Profiles, Profiles, Profiles

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Karl Burrows, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. Karl Burrows

    Karl Burrows Guest

    I am just having the hardest time copying profiles to new users or to
    roaming profiles. Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong and offer some
    advice for roaming profiles? I have read on the newsgroups and been advised
    by many of you to go roaming, which I am willing to try. Here's the setup:

    Each user has a mapped "U" drive for their My Docs files (along with shared,
    etc. as needed), so there should be no local files stored on their
    workstation (although, I do find many use Desktop to park files not
    realizing it doesn't get backup up, but I am working on that issue). So,
    the only real things in their profile right now are the Local Settings
    folder to include their pst file for Outlook, any toolbar customizations and
    the like and desktop and favorites. The rest are identical programs across
    all the workstations and not much else.

    Here is the process I have used to copy profiles:

    Create new user account, reboot and login to create new profile, reboot
    again. Then I login as another user (usually domain admin) and copy the
    profile from the old user account to the new user account allowing the new
    user to use the old profile. I then reboot and login as the new user again
    to load the profile update and reboot again just to make sure all the
    settings have taken.

    I always find that most of the local settings did not transfer, mainly the
    pst files. When I open Outlook in the new profile, the data profile is
    still located in the old profile folder. I then have to close Outlook, move
    the pst files and then open Outlook again to find the new profile path.

    For the roaming, I go to AD and specify the local path for the user and wait
    for it to sync up with the user profile on the workstation and check to make
    sure the local profile has been changed to roaming instead of local. Again,
    the local settings do not transfer.

    I have done this many times and am overly cautious with reboots, etc. to
    make sure settings are applied, etc. but I always run into the local
    settings issue. With roaming, this really defeats the purpose since they
    may login to another computer where there is no path to the local pst file
    in the old profile.

    Any suggestions, links, etc. would be appreciated!!!
     
    Karl Burrows, Mar 16, 2005
    #1
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  2. Karl Burrows

    Ja5on Guest

    Karl Burrows wrote:

    [on copying profiles]
    Default location for Outlook's .PST file is (IIRC) \Documents and
    Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.

    The thing about this Local Settings folder and its contents is that it
    *always* remains LOCAL to the workstation and NEVER replicates with the
    Profile :(

    If you're doing a non-Exchange Outlook rollout and want to carry on
    using roaming profiles, then I usually configure a share \\SERVER\MAIL$\
    and each time a new user is added add a directory under this share
    called %username%. (The $ sign just signifies that the share is
    invisible when browsing, this causes less confusion with the users!)

    When you first configure the new users Outlook - setup accounts as
    normal - close outlook - move .PST file to \\SERVER\MAIL$\%username% -
    restart Outlook and when prompted, point the "I cannot find the PST
    file" dialog at the new location. From then on Outlook/The users profile
    will remember where said .PST file is, and roam with great aplom.

    This only falls down with IMAP accounts which appear to have their own
    ..PST structure which is dynamically created on the fly in the Local
    Settings structure (expected, I suppose, as the .PST is really only a
    syncronisation with the server status?)


    I also note that you seem to mention that files on the (local) Desktop
    are not being backed up? Whilst this is broadly true, every time the
    Profile syncronises (when PC is turned off/logged out) the local Desktop
    is synced with the server copy. So unless the user never logs out their
    Desktop is effectively backed up with the server. Sorry if I
    missintepretted!

    Ja5on
     
    Ja5on, Mar 16, 2005
    #2
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  3. Karl Burrows

    Karl Burrows Guest

    Yes, moving the pst profile to the server is one of my goals. Most are
    small enough to load up quickly so the user will not know the difference.
    Yes, I am finally finding out that the pst files do not move and this is not
    a good thing. Anyway, I am slowly trying to get all this on the server as
    you suggested. What you did with moving the pst is what I did to get it off
    the old profile anyway. I just need to go the extra step and move it to the
    server.

    Now, if I give the share a $ ending, how will they "browse" to it if they
    login to another workstation and want their email there? Since it is
    invisible, they won't be able to find it readily without having to get me to
    configure each time.

    I am not running roaming profiles, so there is no sync with the server.
    Now, if I move the pst file to the server, how will the roaming profile look
    to find the pst file location or do they have to do like Exchange and create
    the profile on that workstation to load it up there?

    Thanks for the info!!

    Karl Burrows wrote:

    [on copying profiles]
    Default location for Outlook's .PST file is (IIRC) \Documents and
    Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.

    The thing about this Local Settings folder and its contents is that it
    *always* remains LOCAL to the workstation and NEVER replicates with the
    Profile :(

    If you're doing a non-Exchange Outlook rollout and want to carry on
    using roaming profiles, then I usually configure a share \\SERVER\MAIL$\
    and each time a new user is added add a directory under this share
    called %username%. (The $ sign just signifies that the share is
    invisible when browsing, this causes less confusion with the users!)

    When you first configure the new users Outlook - setup accounts as
    normal - close outlook - move .PST file to \\SERVER\MAIL$\%username% -
    restart Outlook and when prompted, point the "I cannot find the PST
    file" dialog at the new location. From then on Outlook/The users profile
    will remember where said .PST file is, and roam with great aplom.

    This only falls down with IMAP accounts which appear to have their own
    ..PST structure which is dynamically created on the fly in the Local
    Settings structure (expected, I suppose, as the .PST is really only a
    syncronisation with the server status?)


    I also note that you seem to mention that files on the (local) Desktop
    are not being backed up? Whilst this is broadly true, every time the
    Profile syncronises (when PC is turned off/logged out) the local Desktop
    is synced with the server copy. So unless the user never logs out their
    Desktop is effectively backed up with the server. Sorry if I
    missintepretted!

    Ja5on
     
    Karl Burrows, Mar 17, 2005
    #3
  4. Karl Burrows

    Ja5on Guest

    Karl Burrows wrote:

    [snip PST file on server]
    Ah, you're not using roaming profiles. I tend to implement roaming
    profiles on all Windows server systems now as it provides great backup
    opportunities and additionally means that when a workstation implodes
    all you need to do is rebuild/replace, join it to the domain and once
    your user logs back in they shouldn't notice much in the way of change.

    If you've implmented roaming profiles then your user will *never* need
    to browse to the PST file location as this location will follow them
    around with the profile. (Presumably the location data is somewhere in
    the HKEY CURRENT USER hive).
    Nah. As above, if you're roaming, and have located the PST file on the
    server - then once the local users Outlook has been configured to see
    the PST file located on the server; and the user has been logged out
    once to allow the appropriate bit of roaming magic to be
    replicated/sync'd on the server - each time they roam to another machine
    their Outlook will automagically look to the server location for the file.

    Bandwidth shouldn't be too much of a problem depending on the size of
    your organisation (I have a few < 50 user systems setup this way, on
    100base without this becoming an issue). Also note that, provided your
    users quit Outlook before leaving the office/lab/whatever, then all
    their Outlook data is centralised and easily backed up.
    No Worries.
     
    Ja5on, Mar 17, 2005
    #4
  5. Karl Burrows

    Karl Burrows Guest

    That makes sense since it would differentiate where the drive location is
    since it would be the same from any workstation.

    At what point would the pst file start dragging on the application by using
    it on a network location? I have several that are 500MB or more (don't
    ask...I have talked to them until I am blue in the face about managing
    attachments, sent items, etc. and it will juts not happen until one crashes
    and they learn the hard way).

    Thanks!

    Karl Burrows wrote:

    [snip PST file on server]
    Ah, you're not using roaming profiles. I tend to implement roaming
    profiles on all Windows server systems now as it provides great backup
    opportunities and additionally means that when a workstation implodes
    all you need to do is rebuild/replace, join it to the domain and once
    your user logs back in they shouldn't notice much in the way of change.

    If you've implmented roaming profiles then your user will *never* need
    to browse to the PST file location as this location will follow them
    around with the profile. (Presumably the location data is somewhere in
    the HKEY CURRENT USER hive).
    Nah. As above, if you're roaming, and have located the PST file on the
    server - then once the local users Outlook has been configured to see
    the PST file located on the server; and the user has been logged out
    once to allow the appropriate bit of roaming magic to be
    replicated/sync'd on the server - each time they roam to another machine
    their Outlook will automagically look to the server location for the file.

    Bandwidth shouldn't be too much of a problem depending on the size of
    your organisation (I have a few < 50 user systems setup this way, on
    100base without this becoming an issue). Also note that, provided your
    users quit Outlook before leaving the office/lab/whatever, then all
    their Outlook data is centralised and easily backed up.
    No Worries.
     
    Karl Burrows, Mar 18, 2005
    #5
  6. Karl Burrows

    Ja5on Guest

    Under the scheme we talked about, the PST file never gets dragged back
    to the workstation. Instead it's always used over the network.

    Users never learn to manage their email :( I have one Director who's PST
    file on his laptop is over 1.5GB. We had to upgrade his HDD to fit ...
    Not to mention the pain it is to back that kind of stuff up!
    No Worries, hope it was helpful.


    Ja5on
     
    Ja5on, Mar 18, 2005
    #6
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