Profiles in Windows Server

28 01 2007

User Profiles

When you create a User in Microsoft Windows, the User gets created with his/her Profile which has the default settings for the Desktop, My Documents etc.,. One can consider the User Profile has the default User Settings.

User Profiles in Windows are of two types,

  • Local Profile
  • Roaming Profile

Why two types ?

Local Profile

Suppose, you use your local computer to login and use, the best option would be using Local Profile (which is the default), where, the profile will be stored locally in his PC and loads from there each time the User logins and gets saved locally when the User logoff.

Roaming Profile

If you are in a domain and login from several places into the Server, your Profile cannot stay locally and the only way is to have in a shared location so that the Server can access it from anywhere you login and thats Roaming Profile. Your profile is stored in a network share and can also be synchronized with the local profile (which happens by default in Windows Server systems). The advantage of synchronization is, suppose, you are at home, away from Office, its difficult to get the Domain and thus you can login with your local profile which has been already synchronized with the Roaming Profile.Later, when you login to the Domain and use your Roaming Profile, automatically the local profile will be copied and synchronized with the Roaming Profile.

Sometimes, we may not require the local profile and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 has that options too which is termed as Delete Cached Copies of Roaming Profiles and also we can prevent the merging and synchronization of Local and Roaming profiles by enabling the Prevent Roaming Profile changes from propagating to the Server.

Some Issues I face today with Roaming Profiles

  • It takes longer time to load Roaming User Profiles.
  • I think its becoz of User Profile Size
  • Need to check by separating Application and My Documents from the User Profile
  • Need to deploy the User Profile Hive Cleanup update from Microsoft

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