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roaming profile alternative

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
We use roaming profiles which save every setting so where ever they go they don’t have to set anything up when they move around. But now I am trying to get away from the roaming profiles due to the incompatibility from XP to W7 profiles. So far I haven’t figured out a way to make it complete and seamless for all the user settings.

Folder redirection saves “the desktop” and redirects “my documents” but doesn’t save “favorites” or “printers”.  For example some of our printers spool on the print server and some spool locally due to file size and bandwidth congestion etc.
I haven’t found a way to move the favorites and save the printers thru GPO. At least not with Sever 2003.

Any thoughts?
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Question by:GoHuskers
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9 Comments
 
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

by:
amichaell earned 2000 total points
ID: 34905643
You can redirect Internet Favorites through GPO.  I didn't think a custom ADM was needed, though you may.  See these links for creating a custom ADM for redirecting IE favorites: http://www.petri.co.il/redirect-favorites-cookies-folder-using-group-policy.htm and http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/guyt/archive/2006/11/18/Redirecting-IE-Favorites-via-GPO.aspx.  

Manually mapped printers are saved in the user's NTUSER.DAT file.  Where the job spools is controlled by where the queue lives.  This doesn't have anything to do with profile redirection.  
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:pwindell
ID: 34906911
I'll just be straight with you.  There is no alternative.  There is nothing else that does what Roaming Profiles do.  There are other things that do part of what Romain Profiles do,...but only part.  There is nothing that will let the User "Settings" follow the user.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:BLipman
ID: 34908438
Well, if you don't have a problem paying some money these guys are worth looking into:
http://www.tricerat.com/products/profile

Tricerat makes a good printing suite, I imagine their profile management is pretty slick as well.  I don't think this product is terribly expensive.  
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Author Comment

by:GoHuskers
ID: 34908566
amichaell; As I try to create my own GPO using the 1st link you have provided it doesn't seem to be working right. Any ideas?
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:pwindell
ID: 34908963
amichaell; As I try to create my own GPO using the 1st link you have provided it doesn't seem to be working right. Any ideas?

You're going to find that it keeps comming back to what I said until you finally accept it.  

When you get to the point that all the desktops have been replaced and you are consistantly at Win7 and have no more XP then your roaming Profiles will work like they are supposed to.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:amichaell
ID: 34909080
Yeah, trying to mesh XP and Windows 7 profiles aren't going to work well.  You'll either need to wholly replace or look at some alternative, such as AppSense to manage your profile migration.
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Author Comment

by:GoHuskers
ID: 34909737
I have been experimenting with a combination of folder redirection and roaming profiles. It shows promise!!  If I could get the favorites location figured out I'd be sitting OK I think.

http://www.petri.co.il/redirect-favorites-cookies-folder-using-group-policy.htm

This process recommended in this link fails at step 6.

Does anyone have a suggestion?
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:pwindell
ID: 34910087
Yes, those two are very commonly used in combination.  The FDir makes the Roaming Profiles more efficient, particularly if anyrthing is separate by slower WAN links.  However the Roaming Profile itself is still a requirement to persist the user's settings and there is nothing else capable of filling that role.  Now maybe AppSense mentioned by AMicheall might cover than, I don't really know, but that is pretty much the state of the situation as I know it.

Sooner or later you have to get to a point where you ask yourself, "Is it worth it?"  After all the time, reaseach, greif, hairpulling, headstands & cartwheels to solve a temporary situation...would it have been better (even quicker) to just finshing the upgrade from XP to Win7 and be done wih it,...then none of that other stuff even matters anymore.
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Author Closing Comment

by:GoHuskers
ID: 34911029
The new .adm I created works great for moving the favorites and cookies.
And the printers I will leave alone because they will be maintained thru the Roaming Profile.
I go back and forth between XP and W7 at will without any problems.
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