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Local user profiles

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Local user profiles

The location of a user profile depends on whether the user is starting from a clean installation of a Windows Server 2003 family operating system or an upgrade from a previous version of Windows. The following table lists the operating system and the location of user profiles for that scenario.

 

Operating system User profile location

Windows Server 2003 family clean installation (no previous operating system)

systemdrive\Documents and Settings (for example, C:\Documents and Settings)

Windows Server 2003 family upgrade from Windows 2000

systemdrive\Documents and Settings (for example, C:\Documents and Settings)

Windows Server 2003 family upgrade from Windows NT 4.0

systemroot\Profiles (for example, C:\Windows or C:\WINNT\Profiles)

Windows Server 2003 family upgrade from Windows NT 3.51

systemdrive\Documents and Settings (for example, C:\Documents and Settings)

Windows Server 2003 family upgrade from Windows 95 or Windows 98

systemdrive\Documents and Settings (for example, C:\Documents and Settings)

When no preconfigured server-based roaming user profile exists for a user, a user profile folder is created for that user when the user logs on to the computer for the first time. The contents of the Default User folder are then copied to the new user profile folder. The user profile, along with the common program group settings in the All Users folder, creates the user's desktop. When the user logs off, any changes made to the default settings during the session are saved to the new user profile folder. The user profile in the Default User folder remains unchanged.

If the user has a user account on the local computer in addition to a domain user account, or more than one domain user account, the local user profile is different for each account because different user profiles are generated for each user who logs on. When the user logs off, changed settings are saved to only one user profile, depending on which account the user used to log on to the computer.

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