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Group Policy by Jeremy Moskowitz

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Chapter 9 Profiles: Local, Roaming, and Mandatory

When a user logs onto a Windows machine, a profile is automatically generated. A profile is a collection of settings, specific to a user, that sticks with that user throughout the working experience. In this chapter, I’ll talk about three types of profiles.

First is the Local Profile, which is created whenever a user logs on. Next is the Roaming Profile, which enables users to hop from machine to machine while maintaining the same configuration settings at each machine. Along our journey, I’ll also discuss some configuration tweaks that you can set using certain policy settings—specifically for Roaming Profiles.

The third type of profile is the Mandatory Profile. Like Roaming Profiles, Mandatory Profiles allow the user to jump from machine to machine. But Mandatory Profiles force a user’s Desktop and settings to remain exactly the same as they were when the administrator assigned the profile; the user cannot permanently change the settings.

That said, a way to eschew Roaming Profiles altogether and replace them with a tool that changes the game is gaining popularity. A Roaming Profile enables a user to hop from machine to machine, and when they do, the entirety of that profile comes down in one chunk. A variety of User Profile Management tools (one from Microsoft and several from third parties) can do the opposite: when the user logs on, almost nothing is downloaded. Then as users start to work, the tools download the pieces ...

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