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Administrator account and a roaming profile

Posted on 2010-09-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have added a certificate root server to our network to implement NAP. We use automatic certificate enrollment. The automatic enrollment GPO isn’t scoped to the administrator. The administrator account doesn’t have a roaming profile. Now that 802.1x is activated, when I login to a computer with 802.1x enabled, using the administrator account, the network connection gets blocked after the reauthentication, because the administrator doesn’t have a user certificate. I can’t link a GPO to the Build In User OU, in which the administrator account is located. Now I can add the administrator to the scope of the automatic enrollment GPO. But then the administrator gets a new certificate during every login to a computer, on which there wasn’t a user certificate enrolled yet to the local profile. Then I have to change the profile of the administrator to a roaming profile. Also I have to create and link a GPO to the administrator to prevent the Desktop and Startmenu and Documents to roam. To make this work I have to create a GPO with loopback processing, scoped to the administrator. But because the loopback policy is a Computer policy, I also have to add all the computers to the scope of this loopback GPO.  Or I can also move the administrator account to an OU to which a GPO can be linked.

Or also I can stop using THE administrator account, disable the account as usually advised by Microsoft,  and create a new user account with the same rights and privileges and add it to the User OU to get the certificate with auto enrollment and prevent the Desktop and Startmenu and Documents to roam.

I’m looking for advise and tips how you are solving this in your domain?
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Question by:NicoNL
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Sean_D76 earned 500 total points
ID: 33655114
No experience with NAP but from reading this two things crossed my mind:
1.) You can't link a GPO to the Users folder where Administrator resides, BUT you can link the GPO at the top (domain level) and set the "Applies to" security option to be "Administrator" only.

2.) You don't have to auto-enroll just to get a cert. There is a manual way... check the IIS on your cert server but there is probably a new site there like /certserv or something.  Go to that page while logged in as administrator and I believe there is an option for enrolling yourself.

Furthermore, I'm a bit confused on why you think a new cert will be issued every time you login as admin unless you use roaming profiles.  The cert gets stored in AD with the user object and should not change on a per PC basis.  If it did you'd have serious problems with EFS files and such.   So really I think there would be no downside to letting the auto-enroll GPO affect the Administrator account as well.  Admittedly this is not one of my stronger areas though so maybe I'm missing something here?
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by:NicoNL
ID: 33656113
Link the GPO at the top scoped only to the Administrator, yes that's indeed the way to push the auto enrollment to the administrator. Then I don't have to change the administrator's profile to roaming.

You made my day :-)
I just tested it and it works. Now I won't be having network verification errors on computers with 802.1x enabled, logged in as the administrator, great!

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