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Creating the Secure Managed Desktop: Using Group Policy, SoftGrid, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, and Other Management Tools by Jeremy Moskowitz

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2.1. What Is a User Profile?

As I stated, as soon as a user logs onto a machine, a Local Profile is generated. This profile is two things: a personal slice of the Registry (contained in a file) and a set of folders stored on a hard drive. Together, these components form what we might call the user experience—that is, what the Desktop looks like, what style and shape the icons are, what the background wallpaper looks like, and so on.

2.1.1. The NTUSER.DAT File

The Registry stores user and computer settings in a file called NTUSER.DAT, which can be loaded and unloaded into the current computer's Registry-taking over the HKEY_CURRENT_USER portion of the Registry when the user logs on.

In Figure 2.1, you can see a portion of a Windows XP's HKEY_CURRENT_USER ...

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