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Setting Up Roaming Profiles

There are three basic steps in setting up roaming profiles:

  1. Create a network share (Microsoft-speak for a shared network directory) to store the user profiles.
  2. Designate the users or groups of users to get roaming profiles.
  3. Grant all users Full Control permission.

Here's how to create a roaming profile for a user in Windows Server 2003. The process may be slightly different in other versions of Windows, so check your documentation before starting. Also, make sure that you're logged in with the appropriate permissions.

  1. In Active Directory, go to Users and Computers.
  2. Click the domain and OU containing the user account.
  3. Right-click the user account and select Properties.
  4. Click Profile and enter the profile path. Be sure to use the full pathname.

Although setting up each profile only takes a couple of minutes, if you're setting up dozens it can still add up to a lot of repetitive typing and clicking. Once you have the network set up, you can create roaming profiles automatically by using Microsoft's Active Directory Service Interfaces and a script in a supported language such as JScript. (Microsoft provides an example of such a script for Windows Server 2003 in the online system documentation.)

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