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Keep Local Profile as Domain Profile when/after joining Windows 7 box to domain

    Question

  • Hello all,

    I'm not quite sure this is where this question would go, but I wanted to get some ideas from you all since this type of thing isn't my specialty.

    I have several Windows 7 machines that have been used primarily on the local profile. Now, I need to join these machines to a domain, but maintain all the settings from the local profile.  As we all know, a new profile is created when you log into a domain.

    I've tried pointing the ProfileImagePath (in the registry) to the local profile, but received a notification that I had been logged into a temporary profile.  Even though copying the profile is out of the question (I have some local profiles that are 13 GB) .... I decided to entertain myself and see if it could be done.  Logging in as the domain administrator, the 'Copy To' button was grayed out when selecting the local profile.  So, I'm at a bit of a loss..... has anyone got any ideas or experience with this type of scenario they would share?

    Thanks in advance!

    MDH 
    Friday, March 12, 2010 2:43 PM

All replies

  • Hello all,

    I'm not quite sure this is where this question would go, but I wanted to get some ideas from you all since this type of thing isn't my specialty.

    I have several Windows 7 machines that have been used primarily on the local profile. Now, I need to join these machines to a domain, but maintain all the settings from the local profile.  As we all know, a new profile is created when you log into a domain.

    I've tried pointing the ProfileImagePath (in the registry) to the local profile, but received a notification that I had been logged into a temporary profile.  Even though copying the profile is out of the question (I have some local profiles that are 13 GB) .... I decided to entertain myself and see if it could be done.  Logging in as the domain administrator, the 'Copy To' button was grayed out when selecting the local profile.  So, I'm at a bit of a loss..... has anyone got any ideas or experience with this type of scenario they would share?

    Thanks in advance!

    MDH 
    MDH,

    You do have some options.. you'll want to get the utility called "Windows Enabler" that will enable that grayed out "Copy To" button and allow you to copy the profile. Once you have the copied profile you can fix permissions and then overwrite the domain profile.

    If you run into issues with the profile afterwards - this may be a permissions issue, this is described here

    Good Luck,

    Kevin Costain
    @calwell on Twitter
    Calwell's Blog
    Google Profile (Buzz)
    Friday, March 12, 2010 11:59 PM
  • You can try the following method.

    1. Log on as the new user account (make sure the new user account has administrator privilege).
    2. Click the Start menu, and click Computer.
    3. Click the Organize button on the left top corner and choose Folder and Search Options.
    4. Under View tab, check the "Show hidden files and folders" box and click OK to save settings.
    5. Navigate to the C:\Users\(old user name) folder.
     
    Note: The "old user name" refers to the user name of your old account. For example, if the user name of your old account is "Larry", the folder should be C:\Users\Larry.
     
    5. Copy all files and folders in the C:\Users\(old user name) folder to the C:\Users\(new user name) folder.

    Not all settings will be moved to the new profile. 


    Arthur Xie - MSFT
    Monday, March 15, 2010 6:31 AM
    Moderator
  • Windows Enabler does nothing --- looks as if you have to run as administrator, but I can't get the System applet to give me that option.  This is a huge setback.
    Saturday, March 20, 2010 7:44 PM
  • Well theres a very simple way to do it, just click on RUN or on the search bar and type: regedit

    then on the registry editor go to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

    then you'll see something similar to this:

    Name              |             Type                |          Data

    Default                   REG_EXPAND_SZ       %SystemDrive%\Users\Default (Replace Default)

     

    for the local profile Name that you want.

     

    Done!!!!

     

    If you just go to Show Hidden files and all of it and do a copy and paste into the default profile (IT WONT WORK) because the AppData folder is Restricted and it wont copy it (which means all the aplication data wont be replicated just Documents and favorites practically) if you want to duplicate docs and favorites also then copy your local profile docs and favorites to the "all users" folder.

    if you wanna share those 13GB with every new profile then put it on the all users folder and delete it from your main profile. (ALWAYS MAKE BACKUPS BEFORE DELETING) or even better do an Acronis Image I recommend you home 2010 is very fast!!

     

    Hope this is useful

     

    Good Luck!!!!

    Andres Cabrera
    Wednesday, April 07, 2010 5:32 PM
  • Hi Andres,

    Did that too, no dice -- Gave me a profile error and logged me in under a temporary profile.  See my original post above.

     

    MDH

    Thursday, April 08, 2010 8:28 PM
  • Hi All,

    I'm with mdh and need to preserve the local profile after joing the domain.
    1) Under user profiles "copy to" is greyed even after shut down and loggin in as admin.
    2) Winenabler may bring the button back, but the functionality is still not there.
    3) Changing the profile image path in registry here:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
    causes loading into a temp profile, or worse constant boot loop.

    W7 obviously does not like this.
    I did this all the time in previous OS's and "copy to" worked with no problems.

    I believe the windows proposed solution is to use windows easy transfer, but this will just restore the local account as the local account, not into the domain profile.

    Please can you test your proposed solutions using windows 7 as I don't believe this has been resolved.

    Thanks,

    Ty

    Thursday, January 06, 2011 7:02 PM
  • Hi,

    All of the posts in this thread seem overly complicated.

    Here is how I have been doing this since Windows 2000. Yes I just did just do exactly this on my new domain with Windows 7 workstations about 10 minutes ago so I can vouch that it works flawlessly.

    Assuming you have one local admin user called Ernie:

    1. Login as Ernie and add another local admin user Grover then Log Off.
    2. Login as Grover and join the computer to the domain then reboot.
    3. Login as Grover and rename C:\Users\Ernie to c:\Users\Ernie.old then reboot.
    4. Login as SesameStreet.Ernie and then reboot.
    5. Login as Grover and delete C:\Users\Ernie and rename  C:\Users\Ernie.old to C:\Users\Ernie then reboot.
    6. Login as SesameStreet.Ernie.

    Done, the local profile is now the domain profile.

    You can probably substitute all of the reboots (except the one after joining the domain which is required) with Log Offs, that worked in Windows 2000 and XP. But being that this is Windows 7 I figured I would play it safe.

    Note: I am not using roaming profiles in my setup, I see no reason why this wouldn't work in that situation as well but I have not tested it.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2011 3:37 PM
  • This still doesn't work for me on Windows 7, I tried repeatedly but no luck, still keep getting a temporary profile. I then struggled getting back my original profile and restoring things to how they were. So be warned, backup, everything, before trying this.

    Microsoft seem to suggest using the User Migration Tool:

    http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=5106

    Friday, August 12, 2011 12:08 PM
  • Nathan

                 I am in the throws of needing to do this on XP Pro. So the files are in c:\DocumentsandSettings and will get the domain name extension after joining the domain. Also, in you example step 4 how could that user log in if it did not exist. What did I miss there?

     

    BD

    Friday, October 14, 2011 5:44 PM
  • Hey, here is a step by step tutorial that shows how to migrate local profiles to domain profiles in Windows 7, as well as XP, using the registry modifications listed above:

    http://ITswapshop.com/tutorial/how-migrate-local-profiles-domain-profiles-5-minutes-using-registry-tweak-windows-xp-and-7

    Hope this helps out

    • Proposed as answer by ingram87 Saturday, November 03, 2012 9:04 PM
    Monday, October 31, 2011 6:11 PM
  • This method works and if you need to make sure your systems are MS compliant, the sysprep method is below the non-sysprep method.
    • Non-Sysprep Method                                                                                                                                                 
      • Create "Test" or "Setup" account
      • Make group policy changes
        • Computer Config > Administrative Templates > System > User Profiles >
          • Only Allow User Profiles = Enabled
          • Set Roaming Profile Path for all users logging onto this computer = Disabled
          • Prevent Roaming Profile changes from propagating to the server = Enabled
      • Customize the Test or Setup account
      • Enable built-in Administrator account
      • Log on as Administrator
      • Install RichCopy from Technet - robocopy may work also
      • Use Explorer to unhide system files and folders
      • Use RichCopy to copy the profile from the account used to implement customizations to "Default User"
      • Join machine to the domain
      • Reboot                                                                                                                                              
      • Log on domain user and all customizations should be applied to the users' profile
    • Sysprep Method - We may want to use this method because this method should be fully supported by MS
      • Login as the setup account
      • Enable Administrator Account
      • Log on as Administrator
      • Go to Manage Users                                                                                                                    
      • Delete Setup account and any other accounts that have a profile folder and choose "delete files"
      • Make necessary group policy changes 
        • Computer Config > Administrative Templates > System > User Profiles >
          • Only Allow User Profiles = Enabled
          • Set Roaming Profile Path for all users logging onto this computer = Disabled
          • Prevent Roaming Profile changes from propagating to the server = Enabled
      • Complete all customizations
      • Copy validated answer file to C: root
      • Go to windows\system32\sysprep
      • Right click while holding shift and choose "open command window here"
      • run "sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /unattend:c:\yourunattendfile.xml
      • Once the system reboots go through whatever portion of mini-setup your answer file dictates
      • Join machine to the domain
      • Log on as a domain user                                                                                                             
      • Basic look and feel customizations should have been applied from the local Defaul User profile

    Rod Echols


    • Proposed as answer by Rod Echols Friday, February 17, 2012 9:25 PM
    • Edited by Rod Echols Wednesday, February 22, 2012 3:37 PM removed company specific info
    Friday, February 17, 2012 9:25 PM
  • Hello,
    I suggest this tool: ForensIT User Profile Wizard 3.5; it migrates a Windows User Profile (no copy) by detaching it from one SID and attaching to another (either domain or local).

    It is completely FREE, small executable size (about 550KB) and no need to install !!! I used it to migrate about 150 user profiles without any problem or issue.

    I hope it is useful.

    Bye,
    Luca


    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    • Proposed as answer by Luca Fabbri Saturday, February 18, 2012 4:40 PM
    • Edited by Luca Fabbri Sunday, February 19, 2012 12:23 PM
    Saturday, February 18, 2012 4:40 PM
  • Thanks Luca, I will explore that tool. Because even though the steps I have outlined will allow most admins to use the local profile as the template for all users just like in XP, for a IT shop that doesn't use GPO's and AD there is still the issue of having multiple default user profiles for different groups/departments.

    With the tool you are describing, is it possible to migrate profiles to a network or local store to later be applied to a machine as the default profile?Because in doing my research, I have found for those that don't mind using the Netlogon share for the default "domain profile", the restriction is that you can only have 1 default domain user profile.

    It sounds like ForemsIT might allow an organization to have multiple profiles stored somewhere?

    Thanks again,

    Rod


    Rod Echols

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 4:56 PM
  • Hello Rod,
    answering to first post, with ForensIT tool you can migrate the local user profile to the domain user because it changes the SID only; so when domain user logs-in will find the same settings he/she had when logged-in with local user.
    The tool should be run on computer where the profile to be migrated is stored.

    E.g.

    • You have on COMPUTER the local user Toby (COMPUTER\Toby) that he currently uses.
    • You create on DOMAIN the domain user Toby.Brown (DOMAIN\Toby.Brown)
    • Now Toby needs to start using his new domain account; but before he logs-in, launch ForensIT tool on his PC, choose source user (local) and destination user (domain) and start migration; after about 10 seconds (or less) the operation is complete.
    • Toby can logs-in with his new domain account: he will find the same profile he had when logged-in with local user.

    Enjoy :-)

    Luca


    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.



    • Proposed as answer by Luca Fabbri Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:49 AM
    • Edited by Luca Fabbri Wednesday, February 22, 2012 4:47 PM
    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 7:53 PM
  • Hello Luca,

    This ForensIT tool looks very promising. I'm not much of an IT guy so a quick question about the "personal" version:  on which user should I run the User Profile Wizard 3.5 .exe file you mentioned in previous post?

    a) Previous Home Preimum Local User w/ local Admin rights (now W7Pro local user only)
    b) New Domain\User with local computer admin rights, or
    c) Domain\Admin with local computer admin rights

    or does it even matter?

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 3:33 PM
  • Hello,
    I performed following steps to migrate one Windows User Profile from local user to domain user.

    • If your computer isn't already member of domain: login with local administrator user, JOIN to domain and reboot
    • Login with domain administrator user
    • Run ForensiT User Profile Wizard tool to migrate profile from local user to domain user

    So the answer is: launch ForensIT with domain administration credentials; so the tool will have permission to modify user profile migrating it from local user to domain user.

    Note: please test it on lab. environment.

    Regards,
    Luca


    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.





    • Edited by Luca Fabbri Friday, February 24, 2012 11:45 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Luca Fabbri Friday, February 24, 2012 8:26 PM
    Friday, February 24, 2012 8:14 AM
  • Hello mdh1983,
    did my post answered to your question ?

    Bye,
    Luca


    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.


    • Edited by Luca Fabbri Friday, February 24, 2012 9:20 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Kevin Sull Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:21 PM
    Friday, February 24, 2012 8:14 AM
  • Doing the same thing, and it seems that in 2012, the answer is still *shrug of the shoulders*.

    What I *really* want to do is promote the local administrator-user accounts around the network into members of the domain, thus "pc1\user1" and "pc2\user2" are translated into "domain\user1" and "domain\user2" with their home-pc configurations, sids, etc, all maintained. I want them to retain their program data folders, their user folders, all the odds and ends... But it seems like it'd be easiest just to reinstall each box and start them off as domain joined :(

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012 5:14 AM
  • Luca - That tool worked for me following your directions exactly as written. Thank you!
    Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:20 PM
  • Hello,
    if this post was useful, could be considered as solved ?

    Luca


    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Monday, January 21, 2013 11:02 AM
  • Hello,
    I wrote this TechNet Wiki article regarding ForensiT Tool: How to Migrate Windows User Profile to New Account.

    I hope it could be useful for you.

    Bye,
    Luca


    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    • Proposed as answer by Luca Fabbri Thursday, February 07, 2013 2:32 PM
    Thursday, February 07, 2013 2:32 PM
  • This method does not work and is the incorrect process. It leads to temp profile errors.
    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 7:09 PM
  • I really wish I could save everyone else in the world the headaches I went through and +1 this reply to the top of all of the many related blog posts, kb discussion groups that I've sifted through over the past while!

    Thanks much Luca for passing this along. 

    Sunday, August 25, 2013 9:33 PM
  • Absolutely wonderful little program! Saved me hours of transferring profiles on individual PCs and thank you Luca for the suggestion!
    Friday, September 06, 2013 3:29 PM
  • I tried this tool, Its is good ! 
    Saturday, February 01, 2014 11:03 AM