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Roaming profiles, what happens when they're turned off?

Posted on 2011-09-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a client of about 80-90 users and they currently have roaming profiles turned on.  We have opted to turn this feature off for corruption reasons (users were having troubles keeping their profiles to less than 1GB; usually 10-30GB in size).

What will the users experience when we turn this off?  

*I just ask as I have tested a "test" account, and it doesn't seem to impact at all...that being said, this "test" account does not have a desktop location (to connect directly to the domain), I just RDC'ed into the terminal server.
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Question by:mgedlaman
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James Haywood earned 500 total points
ID: 36539153
There are a number of variables that will affect this process and it depends what polices you already have in place as well as what client OS you are using. Things that you will need to look include (and users will notice!):

Re-directed folders - being used? if so which ones?
Wallpapers - irrelevant really but users will complain
Mapped Drives - GPO, Logon script, manual?
Printers - GPO, Logon script, manual?
Outlook profiles - Exchange, POP etc
Favourites - Windows 7 can redirect but XP is a pain

There are others I can't think of at the moment but this should give you some thought. Another consideration is the fact that the client machines will still look for the roaming profiles unless you delete the relevant registry keys (http://cobracommunications.co.uk/2010/12/22/delete-local-copy-of-profiles-completely).

You can use GPOs to set/configure all of the above objects if you do decide to get rid of the roaming profiles. It just needs planning.
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by:CSorg
ID: 36539154
What will happen is that the profiles on the user system will be marked as local profile, so changes will not be commited back to the server.
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by:mgedlaman
ID: 36576866
Excellent answer!  Thank you very much, this will leave some food for thought.
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