Windows 7 Copying Default Profile

jdemoccc used Ask the Experts™
is there a way to copy a windows 7 default profile to another computer's default profile? We setup a default profile on one computer and would like that same default profile on a few different computers.

We attempted to to rename the default profile and rename the profile we wanted to loginto as default but when we goto login as the user we get a cannot login due to user profile service error.

Basically we imaged a bunch of computers and sysprepped and setup an unattend.xml answer file and we had the copy profile true but it did not copy all the settings. Such as some windows settings and taskbar icons. We do not want to go back and sysprep again and then reimage every machine again. so is there a way to possibly setup a default profile on one and then move that default profile to every other computer.
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Nick RhodeIT Director
Top Expert 2013

IT Director
Top Expert 2013
You might just not have the permissions set correctly for the default profile.  Make sure everyone group has the rights to at least the following:

Read & Execute
List Folder Contents
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Copying the Windows default profile is not supported any more. I tried the Iron Geek method (earlier post here), but the results were unpredictable and I stopped. Microsoft has removed this capability.

.. Thinkpads_User

I prepared following guide a while ago and worked for everyone perfectly. Since you already set the copy profile to True, then your command should be as in the guide below. Please make sure the steps are followed correctly.

1-Download the WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit) and installed (Free) On different computer, preferably your tech computer.
2-Install  your laptop/desktop and  first, activate Administrator account (as default its disabled-Right click on Computer icon and manage, local users and groups) and remove the initial admin account the one that you have essentially created at the end of the setup! Now you logged in Administrator account, and install other softwares that you need. Customize desktop, gadgets and other softwares (Office especially-at first run it asking update settings which user will need administrator credentials, its better to do it know so no user will be asked this question)
3-Now go back to other computer and create a folder under C: and name it (say WAIK) and copy the Install.vim and Install_Windows 7.clg files which located under sources to the WAIK folder you just created and run the WAIK. You do not need rest of CD components!!!
4-After finish preparation you will create an answer file (please watch the tutorial how to do this Please use your answer file name as myunattend as I prepared the last command according to that. Most important part here is Copy Profile command which is under Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup (right click and Specialize) and Copy profile must be TRUE.
5-copy that answer file under the Windows\System32\Sysprep\
6-Now you look your desktop and make sure everything customized as you wish and type the following command via cmd!! (Not via GUI)
CD \Windows\System32\Sysprep  (Enter) then
sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /unattend:myunattend.xml  (Enter)

Some programs such as Office requires updating the default profile. Users don't have local admin rights can use the office or similar programs without your personal attendance at the first run! If you don't take this step I guarantee you will visit every each of the machine for the users who don't have local admin rights.


i had already followed an in depth guide when i did my sysprep. I think it was the start to finish one on ITBros. For the most part it worked. I did have copyprofile set. But as i said it did not copy everything. Like for example it copied the desktop icons but not the pinned taskbar shortcuts. And it also did not clean the start menu.

I was trying to look for a fix that did not involve me sysprepping and imaging 45 machines again and also that did not involve me manually setting up the default profile on each computer.

I will try the renaming trick again and make sure my permissions are correct to everyone.

Taskbar shortcuts are not part of the default profile unfortunately and you cannot customize them in default profile. You may customize start menu instead. BTW if you are going to join the computers in domain you don't have chance but changing the SIDs which requires sysprep!


so copying over the default profile does work on windows 7. It was just a rights isssue. Thanls

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