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Create a preconfigured user profile

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

To create a preconfigured user profile

  1. Create a new user account that will be used as a template for the preconfigured user profile.

    For more information, see Create a local user account.

  2. Log on as the new user, then customize the desktop and install applications to configure this user's profile for the user profile template.

  3. Log off, and then log on as the administrator.

  4. Open System in Control Panel.

  5. On the Advanced tab, under User Profiles, click Settings.

  6. Under Profiles stored on this computer, select the user that you created in step 1, and click Copy To.

    • If you want a domain-wide default profile, enter the path to NETLOGON\Default User on the domain controller. This creates the default user profile for the domain.

    • If you want to change the default profile for the local computer only, copy the profile to the systemroot\Documents and Settings\Default User folder.

  7. In the Copy To dialog box, under Permitted to use, click Change.

  8. In the Select User or Group dialog box, in Enter the object name to select, type Everyone.

    This sets the profile as the default for everyone in this domain.


  • If you are using a roaming profile and install a program on one computer while simultaneously logged on to another computer, you might overwrite crucial program-related registry settings stored in your roaming profile, thus preventing you from running those programs.

    For example: You are logged on to computer A and computer B. You install a program on computer B and then log off computer B. Computer B stores the shortcuts for the application, and the registry is saved to your roaming profile. Computer A does not get updated profile information until you log off and log on again.

    When you log off from computer A, however, the computer writes to the registry stored in the roaming profile (which now includes the Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) registration for the program you installed on computer B) with the stale registry information from computer A. The program shortcuts remain in your roaming profile but the Windows Installer data stored in the registry settings is lost, preventing you from running the programs.

    You can repair your roaming profile by repairing or reinstalling the program on computer B or by installing the program on computer A.


  • To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.

  • To open System, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click System.

  • To open System from a command line as an administrator, type:

    runas /user: computername \Administrator "rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl"

  • You cannot copy or delete a user profile that belongs to the currently logged on user or any user whose profile is in use.

  • The first time a user logs on, a copy of the preconfigured user profile is returned from the server instead of a copy of the default profile on the local computer. Thereafter, the user profile functions the same as a standard roaming user profile does. Each time the user logs off, the user profile is saved locally and is also copied to the server.

  • The Windows Server 2003 family of operating systems does not support the use of encrypted files within the roaming user profiles.

  • Roaming user profiles used with Terminal Services clients are not replicated to the server until the interactive user logs off and the interactive session is closed.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also

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