What if I want to make changes to a mandatory profile?

15 pts.
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Microsoft Windows Vista
Hi, I have a lab with Windows Server 2003 and clients all running Windows Vista. I have a mandatory profile running successfully on the clients. However, there are a couple of user-dependent applications settings that need to be changed and I can't figure out how to go back and make those changes to the profile. If I change the ntuser.man file back to ntuser.dat, the client freezes at logon and the profile never loads. It's relatively easy to add a new desktop shortcut to the mandatory profile (while logged in as a domain admin), but changes beyond that seem impossible, unless I create a new user and go through the mandatory profile creation process all over again. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to read my question. -Frank

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I think I got it:

I created an empty folder inside \\server\labprofiles for user “lab01 called “lab01.v2.” Path = server\labprofiles\lab01.v2

I went to the Properties/Profile tab in Active Directory for lab01 and set the path to the profile as server\labprofiles\lab01.v2

Then I logged in to a machine where I had previously set up the default profile to be as close as possible to what I wanted it to be, and logged in on that client as lab01. The default profile filled the profile for lab01. I made a few changes, screen saver, preferences, etc. and logged off. When Win 2003 server found the folder for the Roaming profile empty, it populated it with the profile coming from the client at log off.

Then I logged in as domain admin to SERVER, and went to server\mandatory\lab.v2, and emptied out all the contents of the folder (“lab” is the user I have as the main login for students in the lab).

Then I logged on with admin credentials to the client, and copied the profile stored on that client for lab01 to \\server\mandatory\lab, with permission to use for everyone.

Then I went back to SERVER, and went to D\mandatory\lab.v2, and changed ntuser.dat to ntuser.man. And it worked!

By following the procedure above, I was also able to make changes to the mandatory profile: Log in as lab01 (a client with a Roaming profile) and make appropriate changes to settings. Then log off, and follow instructions above to empty out server\mandatory\lab, and copy the lab01 profile from that client to the server\mandatory\lab profile folder, and change ntuser.dat to ntuser.man.


  • All shares for the profiles have to allow “full control” to authenticated users: See Managing Roaming User Data Deployment Guide
  • “Show hidden and system files” must be selected on the Win2003 server, in order to see the ntuser.dat file. After changing it to ntuser.man, change the property back to “hide.”

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