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Change location of new users profile on first login

Posted on 2014-10-15
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Last Modified: 2014-10-22
Windows Server 2008 R1 x32 remote desktop.
I wanting to change the location where the profile is created for any "First Time" log on. The server is a fresh install production, I do not want to move the default existing user profiles. Just new ones at first log on.
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Question by:nhnerd
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by:Rizzle
ID: 40383164
A few things, you could set those local profiles to delete in log off (we have this in place in our citrix environment as its best practice) of you could redirect part of the users profile like their desktop, my documents and app data elsewhere?
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by:nhnerd
ID: 40383187
Fully agree in most environments. But this is a small business with family employees. the user profile is static after first setup. the only reason this server exist is a 32 bit DOS database program they are trying to move away from. but until then, the profile will be the users working desktop. So to make my life easier for the intern, I figured placing the profile on a different drive. Would be nice to set a registry key and all new profile are created in the new location automatically
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Expert Comment

by:Rizzle
ID: 40383262
Right okay, i believe the only Microsoft supported solution for folder/profile redirection is listed here.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc732275.aspx
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nhnerd earned 0 total points
ID: 40387486
My disclaimer! Going outside of MS best practice is usually a bad idea! But at times it is a must to support an extreme weird situation. And whatever you do, do not try to customize any MS Small Business Server without using the built in “Move Item” wizards in the SBS console! Trust me, I have 15 years of SBS administration

MS supports redirected folders for user’s; documents, desktop, start menu… via GPO folder redirects (SBS admins! Use the SBS console wizard). or you can use roaming profiles which will include more user profile information beyond the redirected folder policy. In any of these cases, the user’s local profile is stilled setup in the %system% drive\users\username folder.

Another really bad idea is to try to move or redirect the default install of the public, system, and default user profiles. Basically kiss the OS install good bye. As stated by several articles; patches, updates, and future installs depend on these profiles to be in place. Your’ bad for changing them, or even worse, the companies issue when you’re no longer the admin. The next admin will have a customized word or two for you.

Steps to change a user profile at first log (profile creation) on to the computer (locally or remotely).
1.      Install, configure, and update the OS completely
2.      Install needed software
3.      Do a full Back up!
4.      Create the root Users folder in the new location with CURRECT ACL permissions
-[Xcopy “%SystemDrive%\users”  “new location” /x /o /t]
-My Case [Xcopy “%SystemDrive%\users\” “r:\Users\” /x /o /t]
5.      Export the registry HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
6.      Change HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\ProfilesDirectory to new location.
My case it was “R:\Users”
7.      Log on to the computer with an account that never has been logged on before. The profile will be in the new location.

Again, Disclaimer
-This is not written as a MS support method of changing a profile location.
-This will not move existing user profiles or effect their log on.
-Moving an existing profile manually to the new location in hope the next log on will point to the profile is incorrect. You will get a temporary profile situation.
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Author Closing Comment

by:nhnerd
ID: 40396500
Researching the topic "Move an existing profile", then studying the the registry entries in the "ProfileList" I came up with the Idea and test it on a virtual test Remote Desktop Server with success.
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