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Roaming User Profiles
settings and appearance that will make it into the future roaming profile. All of these
settings are stored in a directory on the local computer, which is called something
like this:
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>
Once you’ve logged into the machine using the temporary account, configure every-
thing how you would like it: add shortcuts to the desktop, change the format of the
Start menu, change the colors, font, and size of windows and title bars, and so forth.
Remember: we want this profile to be the default for all users, so create the profile’s
configuration with that baseline in mind. Once you have finished your customiza-
tion, log off of the machine, and then log in again with an administrator account.
Making Proles Available on the Server
You might be wondering at this point what is actually stored within a user profile. A
profile is actually made up of several different folders:
The Application Data folder contains program-specific settings and user security
settings that correspond with applications that person has used.
The Cookies folder contains all of the web cookies a user has encountered and
chosen to allow during his or her travails on the web.
The Desktop folder, as obvious as it might sound, contains files, folders, short-
cuts, and data regarding the appearance of the desktop on the user’s screen.
The Favorites folder contains shortcuts to the user’s preferred web sites and
other frequently visited locations.
The Local Settings folder contains application data, history, and temporary files.
The My Documents folder contains files for the user, music, pictures, and other
things the user tends to store in his home directory.
The Nethood folder contains shortcuts to sites in My Network Places.
The Printhood folder contains printer shortcuts.
The Recent folder shows the most recently accessed files and folders.
The Send To folder is where the Send To menu, a popular “right-clicking” desti-
nation, is obtained. This folder can contain shortcuts to popular target destina-
tions, like a floppy drive, My Documents, a printer, and so on.
The Start Menu folder contains items on the user’s Start menu.
The Templates folder holds templates for applications, like Microsoft Word and
If you can’t see all of these folders, don’t worry; they’re most likely still hidden. To
see them, select Folder Options from any Explorer window’s Tools menu, click the
View tab, and select the option to Show Hidden Files and Folders.
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Chapter 3: File, Print, and User Services
With that said, the next task is to actually send the profile to your network server. To
do this, create a folder on the network drive that will hold roaming profiles. In my
case, I’ll create a share on my Windows Server 2003 machine called Profiles. Then,
on the client machine where your new baseline profile is stored, go into the Control
Panel and double-click on System. Then follow these steps:
1. Navigate to the Advanced tab.
2. Under the User Profiles section, click the Settings button.
3. The User Profiles screen appears.
4. Select your temporary user, and then click the Copy To button. The Copy To
screen appears, as shown in Figure 3-47. Enter the path to the network profile
folder in the Copy Profile To box. (Windows will automatically create a folder
underneath the Profiles folder with the appropriate username.)
5. Under the Permitted to Use section, click the Change button.
6. Enter the name of the temporary user you created earlier in this procedure, and
then click OK.
7. Click OK on the Copy To screen, and then click OK on the User Profiles screen.
When you’re determining where to put the shared location for user
profiles, try to put them on a member server as opposed to a domain
controller. Domain controllers have their own issues to deal with, and
there’s no need to bog them down with profile processing as well as
authentication, replication, authenticating, emulating, and so on. While
you’re at it, make sure that the server you choose is regularly backed
up so you don’t lose all of your user profiles to a machine failure.
You should be back out to the desktop now. Now, load Active Directory Users and
Computers again, right-click on your temporary user and select Properties from the
Figure 3-47. Copying the profile to the network server

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