Roaming profiles: Pros and Cons

pts.
Tags:
DataCenter
Management
Microsoft Windows
Networking
OS
Security
Servers
SQL Server
I understand the basic concepts of roaming profiles, but I have a few questions How do roaming profiles work with installed software? I assume that I have to have the software installed on the local machine with the same path in order for the desktop icon to function properly? With roaming profiles active, if I need to install a new application and add the link to the users' desktops, is this possible? Can I just copy it to a specific user's folder on the server? Is there an easier way? I am just curious of how the software is handled with roaming profiles. Also, I have read a great deal of articles dicussing the use of roaming profiles. Does anyone have any real-world experience with roaming profies? What are the pros and cons? I would be using them in a small network of 50-75 people. Not all people will need to roam. Thanks for the help.

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

I personally think roaming profiles are nice, but are only good if the users are limited to say 1.5 mbs of total desktop storage space. Otherwise when their profile loads it can be very very slow. Be on the lookout for the error “cannot load roaming profile”. That error seems to be quite common and is fixed by completely deleting the profile folder of the user in question, and then logging on as the user. This doesn’t erase their desktop profile, i’ve noticed, but it does seem to correct any roaming proflie errors. Good Luck!

Discuss This Question: 3  Replies

 
There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when members answer or reply to this question.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
  • Norwood
    I've used roaming profiles extensively in the past and I hate them. With the amount of flexibility that group policy gives you these days, I can think of very few reasons to use them. We redirect our users' My Documents folders to a network location. You can also redirect their IE Favorites as well if you want. We also setup their printers and mail profiles via group policy automatically. These are just a few things that go a long way in negating the need for roaming profiles. Having said all that, with a user base as small as yours, it will probably be easier to just implement the roaming profiles. If you are going to use them, make sure you set the option to delete the profile from the workstation after logoff. This will ensure that a completely fresh copy is loaded from the network location the profiles are stored at every time. There's nothing worse than having a desktop bogged down with a million old profiles. The first responder was correct in terms of limiting size. A user will drop half a gig onto their desktop and then wonder why it took 15 minutes to login. Not that they should be expected to understand those things, but you will have to go to some lengths to protect them from themselves. In any event, for all the problems roaming profiles create, they do make your life as an admin easier when they work. As long as the network is solid, you should be okay with a user base that small. Good luck!
    0 pointsBadges:
    report
  • Skepticals
    Thank you both for the input. Very helpful. What about the issue with installed software?
    0 pointsBadges:
    report
  • Norwood
    You'll never notice the difference when it comes to installed software. The desktop is aware that the user's profile is "roaming" as opposed to "local", but it won't make any difference as far as I know. I have never had any software refuse to work with a roaming profile as long as the profile itself was downloaded entirely from the network share it was stored on and was not corrupted. I have seen plenty of corrupted profiles, but if I were to compare corrupted roaming profiles versus corrupted local profiles, the roaming ones far outnumber the local ones.
    0 pointsBadges:
    report

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

To follow this tag...

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Thanks! We'll email you when relevant content is added and updated.

Following