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Default user profile versus mandatory roaming profile

In our school district, we have students using a mandatory profile. Originally I ran into a problem where machines with different software would do their initial setup. I resolved that by making the mandatory profile not mandatory, and going around to machines with different software and initializing for the first time, then changing the profile back to mandatory.

The problem is that our teachers don't use roaming profiles. So I decided to create a good local profile for that machine and copied it to the local Default User profile, so that anyone without a mandatory roaming profile who logs in won't have to initialize everything.

Here is my question. If the local default user profile of the machine is configured the way I like, and a student logs in with a mandatory profile which has settings that are different, which settings take precedence?

If I just had the ntuser.man file in the shared directory for the profiles, would it use the rest of the files from the local Default User profile?
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danisham
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danisham
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x3manCommented:
If a user has a mandatory profile the settings in this will be used - not the local default user profile settings.

"If I just had the ntuser.man file in the shared directory for the profiles, would it use the rest of the files from the local Default User profile?" Not sure about that, I suspect not, and I'm not sure why you would want to do that anyway? The reason for a mandatory profile is to force particular settings on to users anyway. Surely it's easier to manage those settings in one central place.
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danishamAuthor Commented:
@ x3man:

Here is my dilemma and I would appreciate advice.

Right now every machine has different software and different versions of that software, and nothing is very standard across the district, making my life difficult.

That will change in the summer, as I will be re-imaging every machine with standard software, except certain buildings have different versions of office, but the kids will need to be able to access different machines with different versions without having to intialize anything.

So do I continue the strategy I mentioned earlier? Is there a different way to accomplish this? And finally, how do I deal with users that don't have roaming profiles where I want to accomplish the same goal? Will I need to edit the local default user profile per machine or is there a domain default user profile that would apply?
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x3manCommented:
That will change in the summer, as I will be re-imaging every machine with standard software, except certain buildings have different versions of office, but the kids will need to be able to access different machines with different versions without having to intialize anything.

If you want to continue using mandatory profiles for these students but would like them to avoid being asked to initialize apps then you will need to make sure that you apply the settings for all of the apps to that profile (that is to say by modifying the mandatory profile - by changing to non-mandatory, logging on to all machines and running those apps etc - or however you choose to do that).

So do I continue the strategy I mentioned earlier? Is there a different way to accomplish this? And finally, how do I deal with users that don't have roaming profiles where I want to accomplish the same goal? Will I need to edit the local default user profile per machine or is there a domain default user profile that would apply?

Your options for non-mandatory profile users are:
1. Use a domain default user profile. See http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/tips/how-can-i-set-the-default-domain-user-profile-.aspx (I've not used this myself but looks like a good option)
2. Use a local default user profile. This may require a lot of effort depending on number of machines as they will need to be set up on every machine.
3. Use roaming profiles (This is an option I have used before). However these will still require certain apps being initialized when they are first used, but after that the settings will roam with the user.
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danishamAuthor Commented:
I think the domain default user profile would be a good option. Thanks for clarifying the initialization of apps in regards to mandatory profiles, that is what I figured.
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