MS Windows XP Home Edition does use default per-user profiles, but cannot participate
in domain security, cannot log onto an NT/ADS-style domain, and thus can obtain the profile only
from itself. While there are benefits in doing this, the beauty of those MS Windows clients that
can participate in domain logon processes is that they allow the administrator to create a global default
profile and enforce it through the use of Group Policy Objects (GPOs).
When a new user first logs onto an MS Windows 200x/XP machine, the default profile is obtained from
C:\Documents and Settings\Default User. The administrator can modify or change the
contents of this location, and MS Windows 200x/XP will gladly use it. This is far from the optimum arrangement,
since it will involve copying a new default profile to every MS Windows 200x/XP client workstation.
When MS Windows 200x/XP participates in a domain security context, and if the default user profile is not
found, then the client will search for a default profile in the NETLOGON share of the authenticating server.
In MS Windows parlance, it is
and if one exists there, it will copy this to the workstation in the
Settings\ under the Windows login name of the use.