Network Administration: Windows Server 2008 User Roaming Profiles

A roaming user profile is simply a user profile that has been copied to a network share so that it can be accessed from any computer on the network.

Before you can create roaming user profiles, you should create a shared folder on the server to hold the profiles. You can name the shared folder anything you like, but most administrators call it Users.

After you’ve created the shared Users folder, you can copy the profile to the server by following these steps at the user’s local computer (Windows 7 or Vista):

  1. Log on to the computer by using an account other than the one you want to make a user account.

    Windows won’t let you copy the profile that you’re logged on with.

  2. Click the Start button and type the word Profile. Then choose the Configure Advanced User Profile Properties option from the menu that appears.

    This brings up the User Profiles dialog box.

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  3. Select the profile that you want to copy and then click Copy To.

    A Copy To dialog box appears.

  4. Type the path and name for the roaming profile in the Copy Profile To box.

    For example, to copy a profile named Doug to the User share on a server named Server01, type \Server01UsersDoug.

  5. Click OK.

    The profile is copied.

Now, you can go back to the server, log on as an administrator, and follow these steps to designate a roaming profile for the user’s domain account:

  1. Choose Start→Administrative Tools→Active Directory Users and Computers.

    The Active Directory Users and Computers management console appears.

  2. Right-click the user account and choose Properties.

    The User Properties dialog box appears.

  3. Click the Profile tab.

    The Profile tab appears.

  4. Type the path and name of the profile in the Profile Path text box.

    The path and name that you type here should be the same path and name that you used to copy the profile to the server.

  5. Click OK.