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Samba HowTo Guide
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Sharing Profiles between Windows 9x/Me and NT4/200x/XP Workstations

Sharing of desktop profiles between Windows versions is not recommended. Desktop profiles are an evolving phenomenon, and profiles for later versions of MS Windows clients add features that may interfere with earlier versions of MS Windows clients. Probably the more salient reason to not mix profiles is that when logging off an earlier version of MS Windows, the older format of profile contents may overwrite information that belongs to the newer version, resulting in loss of profile information content when that user logs on again with the newer version of MS Windows.

If you then want to share the same Start Menu and Desktop with Windows 9x/Me, you must specify a common location for the profiles. The smb.conf parameters that need to be common are logon path and logon home.

If you have this set up correctly, you will find separate user.DAT and NTuser.DAT files in the same profile directory.

Samba HowTo Guide
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