sure our custom Default User stays? We do use Zenworks for multicasting.
Question by:PiezoSapphire
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    The default user profile should be copied to the users own profile on first use. If you have put a regime in place to delete the users profile on log off then its going to have to copy it again each time resulting in log logon times and the issues having to enter information each time.

    The suggested way of creating a user default user profile is prior to sysprep:

    You shouldn't copy profiles like this they will not have the correct permissions. You can copy profiles by right clicking 'My Computer' and selecting Advanced and click on SETTINGS under User profiles.
    Select the profile and then COPY TO another user not forgetting to change the 'Permitted to use' option to 'Everyone' so that the permissions are OK.

    If you log in as a user and then create a profile that you want to use, you can then log out, log back in as administrator and then COPY TO c:\Documents and Settings\Default User and set the permissions as described above. This profile will automatically be copied to all new users when they log on.

    Alternativly on a domain copy to the sysvol\default user folder on the DC.
    LVL 27

    Expert Comment

    by:Jason Watkins
    The way KCTS laid out his explanation is exactly the way I do it at work.  I just wait until after the imaged computer is joined to the domain before copying the profile.  The domain will specify the another default user profile after joining.

    LVL 29

    Accepted Solution

    It's better to do it before imaging imo, the method KCTS mentioned will do it, here's a more detail description on how to do it  Recommend after creating your Default User Profile, copy it to a image script location and zip it, so that in future you don't need to recreate the profile, you just need to unzip the Default User Profile over the other.  Also recommend keeping your Default User Profile changes to a minimum if you can, provide all the settings on the System Side for example All Users if you can.  Favorites, internet browser settings and general Desktop maintenance, use Group Policy, if you don't have Domain Based Group Policy use Local Group Policy, recommend after making your changes Zip %WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy to image script location for future use.  If you don't want to use Group Policy you can also use Sysprep itself to make changes to your internet settings, add registry etc..

    Hope that helps.

    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    We are using Netware rather than AD for our network. I am trying to avoid as much post-imaging setup as possible because that is where the mistakes occur and that is our most time consuming part. I will see if a zipped file helps us out on Tuesday as I hadn't thought to try that.
    LVL 29

    Assisted Solution

    Hi PiezoSapphire

    You can still use Group Policy in Netware, but you may of been like us and never implimented it, (we have since moved to Active Directory) however during our Netware days, I just used Local Group Policy our images, just don't make restrictions, just make general changes, like removing Desktop Cleanup Wizard, Adding Proxy settings, Removing Shared Documents etc...  Also the only reason we created a Custom Default User Profile was because we wanted to change Windows Explorer Views and also enable Quick Launch, all other settings we implimented prior by using registry settings, just create a custom reg file for HKCU etc.. then edit the file with notepad for example and replace HKEY_CURRENT_USER with HKEY_USERS\DefaultUser (Note no space) than you can use a script to run:

    REG LOAD HKU\DefaultUser "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\NTUser.dat"
    Regedit /s <Path to Registry File>:\RegistryFile.reg
    REG UNLOAD HKU\DefaultUser

    All your settings are now within the Default User Profile.

    Hope that helps.

    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Well, cool, zipping the profile and unzipping worked. The registry settings are gravy. Thanks for your help.

    Featured Post

    Gigs: Get Your Project Delivered by an Expert

    Select from freelancers specializing in everything from database administration to programming, who have proven themselves as experts in their field. Hire the best, collaborate easily, pay securely and get projects done right.

    Join & Write a Comment

    There are 2 things you must have in order to connect to the internet behind a router, The "Gateway IP" of the router, which is usually something like, I've seen routers with default values of:,,, …
    Today, still in the boom of Apple, PC's and products, nearly 50% of the computer users use Windows as graphical operating systems. If you are among those users who love windows, but are grappling to keep the system's hard drive optimized, then you s…
    Hi everyone! This is Experts Exchange customer support.  This quick video will show you how to change your primary email address.  If you have any questions, then please Write a Comment below!
    Excel styles will make formatting consistent and let you apply and change formatting faster. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use Excel's built-in styles, how to modify styles, and how to create your own. You'll also learn how to use your custo…

    755 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    25 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now