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Roaming Profiles - switching between OS

Posted on 2010-04-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-09
I am about to set up a windows 2008 STD Server, with mostly Windows 7 clients, running an AD domain.
I want to use Roaming Profiles, so that users are not tied to their individual workstations, and their profiles are "backed up" on the server.

What will happen if someone with a roaming profile having used a windows 7 workstation tries to log on to a windows XP Machine? Will the roaming profile transfer and "work" or am I in a world of hurt?
Question by:somewhereinafrica
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 29342785
i've just done the other way round - upgraded an xp machine to a win 7, and everything looked to transfer fine - My Docs still contained everything, the desktop FILES were copied over (although their background picture was reset). the only thing i had to do was reconfigure their Outlook for their emails.

it should be fine, but i'd test it with a dummy user before you roll it out
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 29344476
some of the function of win 7 profile will be missing while you using same profile as a roaming in win xp system. features like: side bar gadget ,UAC.etc...in short visualization and security features would messed up in xp. 
if you think only application settings way , its depends on the os compatibility.

Author Comment

ID: 29350176
@mrroonie - This is not a one-off question, I am fearing that I'll have users who will work one day on a Win7 machine, and an XP machine the next, and then eventually will switch back to a Win7 machine again.

@xtreminator - "features will be messed up", does this mean permanently, or just that features will be missing on the OS that is not supporting these features?

I guess the ultimate question is "Will it work to have roamers switching between XP and Win7 machines over and over again, or will the profiles be permanently screwed up?

Surely I am not the only person with this dilemma?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 29350642
the user i upgraded here had to log back into her XP machine for a couple of days due to printer issues with the win 7 box, but she didn't encounter any problems
LVL 66

Expert Comment

ID: 29358035
Also, Windows 7 uses Junctions under Documents and settins etc, that point to the new folder locations to make the transition to Windows 7 a little easier, but there iwll inevitably be problems going from Windows 7 back to XP I owuld think, as there is no backwards compatibility on XP to accomodate the User Profile structure in 7.....

No personal exoperience with this yet though, but this concern is based strictly on my understanding of how the registry and a profile is used....
LVL 19

Accepted Solution

deroode earned 2000 total points
ID: 29363379
Roaming profiles are not roaming between XP and Windows 7. Upgrading a workstation will work fine and upgrade the profiles.

A user with a AD configured roaming profile will actually get two profile directories, named profile and profile.V2

or http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/b/a/3ba6d659-6e39-4cd7-b3a2-9c96482f5353/managing%20roaming%20user%20data%20deployment%20guide.doc

Folder redirection will work however.

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