Default user profile customization Windows 2008 R2 sysprep

Posted on 2011-03-17
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
If the question and responses are followed it will be seen that the answer I have received was not quite what I was asking for - perhaps I did not make clear enough what I was asking. What I am asking for is whether there is some abbreviated form of the officially supported sysprep method can be used to modify the default user profile once a system is in production.  The offical MS method for changing the profile seems to assume that once is building a system from scratch and customizing the default user profile as part of that. However, there can be situations where it is desirable to change the default user profile of a system already in production and perhaps dozens of production systems that have been built from the original sysprep template and it seems a bit redundant/tedious/impractical to start all over again.
Question by:lineonecorp
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Expert Comment

ID: 35164941
for me the question was already answered.
you have two choices:
- either you use the official way using sysprep (and you can launch sysprep on your current customized computer), but you will have to answer questions one you reboot computer.
- either you copy the profile needed to the default one (as it was done with Windows XP), but sure it's not really supported on Seven/2008 R2. But i think it works.

Author Comment

ID: 35167931
I don't feel the question was answered completely that is why I asked. What I was hoping was that somebody who had worked with Sysprep extensively and 2008 R2 might be able to provide me with further information.  Have you worked with 2008 R2 in this context? The reason I ask is that from what you wrote:
"- either you copy the profile needed to the default one (as it was done with Windows XP), but sure it's not really supported on Seven/2008 R2. But i think it works." it doesn't sound like you have had specific experience or I'm not reading this correctly - it's a bit confusing to me.  You say 'either you copy the profile ...' but then give no other 'either' option. As well, you say it's not supported but you think it works - where are you getting that idea? Every other reference I've seen indicates that it doesn't work - you can't overwrite the default user profile in 2008 R2, the option is greyed out.  Do you know from experience that is not correct?
You also write: "- either you use the official way using sysprep (and you can launch sysprep on your current customized computer), but you will have to answer questions one you reboot computer." - What does "but you will have to answer questions one you reboot computer" mean  Are you talking about sysprep? Are you talking about 2008 R2? What environment have you run personally run Sysprep on?  XP? Windows 7? 2008 R2? I am only interested in this process in 2008 R2 - it is a network OS as opposed to XP and Windows 7 - and a quick review of the literature makes it clear that what works for Windows 7/XP does not necessarily apply to 2008 R2. Again if you have not had specific practical experience with 2008 R2 and the procedures we are talking about while I appreciate your efforts to give me analogous information in this situation analogy is not going to do the trick.  I need concrete detail for a concrete specific situation.  That is why I posted here - I have done a lot of reading and it has not been conclusive - only somebody who has dealt with the specific problem I am bringing up can possibly give conclusive answers. I am convinced that some Expert out there - perhaps you - can tell me from personal experience, this can work, this can't work.



Author Comment

ID: 35187796
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Accepted Solution

FarPointDive earned 300 total points
ID: 35194826
I opened a case with MS Support on this issue and the bottom line was that there is no 'officially' support option for customizing the Default User Profile other than the one covered in MS Article ID: 973289 using Sysprep.  You are correct that this methodology assumes doing this while building a server from scratch, not on a production server.  To use this mehod would require removing the server from the domain plus a number of other steps that, in the opinion of the MS engineer I was working with, would trash my XenApp server and require a rebuild anyway.  MS ended up not charging me for the call because they couldn't adderss my originally request for customizing the profile.  

I would appreciate any input anyone has for other ways to address this issue.

Author Comment

ID: 35203813

Thanks for this feedback.  You've saved me and a lot of other folks the call to MS to find that out.  It seems that the only method available for a production system is to copy it and then do the Sysprep thing so that you are starting with your last incarnation instead of a completely blank template - in other  words your current system becomes the starting point.  I find it hard to believe that they have not provided us with a means of modifying - even if manually - the output/answer files produced by the original sysprep and then simply overwriting the current default user profile with the new version - saving a lot of steps and swapping production systems in and out of production.  For your info there are some unofficial ways of discovered:

It may be that some other Expert may have a more official way.

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