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Samba HowTo Guide
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Cannot Use Roaming Profiles

A user requested the following: “ I do not want roaming profiles to be implemented. I want to give users a local profile alone. I am totally lost with this error. For the past two days I tried everything, I googled around but found no useful pointers. Please help me.

The choices are:

Local profiles

I know of no registry keys that will allow autodeletion of LOCAL profiles on log out.

Roaming profiles

As a user logs onto the network, a centrally stored profile is copied to the workstation to form a local profile. This local profile will persist (remain on the workstation disk) unless a registry key is changed that will cause this profile to be automatically deleted on logout.

The roaming profile choices are:

Personal roaming profiles

These are typically stored in a profile share on a central (or conveniently located local) server.

Workstations cache (store) a local copy of the profile. This cached copy is used when the profile cannot be downloaded at next logon.

Group profiles

These are loaded from a central profile server.

Mandatory profiles

Mandatory profiles can be created for a user as well as for any group that a user is a member of. Mandatory profiles cannot be changed by ordinary users. Only the administrator can change or reconfigure a mandatory profile.

A Windows NT4/200x/XP profile can vary in size from 130KB to very large. Outlook PST files are most often part of the profile and can be many gigabytes in size. On average (in a well controlled environment), roaming profile size of 2MB is a good rule of thumb to use for planning purposes. In an undisciplined environment, I have seen up to 2GB profiles. Users tend to complain when it takes an hour to log onto a workstation, but they harvest the fruits of folly (and ignorance).

The point of this discussion is to show that roaming profiles and good controls of how they can be changed as well as good discipline make for a problem-free site.

Microsoft's answer to the PST problem is to store all email in an MS Exchange Server backend. This removes the need for a PST file.

Local profiles mean:

  • If each machine is used by many users, then much local disk storage is needed for local profiles.

  • Every workstation the user logs into has its own profile; these can be very different from machine to machine.

On the other hand, use of roaming profiles means:

  • The network administrator can control the desktop environment of all users.

  • Use of mandatory profiles drastically reduces network management overheads.

  • In the long run, users will experience fewer problems.

Samba HowTo Guide
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