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customizing default user profile in Windows 2008R2

Posted on 2011-02-24
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I have been researching the business of customizing the default user profile in 2008 R2 and found the following notes from Microsoft - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973289
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Create an Unattend.xml file that contains the Copy Profile parameter. By using this Copy Profile parameter, the settings of the user who is currently logged on are copied to the default user profile. This parameter must be set to "true" in the specialize pass.

Use the Windows System Image Manager tool to create the Unattend.xml file. The Windows System Image Manager tool is included as part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK). For more information about Windows AIK, visit the following Microsoft website:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd349343.aspx
For more information about how to create an answer file, see the Help information that is included with Windows AIK, and then visit the following Microsoft website:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744394(WS.10).aspx

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I am stuck at this line: "Use the Windows System Image Manager tool to create the Unattend.xml file"  

I've read the various links but none of them describe to me  with any amount of useful detail on just how I am supposed to do this. So has anybody out there done this and can you give me a bit more a of a step-by-step. Or point me to a step-by-step - one that uses an example would be helpful.
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Question by:lineonecorp
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Tasmant earned 300 total points
ID: 34969413
You can link the unattend.xml to sysprep command in order to execute some specific configurations. Unattended files are usedwith WDS, but can also be used with Sysprep to perform some customization. http://technet.microsoft.com/fr-fr/library/cc748953%28WS.10%29.aspx

You will find a great blog entry here to do it:
http://theitbros.com/sysprep-a-windows-7-machine-%E2%80%93-start-to-finish
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 34973179
Thanks for the info.

The first link - http://technet.microsoft.com/fr-fr/library/cc748953%28WS.10%29.aspx - however provides me little insight. It tells me a parameter that I have to put in the unattend file but does not tell me how to create it.
The 2nd link while interesting deals with Windows 7 and I specifically referred to Windows 2008 R2 which from everything I read deals with the whole profile situation quite differently.

Have you done this with a 2008 R2 system yourself?




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by:lineonecorp
ID: 34995010
Still thinking?
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by:Tasmant
Tasmant earned 300 total points
ID: 35035638
Hi, personnaly i have not do it with Windows Server 2008 R2 but Seven and 2008R2 share the same structure. So every documentation applying to Seven (at least for deployment) should apply to 2008R2.

You need to install the Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7 in order to generate unattended.xml files. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd349343%28WS.10%29.aspx
Next, when you load the .wim file in WAIK, load the 2008R2 .wim instead of Windows7 .wim file.

The blog i already linked you has all the information to generate the xml file:
http://theitbros.com/sysprep-a-windows-7-machine-%E2%80%93-start-to-finish
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 35062837
Thanks. I will see if I can find documentation relevant to 2008 R2. This is a complicated process and I want to be sure I've got the right instructions  - I don't want to spend any time finding out an hour or two into it that there are  differences between the two.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 35062850
References provided were not specific to my question and Expert had not had specific experience with the target environment.
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Expert Comment

by:Xenon6
ID: 36355471
For Windows 2008, 2008 R2 and 7 this is the Microsoft recommended way to customise the Default Profile:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973289

Quoting from the article:  "When the default user profile is customized in the manner that is described in this article, it reconstructs the source profile in a format that is appropriate for use by multiple users. This is the only supported method of customizing the default user profile for the Windows operating system. If you try to use other methods to customize the default user profile, it may result in extraneous information being included in this new default user profile. Such extraneous information could lead to serious problems with applications and system stability."

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973289 
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