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Mandatory user profile or something better

To prevent computers in a lab environment from loading up the startup routine of a program, like the Microsoft Office products, Adobe Reader, etc. I used to copy the ntuser.dat file from a user to the ntuser.dat file of the Default users profile in Windows XP. Now in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 ntuser.dat does not work the same way.

As new software is installed from time  to time in the lab I don't want to have users go through this startup routine each time a program loads. I have read about mandatory user profiles, but I am concerned about having to have each user pull down a profile over the network each time they log on. In a lab of 35 computers, wouldn't this be a painful process?

What is the best way to get around this first time loading of programs in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 so that users don't have to experience this startup routine every time they run a program?

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Brian B
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Thanks