The Real (and Virtual) Adventures of Nathan the IT Guy

Dec 3 2008   6:06AM GMT

Taking advantage of Roaming Profiles

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Well one thing about roaming profiles is that they can be used to deploy new workstations more efficiently . If done correctly and taking the proper precautions you can harness the power of the all mighty Roaming Profile!

When utilizing roaming profiles, you save the time of copying favorites, desktop icons, my documents, and outlook settings(usernames, account settings, and autofill settings)

So how I went about doing this on my latest desktop refresh was to enable roaming profiles for each user in Active Directory. MS Technet Article here.
Then I would goto each workstation and use a great free tool called ATF Cleaner (link here) I would clean out the profile, I usually leave the cookies, who knows if they have banking sites or passwords that they want saved!

Once the profile is free of the THOUSANDS of temporary files and temporary internet files, I log off their profile, then log back on again, a subsequent log off will enable the roaming profile. During this second log off the profile gets copied up to the server, the one thing I noticed, was with pop outlook accounts, the PST did not come over. Other then that when logging onto the new system the desktop icons, favorites, my documents, were all there. Everything was intact. Email was a snap, Outlook imported all the settings, created a new PST file(which i didn’t want) So all I did was rename the PST file created and pointed it to the old one(which was copied up to the server.)

Some custom applications were configured and away I went.

I am sure I must have saved at least an hour or work per workstation, you know how some people can be when it comes to new systems, they want everything they had before…

Roaming Profiles are also a good way to keep people from loosing important documents, because we all know, no matter how many times you tell people, they still like to avoid the server drive in favor of My Documents! Little do they know that we are backing up their files nightly ;)

Okay well after a 14 hour day of work I really need some sleep.

Thanks for reading!

NS

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