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Samba HowTo Guide
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Windows Client Profile Configuration Information

Windows 9x/Me Profile Setup

When a user first logs in on Windows 9x, the file user.DAT is created, as are folders Start Menu, Desktop, Programs, and Nethood. These directories and their contents will be merged with the local versions stored in c:\windows\profiles\username on subsequent logins, taking the most recent from each. You will need to use the [global] options preserve case = yes, short preserve case = yes, and case sensitive = no in order to maintain capital letters in shortcuts in any of the profile folders.

The user.DAT file contains all the user's preferences. If you wish to enforce a set of preferences, rename their user.DAT file to user.MAN, and deny them write access to this file.

  1. On the Windows 9x/Me machine, go to Control Panel -> Passwords and select the User Profiles tab. Select the required level of roaming preferences. Press OK, but do not allow the computer to reboot.

  2. On the Windows 9x/Me machine, go to Control Panel -> Network -> Client for Microsoft Networks -> Preferences. Select Log on to NT Domain. Then, ensure that the Primary Logon is Client for Microsoft Networks. Press OK, and this time allow the computer to reboot.

Under Windows 9x/Me, profiles are downloaded from the Primary Logon. If you have the Primary Logon as “Client for Novell Networks”, then the profiles and logon script will be downloaded from your Novell server. If you have the Primary Logon as “Windows Logon”, then the profiles will be loaded from the local machine a bit against the concept of roaming profiles, it would seem!

You will now find that the Microsoft Networks Login box contains [user, password, domain] instead of just [user, password]. Type in the Samba server's domain name (or any other domain known to exist, but bear in mind that the user will be authenticated against this domain and profiles downloaded from it if that domain logon server supports it), user name and user's password.

Once the user has been successfully validated, the Windows 9x/Me machine informs you that The user has not logged on before and asks Do you wish to save the user's preferences? Select Yes.

Once the Windows 9x/Me client comes up with the desktop, you should be able to examine the contents of the directory specified in the logon path on the Samba server and verify that the Desktop, Start Menu, Programs, and Nethood folders have been created.

These folders will be cached locally on the client and updated when the user logs off (if you haven't made them read-only by then). You will find that if the user creates further folders or shortcuts, the client will merge the profile contents downloaded with the contents of the profile directory already on the local client, taking the newest folders and shortcut from each set.

If you have made the folders/files read-only on the Samba server, then you will get errors from the Windows 9x/Me machine on logon and logout as it attempts to merge the local and remote profile. Basically, if you have any errors reported by the Windows 9x/Me machine, check the UNIX file permissions and ownership rights on the profile directory contents, on the Samba server.

If you have problems creating user profiles, you can reset the user's local desktop cache, as shown below. When this user next logs in, the user will be told that he/she is logging in “for the first time”.

  1. Instead of logging in under the [user, password, domain] dialog, press escape.

  2. Run the regedit.exe program, and look in:


    You will find an entry for each user of ProfilePath. Note the contents of this key (likely to be c:\windows\profiles\username), then delete the key ProfilePath for the required user.

  3. Exit the registry editor.

  4. Search for the user's .PWL password-caching file in the c:\windows directory, and delete it.

  5. Log off the Windows 9x/Me client.

  6. Check the contents of the profile path (see logon path described above) and delete the user.DAT or user.MAN file for the user, making a backup if required.

Samba HowTo Guide
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