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Microsoft® Windows® Group Policy Guide by William R. Stanek, Derek Melber, Darren Mar-Elia, The Microsoft Group Policy Team

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Understanding User Profiles and Group Policy

Whenever a user logs on to a computer, a user profile is generated or retrieved. This profile stores important global settings and user data, and it exists physically on disk. The most basic type of profile is a local profile. With a local profile, a user’s global settings and data are stored on the local computer and are available only on that computer. You can also configure accounts so that users have roaming or mandatory profiles.

Both roaming and mandatory profiles allow users to access profiles from a designated server and thereby get their global settings and data from anywhere on the network. The difference between roaming and mandatory profiles is in who can make permanent changes to the user’s ...

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