Microsoft KB Archive/243420

From BetaArchive Wiki
Knowledge Base

Roaming Profile Creation in Windows Using the "Copy To" Command

Article ID: 243420

Article Last Modified on 3/2/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition

This article was previously published under Q243420


Roaming profiles contain user work environments, which include the desktop items and settings. Some examples of these environments are screen colors, mouse settings, window size and position, and network and printer connections. Roaming profiles are available wherever the user logs on, provided the server is available. This article describes how to create a roaming profile.


To create a roaming profile:

  1. On your Windows-based computer, create a dedicated account with administrative rights as profile administrator. Create this account in Active Directory Users and Computers. Also create a share named "profiles" on the server.

    If you are creating a template profile, set the template user account to equivalent or similar rights and permissions as the users who will be receiving a copy of the profile.
  2. In Active Directory Users and Computers, add the user profile path location in the User Environment Profile dialog box. Open the User Properties dialog box for a user account, and then click Profiles to add the user profile path. The path location should be similar to the following path, where server name is the appropriate server name,share name is the profiles folder you made in step one, and user name is the appropriate user name:

    \\server name\share name\user name

  3. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click System.
  4. On the User Profiles tab, click the existing local profile for profile administrator that you want to copy, and then click Copy To.
  5. In the Copy profile to box, specify the universal naming convention (UNC) path to the user's profile folder, for example, \\server name\share name\user profile folder.

    NOTE: If the user's profile folder does not exist, use the user name instead.
  6. Click the user permitted to use this profile, click OK to copy the profile, and then click OK to close System Properties.
  7. Log on to a Windows-based computer. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click System. On the User Profiles tab, the logon user profile type should be listed as Roaming.

NOTE: In addition, it is important to note that the default security for roaming profiles has changed in Windows 2000. Administrators no longer have full control to all user profiles by default, only the user and the system. This means that if an administrator needs to obtain access to the contents of a user's profile, they will have to perform a "take ownership" operation upon the file system objects or registry hive directly. This is a more desirable approach from a security perspective as the "take ownership" operation is an audited event. To take ownership of profiles in Windows 2000:

  1. In the Profile folder, right-click the appropriate user's profile folder, and then click properties.
  2. Click the Security tab, and then click Advanced.
  3. Click the Owner tab, click the user that you would like to take ownership in the Change owner to box, and then click Apply.

Keywords: kbhowto kbnetwork KB243420