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Windows 7 RC1 Default User Profile RRS feed

  • Question

  • We use a default user profile and in the past what we've done is build a profile.  Place all of the shortcuts and program changes like CMD with the settings we like etc. Desktop icons etc. into that profile.

    We then would create a dummy Administrator and using that user we'd copy the profile we created above over the Default User under the users folder.  That way each new user that had a profile created would start with the settings we wanted.

    It seems that with Windows 7 RC1 the ability to do that is gone.  I noticed the Default User Profile is actually in the Profile window with all of the other users and no matter who we create we cannot Copy over any user to the Default User.

    How can I change that Default User profile to have the settings etc. we want?
    Tuesday, May 5, 2009 6:19 PM

Answers

  • I got this to work, but it's no where near as elegant as with XP and Vista via the User Profile "copy to" method above:

    Customize a user profile as needed
    Go to Control Panel and create a new dummy admininstrator
    Reboot, log in as the dummy admin
    Browse to C: and go into the Folder settings and Show all hidden/system files
    Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the Default folder to make a second (backup) copy of it
    Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the customized user profile to make a second copy of it
    SHIFT-DEL the original Default folder
    Rename the customized folder copy to Default
    Create a new dummy admin and reboot/log in to test it

    I've not tested this extensively yet but this seemed to work with the exception that the desktop background pic was gone leaving a black background.  I fixed this easily by re-selecting the correct background pic.

    I really hope that MS restores the previous method as this seems very sketchy to me and I'd hate to have to use this in a production environment.
    Thursday, May 7, 2009 7:51 PM

All replies

  • I would suspect that you'd have to take ownership of that folder/profile in order to manipulate it.  But I don't know the differences between the Default and the Default User in that folder - so I'm just speculating.
    - John
    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 12:54 AM
    Answerer
  • I got this to work, but it's no where near as elegant as with XP and Vista via the User Profile "copy to" method above:

    Customize a user profile as needed
    Go to Control Panel and create a new dummy admininstrator
    Reboot, log in as the dummy admin
    Browse to C: and go into the Folder settings and Show all hidden/system files
    Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the Default folder to make a second (backup) copy of it
    Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the customized user profile to make a second copy of it
    SHIFT-DEL the original Default folder
    Rename the customized folder copy to Default
    Create a new dummy admin and reboot/log in to test it

    I've not tested this extensively yet but this seemed to work with the exception that the desktop background pic was gone leaving a black background.  I fixed this easily by re-selecting the correct background pic.

    I really hope that MS restores the previous method as this seems very sketchy to me and I'd hate to have to use this in a production environment.
    Thursday, May 7, 2009 7:51 PM
  • I'm testing Win7rc at work; the local school district. I have over 600 pcs to deal with. I have several "Default Profiles" set up in various schools because of printers, network folders, local specific apps, mapped drives, etc. I use the "Copy to" >>> "Default user" everyday. I've used this method(system properties>advanced>user profiles>settings) since the "NT" days.  I like the feel of Windows 7 but after I joined it to our domain, my bubble burst. I can't use this OS without being able to set up student profiles for each school. Short of doing it the way you describe Wayne. I'm thinking Microsoft should allow modification of their built in "Defaut Profile" to my requirements which would save a lot of time. I would only need to log on as the "Default User" instead of my admin account and set what needs setting and poof, it is done. I also use "delprof" alot at the end of the school year.
    Sunday, May 24, 2009 11:52 PM
  • Hello,
    That scenario that was used to replace the Default User Profile was unsupported in Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 and unsupported in Windows XP.  There were many issues with it in the prior OSes, even though those issues were not always apparent, they did exist and caused inconsistencies and lingering problems.
    This article points to the supported way of updating the Default User profile which is the only profile that should be used to for creation of the new user profile.
    959753 How to customize the default local user profile when you prepare an image of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;959753

    Thanks, Darrell Gorter[MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    Friday, May 29, 2009 5:56 PM
  • I totally agree. As a lab manager myself at a state university, the unwieldy sysprep method just doesn't work for every scenario. I have a workstation that I do not want to create images of but I would like everyone who signs on to have the exact same desktop, taskbar, start-menu, and background. MSFT's method means that I would have to create an image, configure sysprep, and then deploy right back to the same machine! It would be much easier if we could logon as the default user and then change settings from within.

    Wednesday, June 17, 2009 11:28 PM
  • Hello,
    That scenario that was used to replace the Default User Profile was unsupported in Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 and unsupported in Windows XP.  There were many issues with it in the prior OSes, even though those issues were not always apparent, they did exist and caused inconsistencies and lingering problems.
    This article points to the supported way of updating the Default User profile which is the only profile that should be used to for creation of the new user profile.
    959753 How to customize the default local user profile when you prepare an image of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;959753

    Thanks, Darrell Gorter[MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

    I suppose ignorance is bliss. I'm not the brightest bulb in the room but like I said, I"ve used this method for about 10 years now and it works fine. I've never used sysprep. I would like Microsoft to allow modifications to the default user profile straight out.
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 8:04 PM
  • How about giving this a try:

    1. Open Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList.
    2. Change the value of the Default key to the location of the custom profile you wish to use as the Default Profile.
    3. You now have two options:-
         a. Verify that the "Everyone" security group has read permissions throughout the entire profile. Log off and from this point on, any new user logging in to this computer will have a new user profile that’s is created from the new custom profile location.
         b. Open up the Advanced System Properties/User Profiles (old school) and noticed the Default Profile is not grayed out and is showing the same size as the custom profile you built. That's because the Default Profile is now pointing to that custom profile so you can copy it just like you've been doing for the last 10 years. Finally, go back and change the ProfileList reg key back to the Default.
    • Edited by scarneol Wednesday, September 23, 2009 11:29 AM
    Tuesday, July 14, 2009 7:44 PM
  • I will try this tomorrow morning on the first computer I touch. Thanks
    Thursday, July 16, 2009 12:21 AM
  • How about giving this a try:

    1. Open Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList.
    2. Change the value of the Default key to the location of the custom profile you wish to use as the Default Profile.
    3. You now have two options:-
         a. Log off and from this point on, any new user logging in to this computer will have a new user profile that’s is created from the new custom profile location.
         b. Open up the Advanced System Properties/User Profiles (old school) and noticed the Default Profile is now showing the same size as the custom profile plus it is not grayed out. That's because the Default Profile is now pointing to the custom profile so you can copy it just like you've been doing for the last 10 years.

    I tried this on Friday and it didn't quite work.  It did enable me to mess with the Default User profile from within the System Properties window, but after creating a new local test account I couldn't log in with it.  Windows complained about an error in the default profile (I can't remember the exact error).  Changing the registry setting back to the original didn't help and I had to reformat the computer.

    I think that copying the Administrator profile will work if that's what has to be done...  somehow.  If running sysprep with the /unattend:filename.xml switch, where do you place that file?  How is it created?  Does someone have a template file with that swtich set?  I've used the WAIK for unattended setups, but that creates an AutoUnattend.xml that gets placed on a flash drive.  Can I just point at that file with the CopyProfile setting enabled in the Specialize section?
    Tuesday, July 21, 2009 1:08 AM
  • I believe I have a solution.  Unfortunately it has to be done before a computer is deployed and is part of Sysprep

    I've come up with this method using the guide at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd349348%28WS.10%29.aspx
    In that guide, Step 2 is all about creating the Reference computer.  At the end of that step, you have a computer that can be deployed, cloned, or whatever.
    The below instructions can replace Step 2 part 4

    1. Create a new Answer file in Windows System Image Manager
    2. Edit it with these settings:
      • Add Microsoft-Windows-Deployment_neutral\Reseal to the oobeSystem configuration pass
      • Set ForceShutdownNow to false and Mode to OOBE
      • Add Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_neutral\OOBE and \UserAccounts\AdministratorPassword and \UserAccounts\LocalAccounts\LocalAccount\Password
      • Set all approrpriate settings for the above.  In OOBE: HideEULAPage is true, NetworkLocation is Work ProtectYourPC is 3, SkipUserOOBE is true
      • Set the administrator password, create a local account in the Administrators group, set that password etc.
      • Add Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_neutral. Set CopyProfile to true, add the product key, set the RegisteredOrganization and RegisteredOwner and the TimeZone
      • Don't forget to save this, and be sure to not overwrite the AutoUnattend.xml file created earlier
    3. Customize the profile of the user you're logged in as (I've only tested this logged in as Administrator
    4. On the target computer, copy the new answer file to \windows\system32\sysprep
    5. Open Task Manager and end any process that starts with "WMP" as this will cause sysprep to fail
    6. Open a command prompt and change directory to c:\windows\system32\sysprep
    7. type the following command: sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /quiet /unattend:nameofanswerfile .xml
    Notes:
    I actually just copied the AutoUnattend.xml file created at the guide I linked in the first part of this post, renamed it Sysprep.xml and added the appropriate entries into the answer file.
    Thursday, July 23, 2009 12:01 AM
  • I did this on Win7 and it seems to work perfectly. I also tried this on XP by the HKLM location I changed the name of the Default User profile. to the custom profile name.  I'll see if this is going to work for me in the schools. Thanks for this info.
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 3:16 AM
  • @ The Slowest Zombie thx for your solution ist works for me under win7
    Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:30 PM
  • I hate to bump this up, but this is the exact problem I'm running into.

    We're currently running Windows XP Professional SP3. We are a huge school district and our tech staff is spread very thin. Default profiles are an absolute requirement. I cannot stress enough how quickly Windows will be dumped if the default profile situation isn't sorted out by the time we upgrade to Windows 7. We caught a deal this summer with a movement of several hundred computers, but ultimately Vista was useless to us due to a lack of time we had to manipulate the profiles to work accordingly. It's kind of funny how Vista's profiles were changed to be more secure and less corruptable than XP, however, every time I copied a profile in XP, it worked fine... every time I copied a profile in Vista, it crashed...

    But anyway, is there any hope for the default profiles being ironed out? There is a truckload of settings, printers, programs, desktop icons, etc that must be sorted out and individualized. Because the reality is, each computer lab is different. As a result, each default profile for each lab is different. We have about two dozen default profiles saved on the server for easy restoration whenever we redo a lab computer.

    I'm running Windows 7 RC virtually right now. I'm in the testing phase to see how it can be implemented in our district next year. What can I do to make this work? Keep in mind, imaging solutions with Windows Server 08 makes no difference to me. I have my own imaging means. I just need to set the default profile.
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 10:09 PM
  • I hate to bump this up, but this is the exact problem I'm running into.

    We're currently running Windows XP Professional SP3. We are a huge school district and our tech staff is spread very thin. Default profiles are an absolute requirement. I cannot stress enough how quickly Windows will be dumped if the default profile situation isn't sorted out by the time we upgrade to Windows 7. We caught a deal this summer with a movement of several hundred computers, but ultimately Vista was useless to us due to a lack of time we had to manipulate the profiles to work accordingly. It's kind of funny how Vista's profiles were changed to be more secure and less corruptable than XP, however, every time I copied a profile in XP, it worked fine... every time I copied a profile in Vista, it crashed...

    But anyway, is there any hope for the default profiles being ironed out? There is a truckload of settings, printers, programs, desktop icons, etc that must be sorted out and individualized. Because the reality is, each computer lab is different. As a result, each default profile for each lab is different. We have about two dozen default profiles saved on the server for easy restoration whenever we redo a lab computer.

    I'm running Windows 7 RC virtually right now. I'm in the testing phase to see how it can be implemented in our district next year. What can I do to make this work? Keep in mind, imaging solutions with Windows Server 08 makes no difference to me. I have my own imaging means. I just need to set the default profile.

    I agree RoastedTiresX....Microsoft needs to find a better solution or give us back the right to copy a profile over to the default profile. The whole SysPrep thing is a pain and is useless compared to the process I've used for years.

    Due to Enterprise Licensing Agreements with the company I'm at, I have access to software before public release. I got my hands on the actual release of Windows 7 Professional a week ago...been building an image where I have time. Found out after building it about the default profile issue not working. That makes me not happy, and it shows Microsoft ignored complaints about this and did not do anything for the actual release.

    I am a huge fan of Windows 7, I think it is spectacular....but not having this ability and being force to use SysPrep makes it extremely inconvenient and somehow I don't see Corporations jumping to Windows 7 with stupid issues like this.

    Anyway, I hope someone at Microsoft does something!
    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 7:21 PM
  • I've been trying to get this to work.  I followed your steps to the letter.  After I deploy the image and it starts up, I get an invalid unattend.xml file and it could not parse.  I can't start the image after that.  Just says that setup did not run and needs to reboot.

    Any ideas?

    thanks,

    ron
    Monday, September 14, 2009 4:23 PM
  • I know that there is more to a user profile than the desktop icons or what appears on the start menu of each user.  I have only found a solution to these two issues as this is all that I was trying to do.  As far as permissions, backgrounds, etc, for the most part things that an administrator will have to find a way to do, I wasn't attempting to do this.  I let the user decide how things are to appear on his/her desktop like the background using the regular windows functions for this.

    As far as the Start Menu Programs that you want to appear:

                           For all users:  They can be found in c:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

                           For one particular user:  They can be found in c:\users\%user%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

    As far as the shortcuts that appear on the Desktop:

                           For all users:  c:\users\default\desktop

                           For one particular user:  c:\users\%user%\desktop

    I hope this helps somewhat.

    I am glad I don't have to worry about that many people where I work.  It would be extremely interesting to know how the rest of the user profile will pan out.

    Good luck guys.

    Jim
    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 11:14 AM
  • Galoki,
    The "invalid unattend.xml" error most likely has nothing to do with the way you are creating your Default User, which is what this thread is about, so I would post your error on a different forum or just create a new one.  
    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 11:37 AM
  • I got this to work, but it's no where near as elegant as with XP and Vista via the User Profile "copy to" method above:

    Customize a user profile as needed
    Go to Control Panel and create a new dummy admininstrator
    Reboot, log in as the dummy admin
    Browse to C: and go into the Folder settings and Show all hidden/system files
    Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the Default folder to make a second (backup) copy of it
    Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the customized user profile to make a second copy of it
    SHIFT-DEL the original Default folder
    Rename the customized folder copy to Default
    Create a new dummy admin and reboot/log in to test it

    I've not tested this extensively yet but this seemed to work with the exception that the desktop background pic was gone leaving a black background.  I fixed this easily by re-selecting the correct background pic.

    I really hope that MS restores the previous method as this seems very sketchy to me and I'd hate to have to use this in a production environment.

    Don't use this in a enterprise setting. You will get issues where the credentials used to create the default profile carry over into a new users profile. They will not be able to map drives properly and even actions such as saving a document to the desktop will actually save it to the copied profile users desktop... Lots of strange behavoirs here after trying this on a wim image.
    • Proposed as answer by ymmot Friday, October 2, 2009 7:32 PM
    Friday, September 25, 2009 1:36 PM
  • I got this to work, but it's no where near as elegant as with XP and Vista via the User Profile "copy to" method above:

    Customize a user profile as needed
    Go to Control Panel and create a new dummy admininstrator
    Reboot, log in as the dummy admin
    Browse to C: and go into the Folder settings and Show all hidden/system files
    Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the Default folder to make a second (backup) copy of it
    Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the customized user profile to make a second copy of it
    SHIFT-DEL the original Default folder
    Rename the customized folder copy to Default
    Create a new dummy admin and reboot/log in to test it

    I've not tested this extensively yet but this seemed to work with the exception that the desktop background pic was gone leaving a black background.  I fixed this easily by re-selecting the correct background pic.

    I really hope that MS restores the previous method as this seems very sketchy to me and I'd hate to have to use this in a production environment.

    Don't use this in a enterprise setting. You will get issues where the credentials used to create the default profile carry over into a new users profile. They will not be able to map drives properly and even actions such as saving a document to the desktop will actually save it to the copied profile users desktop... Lots of strange behavoirs here after trying this on a wim image.

    Thanks Colin...was under the gun for deployment and was about to try this out in production. =0P
    Friday, October 30, 2009 2:03 PM
  • I was able to get the copy profile button to work using a little app called Windows Enabler.  Google it.  Its an old application but still works, and it can be run on a thumb drive if you don't want to actually install it.  Just be sure to "Run as Administrator" when using it.  It will re-enable the Copy To.. button.

    Also, I was finally able to get the default Theme thing to work so that there is no longer a black background when a different user logs in.  Using the profile you are creating as your default, within the Theme settings box, create a custom theme.  If you are going to stick to one of the default themes, pick it, and then just change something minor like the screen saver settings.  Your theme will then show up in the My Themes area.  Right-click on it and choose "Save Theme For Sharing" put in a name, and save it.  This puts the theme into the documents folder.  Now copy the profile.  The theme should load for any new user.  It seemed to work for me anyway.


    Friday, November 6, 2009 3:06 PM
  • Did the Windows Enabler really solve this problem? That would be a really nice solution to this really annoying bug!
    Do they (Microsoft) really expect us to use Sysprep on every private computer with some wished for default user changes? Please...
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 7:31 AM
  • The procedure to customize the default user profile in Windows 7 is here:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973289
    Friday, November 13, 2009 4:06 PM
  • enabler worked for some settings, but in my experience not all.  Windows security center notifications I have set to not alert me about anything (users panic), this setting didn't carry over. Some quicktime settings didn't carry over.  Desktop didnt but I don't care about that one.  I'm sure there's more I haven't come across more settings that didn't transfer.  This is killing windows7 for us...!!!
    • Proposed as answer by CascadeRob Monday, December 14, 2009 10:49 PM
    Tuesday, December 8, 2009 6:11 PM
  • Enabler works well but make sure you complete all steps.

    1. Create a user profile that you want to use as your master, I create a roaming profile for a default user that is assigned to each group of computers that I want to behave the same. Once all settings are exactly the way I want them I restart the machine.

    2. Logon as a user with administrative rights. Open start menu, right click on computer, click on properties, once properties are open, click on advanced settings, then click on settings related to logon (If you are reading this you know how to do this)

    3. Delete all users with existing profiles if you want them to use the new default profile, otherwise highlight the profile that you want to copy, use enabler and use press on copy to.

    4. When the box comes up, use the bottom of the box to activate it for everyone (just type in everyone) Once that is completed, in the copy to location type in C:\users\default  -- this copies the profile over the default profile. Allow that to complete and close this program.

    5. Now run regedit.

    6. Highlight Hkey_Users

    7. Click on File, click on load hive, migrate to c:\users\default and in the file blank type in ntuser.dat and press enter

    8. In the blank box that comes up enter a name that you will remember, I use Default_User, but I have had kids use george, fred or whatever, it really doesn't matter.

    9. Go back to regedit and expand Hkey_Users and highlight the name you just created

    10. Go to edit and click on find and put in the name of your original default profile (the user profile you copied) Push enter

    11. Delete whatever comes up highlighted, use F3 and continue the process until you delete all instances of that name. Delete the whole key, windows will recreate it with the new users name, on some pages you will see the name multiple times, use shift or control to highlight all instances.

    12. Once you are done, re-highlight the name you used and click on file and unload hive.

    13. Restart the machine (don't just log off)

    14. Logon as a new user and they will have all the settings that you created for the default user.


    I am using this in an educational setting and it has worked perfectly fine so far.  

    Monday, December 14, 2009 11:13 PM
  • Enabler works well but make sure you complete all steps.

    1. Create a user profile that you want to use as your master, I create a roaming profile for a default user that is assigned to each group of computers that I want to behave the same. Once all settings are exactly the way I want them I restart the machine.

    2. Logon as a user with administrative rights. Open start menu, right click on computer, click on properties, once properties are open, click on advanced settings, then click on settings related to logon (If you are reading this you know how to do this)

    3. Delete all users with existing profiles if you want them to use the new default profile, otherwise highlight the profile that you want to copy, use enabler and use press on copy to.

    4. When the box comes up, use the bottom of the box to activate it for everyone (just type in everyone) Once that is completed, in the copy to location type in C:\users\default  -- this copies the profile over the default profile. Allow that to complete and close this program.

    5. Now run regedit.

    6. Highlight Hkey_Users

    7. Click on File, click on load hive, migrate to c:\users\default and in the file blank type in ntuser.dat and press enter

    8. In the blank box that comes up enter a name that you will remember, I use Default_User, but I have had kids use george, fred or whatever, it really doesn't matter.

    9. Go back to regedit and expand Hkey_Users and highlight the name you just created

    10. Go to edit and click on find and put in the name of your original default profile (the user profile you copied) Push enter

    11. Delete whatever comes up highlighted, use F3 and continue the process until you delete all instances of that name. Delete the whole key, windows will recreate it with the new users name, on some pages you will see the name multiple times, use shift or control to highlight all instances.

    12. Once you are done, re-highlight the name you used and click on file and unload hive.

    13. Restart the machine (don't just log off)

    14. Logon as a new user and they will have all the settings that you created for the default user.


    I am using this in an educational setting and it has worked perfectly fine so far.  


    CascadeRob - what do steps 5-12 gain you versus just doing it the old way (steps 1-4 is how I've always done def profile)?  Thanks!
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 8:14 PM
  • This is crazy.  Why use a sledgehammer like sysprep or the new windows AIK to swat at a little task like the default user?  My job uses thrid party software to "Frreze" the contents of hard drive.  Why should any of my 4000+ users wait for windows to prepare default settings?  If my management needs warranted utilizing sysprep I would already be using it.  I will not reccomend an upgrade if I can't even easily set the background to be the same for all my users!
    Friday, December 18, 2009 4:18 PM
  • I could NOT get this to work where the users were also logged into a domain. When logging on a new user I kept on getting errors of corrupted recycle bin, pictures and videos of the user whose profile I used for the default. I logged off and thankfully nothing happened to that user's files but I wouldn't try it again.

    Does anyone know how to create a default where the first user and the new users are both members of a domain that they log into when loggin in to the local computer?

    Thanks
    • Proposed as answer by CascadeRob Wednesday, January 13, 2010 7:58 PM
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 7:52 PM
  • Steps 5 through 12 prevent you from having errors like are listed in a reply or question below.  Before Vista you could just do steps 1 - 4 and it worked fine.
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 8:03 PM
  • Go to my post above and make sure that you do steps 5 - 12, if you do not do steps 5 - 12 you will get these errors.  You can contact me directly if you need some more explanation.   rr81602@hotmail.com  
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 8:06 PM
  • Thanks Rob. I was trying it using the method of wayne.m at the top of this thread. I did first try your method but Enabler did not undim the 'copy to' button in the user whose profile I want to make the default and so I couldn't complete your step 3.

    Can I use your steps 5-12 after copying the profile manually with the method I was using? If not, how do I enable Enabler in W7? I am using Windows Enabler. Is there another program like it?
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:27 AM
  • Deejay to use Enabler you have to run it has an administrator, even if you are logged in as an administrator. Highlight the enabler, I have my copy on a USB Pocket drive, right click and a dropdown box will appear, click on run as an administrator. Once it is running before it will work you have to turn it on, to do that go to the taskbar, which you will find in a box when you click on the little up arrow where the task bar use to be. Enabler looks like 3 or 4 sheets of paper for its icon, click on it and the Icon gets a couple symbols on it. It is then ready to use. Highlight the profile you want to copy, go down to the copy button, click on it and it is no longer grayed. It will not work unless you use the "Run as Adminstrator" prompt.  Sometimes if you move to fast it will say it cannot copy over the default profile, just redo it without even closing the screen and it will work. I've now used it on over 100 machines and it has worked every time and none of the machines have had any problems.  Let me know if you have any problems.  By the way I am using Windows Enabler 1.1, I don't even know if there is a later version.   Rob
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 4:02 PM
  • Thanks again. I've followed your instructions to a tee and still it remains greyed out. I logged in with my name and as a domain administrator but no difference. I've placed the Enabler files on the desktop and the programs run, the stack of paper icon has the characters but it makes no difference. Can you think of another reason why Enabler shouldn't work? If not, then my question is again: can your steps 5-12 work after I've done wayne's method at the top of this thread i.e. manually copying and renaming one of the user folders as Default?
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 6:19 PM
  • It stays greyed out until you click on it, just make sure you are using the Run as Administrator,  but if you can't get that to work I think you could still run steps 5 - 12 because all you need to do is get rid of the other users info.   Rob

    Thursday, January 14, 2010 6:57 PM
  • Here are some instructions that worked for me to customize the default user profile in Windows 7.  You have to use Sysprep but not the AIK.  The instructions below will generate the necessary unattend.xml for you (don't look at the "Accepted Answer" in the thread, but the comment that follows it):

    http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_24871141.html

    Some things I noticed:
    When you do it this way, every file you have on your desktop will get copied to the default profile's desktop.  Also, during the Sysprep process, Windows 7 will add back in some shortcuts and pinned items to you respective Start Menu and Taskbar if you have deleted some of the default ones.

    Next time I try this, I will probably try the registry way.
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:48 PM
  • Rob, the Enabler now works and I'm well on the way I hope. 2 questions.

    1. At step 11, after continuouly pressing F3 and deleting I can see at the bottom that the search moves out of Default_User path and into a different ssid path. Do I still delete the original profile name or is it only while in Default_User?

    2. If I want to take the default from this machine and move it to another machine, is it simply a case of copying the default and all the hidden subfolders and pasting onto the other machine or must I also tamper with the registry? If so, which steps do I need?

    Many many thanks.
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:34 PM
  • Deejay here are your answers:

    I just continue pressing f3 until I no longer find what I want to delete, if you highlighted your hive name and not the whole key it should stop after you are through the hive.  It you move into a different path I think you were at the wrong spot.  The whole delete process using f3 takes only a couple minutes.

    I have never tried what you want to try, but I would assume it wouldn't work because it isn't the folder you want to change but the registry settings, I've just always done it the other way. Now if I want to use the same settings on multiple computers I just set up a roaming profile and log in as the roaming user and it brings down all my settings and then I don't have hardly anything to mess with, in fact the only thing I have had to change is the power settings. I have roaming profiles set up for each set of users I deal with.  Make sure after you log in as a roaming profile you restart the system or you can't copy it. 

    Rob
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:49 PM
  • You've lost me here with the roaming profiles. Is this set up locally or on the server (2003/exchange)? It sounds that once I have set up the default bit, I could log everyone on to this machine once so that a profile is set up for each user and then once they go to their own machine it'll look the same since they're roaming. Problem is I don't know how to make them roaming. And must the profile be on the server or can it be on the local machine I'm now working on?

    I realise I'm asking quite a bit and unless it's straight forward perhaps you can point me to an article that can guide on these issues.

    Thanks
    Friday, January 15, 2010 12:09 AM
  • i don't use roaming profiles for my users, that just creates too much traffic, instead I create a fake user that has all the rights that my regular users need.  So you are going to create a new user on your server and then right click on that user and go to properties.  One of those properties is Profile, click on that and then enter the path for the profile, I keep mine in a folder on the server called profiles.  Do not worry about a home folder because this user is not going to create any files that need to be saved. You have just created a roaming profile, the first time you log on as that user the profile is created, if you logon as them on the machine you just created all the setting you have set will come down to the roaming profile and you can easily move them between machines. The profile is not saved until you logoff or shutdown. 

    Hopefully that helps you out.

    Rob

    Friday, January 15, 2010 12:32 AM
  • Wow, thanks so much; this really looks promising. Does the following sound right?

    1. Create dummy user on server with a profile.

    2. Log on to machine 1 and configure dummy just as you want it.

    3. Follow all your steps above to base Default on dummy.

    4. Log on to all other machines as dummy and repeat 3 of this list, so the default one each machine is based on the configured dummy of machine 1.

    5. Voila, whoever logs on to any machine gets the default based on dummy but not the dummy itself. As dummy is not logged on traffic is kept low.

    Does the above add up? If so, I can't wait for the weekend.

    Thanks a mil!!!
    Friday, January 15, 2010 1:07 AM
  • I think you got it.  Good luck. 
    Friday, January 15, 2010 3:44 PM
  • It all seems to work fine except for Outlook. When opening outlook 2 messages come in that it can't log into the original user's mailbox and it closes. Do I have to manually delete the original user from this accout? I went through Regedit and definitely cleared all the original user's details in the Default_user hive.

    Saturday, January 16, 2010 9:10 PM
  • Rob, the Enabler now works and I'm well on the way I hope. 2 questions.

    1. At step 11, after continuouly pressing F3 and deleting I can see at the bottom that the search moves out of Default_User path and into a different ssid path. Do I still delete the original profile name or is it only while in Default_User?

    2. If I want to take the default from this machine and move it to another machine, is it simply a case of copying the default and all the hidden subfolders and pasting onto the other machine or must I also tamper with the registry? If so, which steps do I need?

    Many many thanks.

    djay22,
    i am still having problems using the enabler.   even after loading enabler as admin and after clicking the greyed out "copy to", it remain greyd out (s.t. i can't copy my dummy profile to the "default" profile).

    can u clairify as to how u actually got the enabler to work and to "ungrey" the copyto button?

    thank u in advance,
    Saturday, January 30, 2010 4:20 PM
  • DJay:  To use the enabler:

    Enabler can sometimes be tricky to use, when clicking on it to install it or to activate it, being logged in as an administrator is not enough. When you go to install it, don't just click on it but right click on it, a drop down box will appear. In this dropdown box click on "Run as an Administrator"  This gives you "super" administrator capabilities. Once it installs it still is not running it is just sitting there ready to run.  Go to the taskbar and click on the little up arrow, this is the access to the modified taskbar.  One of the icons you see in there  looks like sheets of paper, click on this and it changes with a couple more little symbols on the sheets of paper. It is now on and ready to use. If you did not do the "Run as Administrator" step no matter what it will not work.

    At this point highlight what you want to copy, click on the greyed out button and it will become ungreyed.  Hopefully this will help you.  

    Monday, February 1, 2010 3:57 PM
  • The way i finally got this to work was by using WAIK and the first account created when installing Windows 7.  It seems to reference the first account created when installing Windows 7. The first account i created was called local-admin.  Initially I was using a domain account for customization.  I ran the sysprep from the domain account with the settings for copying the profile to the default user in WAIK. This did not work. So i went back and customized the environment with the first account created (local-admin) from the install and then it worked for all other users logging in to get the customized environment.

    Hope this helps.

    Thursday, February 11, 2010 7:55 PM
  • CascadeRob

    I also work in an academic environment.  This method works very well.  However, I must mention two things:

    1.  When deleting the highlighted items in step 11, do not delete the first instance that comes up.  Instead, just modify the key to read "C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper.jpg".  This will preserve your wallpaper and not give you that annoying black screen.  Took me a while to figure that one out.

    2.  The only problem I have encountered with this method is that the new user's default location for ripping music with Media Player is no longer that user's "My Music" folder.  It now points to the public music folder.  One can still browse to the proper folder, but, let's face it, users are idiots.  I must be the biggest one.  I can not figure out a work around.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Monday, March 1, 2010 5:07 PM
  • Hi Everybody,

    I configure a quick launch toolbar for my default user but this configuration don't work when I log with a new user.

    Have you any idea.

    Thanks

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010 11:21 AM
  • Does ANYONE from MS read these posts?

    MS, this needs fixed.  We won't be upgrading our 200+ machines until it is either fixed or there is a tool developed to make the copy to default profile work without going through the sysprep method.  We use the copy to default profile feature at least twice a month on over 100 of our machines.  We cannot and will not take the time to sysprep 100 machines twice a month when we know that it can be done in a lot less time.  We want to move to Windows 7, but you won't let us.  Fix this please.

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010 4:37 PM
  • Enabler works well but make sure you complete all steps.

    1. Create a user profile that you want to use as your master, I create a roaming profile for a default user that is assigned to each group of computers that I want to behave the same. Once all settings are exactly the way I want them I restart the machine.

    2. Logon as a user with administrative rights. Open start menu, right click on computer, click on properties, once properties are open, click on advanced settings, then click on settings related to logon (If you are reading this you know how to do this)

    3. Delete all users with existing profiles if you want them to use the new default profile, otherwise highlight the profile that you want to copy, use enabler and use press on copy to.

    4. When the box comes up, use the bottom of the box to activate it for everyone (just type in everyone) Once that is completed, in the copy to location type in C:\users\default  -- this copies the profile over the default profile. Allow that to complete and close this program.

    5. Now run regedit.

    6. Highlight Hkey_Users

    7. Click on File, click on load hive, migrate to c:\users\default and in the file blank type in ntuser.dat and press enter

    8. In the blank box that comes up enter a name that you will remember, I use Default_User, but I have had kids use george, fred or whatever, it really doesn't matter.

    9. Go back to regedit and expand Hkey_Users and highlight the name you just created

    10. Go to edit and click on find and put in the name of your original default profile (the user profile you copied) Push enter

    11. Delete whatever comes up highlighted, use F3 and continue the process until you delete all instances of that name. Delete the whole key, windows will recreate it with the new users name, on some pages you will see the name multiple times, use shift or control to highlight all instances.

    12. Once you are done, re-highlight the name you used and click on file and unload hive.

    13. Restart the machine (don't just log off)

    14. Logon as a new user and they will have all the settings that you created for the default user.


    I am using this in an educational setting and it has worked perfectly fine so far.  

    THANK YOU!  Going through the registry to remove the hardcoded profile paths just slipped my mind, thank you so much for this answer :D  One thing that isn't carried across though is customisation of Notification Area icons.  I set the Sophos AutoUpdate icon to always show icons and notifications in my reference profile but it never carries over when I make it default (either by your method or sysprep). Does anyone know how to manipulate the notification area icons programatically? It'd be REALLY handy since I believe we need to always show that icon to put users at ease so they can see the A/V icon there and easilly see if it's active/errored.

    Also, Microsoft REALLY need to give us admins a better way for doing this (maybe as an admin tool or powertoy?), as the sysprep method barely carries over any of the customisations you may have made - CascadeRob's method is what I'll be working with and just injecting that profile into the WIM as part of my SCCM reference capture.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 5:43 AM
  • As stated earlier in this thread, the scenario that was previously used to replace the Default User Profile (overwriting via the User Profile Control Panel applet) was unsupported in Windows Vista and unsupported in Windows XP.  There were many issues with it in the prior OS’s, even though those issues were not always apparent, they did exist and caused inconsistencies and lingering problems.

    For Domain joined systems, an alternative exists that in many cases will provide a centralized way to update user profiles and accomplish the same tasks that many of you are seeking: Group Policy Preferences. In contrast to policy settings, preferences allow users to change them after you’ve deployed them, they are unmanaged. Additionally, deploying some preferences for users could be a necessity in locked-down environments. Organizations have deployed preferences in a variety of ways, most commonly default user profiles, reg files, and logon scripts. Including preferences in Windows images is also common. In any case, most methods for deploying preferences are decentralized and ‘high touch’.

     

    In contrast to the less IT-friendly methods for deploying preferences, Group Policy preferences add to Group Policy a centralized system for deploying preferences. It provides the means to simplify deployment, reduce configuration errors, and reduce IT costs. Rather than using the steps described earlier to deploy mapped drives, for example, you simply create a Group Policy object and edit its Drive Maps preference item.

     

    Group Policy preferences do not require you to install any services on servers. Windows Server 2008 includes Group Policy preferences by default as part of the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). Administrators will also be able to configure and deploy Group Policy preferences in a Windows Server 2003 environment by installing the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) on a computer running Windows Vista with SP1.

     

    You can download the whitepaper that describes Group Policy Preferences here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=42e30e3f-6f01-4610-9d6e-f6e0fb7a0790&displaylang=en. This white paper describes Group Policy preferences—its features, the differences between policy settings and preferences, and the many benefits of using this new technology.

     

    If there are specific customizations that you made using the old method to replace the Default User Profile that you cannot make with Group Policy Preferences, you can email them to me: PLeBlanc@*microsoft.com (remove the *)

     

    Note that Group Policy preferences will not address creation of Mandatory Profiles and some other settings may still require the supported method of customizing the Default User profile. This article points to the supported way of updating the Default User profile:
    959753 How to customize the default local user profile when you prepare an image of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;959753

     

     


    Paul LeBlanc MSFT
    Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:08 AM
  • @Paul LeBlanc

    This method works great for applying group policy.  It does NOT work for what most people are using the 'Default Profile' method for.  Namely:

    Setting desktop icon locations.
    Setting Microsoft and Non-Microsoft application defaults.
    Multiple user-related control panel settings (IE defaults, taskbar defaults, using small icons on the desktop, etc)

    The list could go on forever.

    I've followed *EVERY* "Official" Microsoft method for configuring the default profile (Sysprep, Group Policy, etc) and it simply does not have the same functionality.  Imagine my frustration setting up a default profile, jumping through all the hoops to use SysPrep only to find that when I deploy the image it simply does not work.  No application icons on the desktop, etc.  Using SysPrep puts W7 into a "newly installed OS" mode that is unacceptable for a method that is supposed to be the official way to deploy a customized image.

    Simply put -- Group policy solves *SOME* of the problems and is nowhere close to the same functionality we had before.  Instead of forcing us to go down a path that is clearly not the best tool, why not restore the functionality in a manner that MSFT considers *SAFE*.

    Bear in mind that I've been using the default profile method on AD domains for over ten years without issue.

    Microsoft has clearly missed the mark on this use case.  Sorry, that's just the way it is and I've been working on this issue for over a year (since the W7 RC) and no easy solution to this has come up.  It *IS* preventing W7 from being deployed in a large way at our university.

    Also, I simply don't have the time to create a full list of customizations to send you.  I am overworked and underpaid as it is.  Windows 7 is shelved until this issue has been resolved.

    Friday, June 11, 2010 9:00 PM
  • @Paul LeBlanc

    This method works great for applying group policy.  It does NOT work for what most people are using the 'Default Profile' method for.  Namely:

    Setting desktop icon locations.
    Setting Microsoft and Non-Microsoft application defaults.
    Multiple user-related control panel settings (IE defaults, taskbar defaults, using small icons on the desktop, etc)

    The list could go on forever.

    I've followed *EVERY* "Official" Microsoft method for configuring the default profile (Sysprep, Group Policy, etc) and it simply does not have the same functionality.  Imagine my frustration setting up a default profile, jumping through all the hoops to use SysPrep only to find that when I deploy the image it simply does not work.  No application icons on the desktop, etc.  Using SysPrep puts W7 into a "newly installed OS" mode that is unacceptable for a method that is supposed to be the official way to deploy a customized image.

    Simply put -- Group policy solves *SOME* of the problems and is nowhere close to the same functionality we had before.  Instead of forcing us to go down a path that is clearly not the best tool, why not restore the functionality in a manner that MSFT considers *SAFE*.

    Bear in mind that I've been using the default profile method on AD domains for over ten years without issue.

    Microsoft has clearly missed the mark on this use case.  Sorry, that's just the way it is and I've been working on this issue for over a year (since the W7 RC) and no easy solution to this has come up.  It *IS* preventing W7 from being deployed in a large way at our university.

    Also, I simply don't have the time to create a full list of customizations to send you.  I am overworked and underpaid as it is.  Windows 7 is shelved until this issue has been resolved.


    Lizard6 has nailed it. +1 from me.
    Thursday, June 17, 2010 11:51 AM
  • Ditto for Lizard6

    Microsoft has lost touch with the real world.

    Saturday, June 19, 2010 7:33 PM
  • @Paul LeBlanc

    This method works great for applying group policy.  It does NOT work for what most people are using the 'Default Profile' method for.  Namely:

    Setting desktop icon locations.
    Setting Microsoft and Non-Microsoft application defaults.
    Multiple user-related control panel settings (IE defaults, taskbar defaults, using small icons on the desktop, etc)

    The list could go on forever.

    I've followed *EVERY* "Official" Microsoft method for configuring the default profile (Sysprep, Group Policy, etc) and it simply does not have the same functionality.  Imagine my frustration setting up a default profile, jumping through all the hoops to use SysPrep only to find that when I deploy the image it simply does not work.  No application icons on the desktop, etc.  Using SysPrep puts W7 into a "newly installed OS" mode that is unacceptable for a method that is supposed to be the official way to deploy a customized image.

    Simply put -- Group policy solves *SOME* of the problems and is nowhere close to the same functionality we had before.  Instead of forcing us to go down a path that is clearly not the best tool, why not restore the functionality in a manner that MSFT considers *SAFE*.

    Bear in mind that I've been using the default profile method on AD domains for over ten years without issue.

    Microsoft has clearly missed the mark on this use case.  Sorry, that's just the way it is and I've been working on this issue for over a year (since the W7 RC) and no easy solution to this has come up.  It *IS* preventing W7 from being deployed in a large way at our university.

    Also, I simply don't have the time to create a full list of customizations to send you.  I am overworked and underpaid as it is.  Windows 7 is shelved until this issue has been resolved.


    I concure!  We cannot recommend moving to windows 7 until this is address in a sysadmin friendly way!
    Thursday, June 24, 2010 2:27 PM
  • still having issue with wallpaper any new info how to keep walpaper in palce after copy?
    Monday, June 28, 2010 7:04 PM
  • I'm frankly disgusted by the limitations of this method, and how broken sysprep is making the whole process damn night on impossible. Our lab XP images have 120GB odd of sofware that needs configuring and testing to run under all user accounts by constant tweaking and perfecting of the default user account, then I find that I have to sysprep - risk breaking all my work while the sysprep succeeds maybe 1 in 10 times, and start again from my clean non-syspreped image and wait another few hours to find out if it's going to break again.

    Huge thanks to CascadeRob for thinking about cleaning up the reg hive after the copy. This way I can test the default user profile BEFORE breaking my images with sysprep.

     

    I really hope MS pay attention to this issue because at the moment I don't know a single customer in Education happy to roll out large complex windows 7 desktop images.

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010 3:11 PM
  • http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973289

    clearly DOES support profiles changed to new default profiles.....make a default profile for system or even a network default profile....(I'd imagine you could also specify many ways of using it).

    SOOOOO.... the way I read this and MS's KB....create user profile (that custom is based off of)....then sysprep (using simple unattended file) and switches /generalize (and others as necessary).

    my .02


    A G
    Monday, July 19, 2010 2:48 AM
  • windows could not finish configuring the system. To attempt to resume configuration, restart the computer.  

    I get this message on reboot at the setup is starting services stage.  Every time I sysprep. I am just trying to set a default profile for my end users.  I have read microsoft instructions, brian lee jackson instructions, created my answer file with WAIK as instructed included the copy to true under specialise shell setup and more. I have learnt alot about the whole proccess but it never actualy works

    Monday, July 19, 2010 9:59 AM
  • As reported above Sysprep works about 1 time out of 10 and even then it does not work the way you want it to. Sysprep is a pain in the butt to try and use, that is finally why I went back to copying the profiles over and cleaning the registry. It takes a little more time but I know it is going to work and if like Microsoft says it is creating some problems, I have yet to experience them, or they are so minor that no one has complained about them.   Rob
    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:48 PM
  • @CascadeRob

    Can you post how you're copying over the profiles and which registry settings your cleaning?

     

    Thanks

    Friday, August 13, 2010 7:48 PM
  • Lizard6, if you go to my post of Dec 16, 2009 it gives you the step by step process of copying and cleaning the registry, just remember you have to use enabler to copy the profile and when you initially start it you have to right click on it and use "Run as an Administrator"  If you need any more info just repost again.  Thanks
    Friday, August 13, 2010 9:00 PM
  • CascadeRob,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to create this workaround and for keeping this post updated as well. I'm a tech director for a school district and this has saved me some time with creating one of my newest computer labs. I was ready to throw out Windows 7 and go back to XP before finding this as the sysprep options that microsoft provides don't work and my head trying to get it to work. School starts next week and I'm running out of time!

    I'm having a problem getting my printers to stay connected when I log in as different users. They work as the dummy user but I have mixed results when logging in as different users after I've set up everything. I have 2 printers in the lab, one  HP Color and the other an HP Laserjet. When I log in as a student I get an error saying "Access Denied, Unable to connect" to one of the printers and the other is fine. When I try a different user, I get the same error on both printers.... when I log back in as the dummy user they are fine. I checked permissions on the printers and nothing has changed.

    Any ideas????

    Monday, August 23, 2010 5:48 PM
  • Jacksongirl78 -  Are you using Microsoft printing process?  I don't use that, instead I set up each of my printers as an IP printer and since the system recognizes them as local printers anyone can print to them that is logged on to the computer they are on.  If you need directions on how to do this you can contact me directly at rr81602@hotmail.com.  The other thing that I do to all my computers is make all "Domain Users" administrators of the computer and control what they can do by their profile, this has to be done to run some programs like AR and all the STAR programs. Thanks, Rob 
    Monday, August 23, 2010 6:13 PM
  • CascadeRob - Thank you! We're a town government and have been beating our heads against a wall trying to figure out an easy way to do a default profile, and your method seems to do everything we need. Thanks for doing all the hard work on this one!
    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7:05 PM
  • This worked first time for me.

    Great answer!

    Thanks.

    ps. A quick way of doing the permissions on the profile you wish to uss as your new default is to just copy the profile folder and then delete the old one :)

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 8:59 AM
  • Not sure if this has been said or not but what I do to create shortcuts on all the profiles desktop's is:
    In a Run window (Windows key+R), type Shell:Common Desktop and press Enter. This will open the All Users Desktop folder and you will be able to drag shortcuts to the folder.
    Props to another poster of a different forum.  Hope this helps...
    Tuesday, December 28, 2010 5:37 PM
  • (This is for a Windows Domain)

    Instead of using the "Copy To" function for default profiles, there was a method Microsoft released with Server 2000/2003 OS that worked beautifully with Win XP.  It was after a default profile was setup, that profile could be copied into the Netlogon/sysvol folder.  Once a computer was joined to the domain, that profile would automatically copy down to the system and keep all the settings for the default profile.  With Windows Vista/7, this function doesn't work for domain machines.

    Did Microosft remove this feature with Windows 7?  Has anyone been able to get this method to work with the new OS?


    JB
    Monday, January 3, 2011 6:24 PM
  • This method will corrupt the default profile

    and will cause to create a temp profile for the user everytime he logs in

    No recommended :(

     

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 12:00 PM
  • just click on it to enable the features

    you will find the icon has changed

    then the magic will start and the Copy to.. will be enabled

    :)

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 12:14 PM
  • I have been having the problem with the blank background for a while, but that simple fix of saving the theme for sharing did it perfectly.  Thank you! I had tried saving the theme before, but I didn't save it for sharing.
    Tuesday, April 19, 2011 10:23 PM
  • i got mine working fine, heres how i did it.

     

    do this - on a fresh build win7 pro sp1 (for me)

    made the setup wizard account called "builder"  (no password) *you can use whatever name you want , but for the purpose of this guide that's what i used.

    let it do its thing and get to your desktop, this user acct is an administrator by default

    go to manage my computer (start/computer (right click)-manage) and go to the local users+groups/users and double click the administrator acct and uncheck "account is disabled" + set a password on it

     go to the users control panel and turn "down" the user account control notifications #1 they're annoying, and #2 no one gives a $hit.

    build your "image" as you normally would, install all your apps , configure your desktop shortcuts, programs whatever you need to do. but if you reboot always log back in as the builder account,  IF u use outlook  install it and run it, when it pops up with the config, go through the exchange settings, but when it asks for a username type "type your username here" click ok and let it prompt for a password etc, just click close and leave it. (for now)

    run regedit go to HKCU\control panel\desktop\wallpaper and change the value from

    FROM

    c:\users\builder\appdata\roaming\microsoft\windows\themes\transcodedwallpaper.jpg

    TO

    c:\users\%username%\Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\Transcodedwallpaper.jpg

    (this allows the users name to be created for the wallpaper and themes when a new user logs in for the first time.

    when done with everything REBOOT the machine when it comes back up , login as the "administrator" account u unlocked earlier.  now the desktop looks generic (cause you didnt modifiy the default YET)

    go to the computer / c:\ drive do a Alt/T/O (alt tools options) view and choose the "view tab"  select show hidden files folders and drives, and uncheck "hide empty drives, hide extentions for known filetypes and hide protected operating system files. click apply, then at the top click the apply to folders button then click ok.

    now navigate to c:\users\ and make a copy of "default" and then delete the original "default" only AFTER you have copied it. (there should be a "copy of default" folder in there too)

    now right click / properties the "builder" folder and go to security tab. - click advanced then owner , choose EDIT change the current owner from system to Administrators (make sure its the group not the user without the s in its name.) choose replace owner on subcontainers and objects.

    the wizard will yell that you just took ownership, yeah yeah, click ok and ok  and ok again to totally close the properties window, now right click properties again, this time go to security choose edit and add "everyone" Full contro (for now)choose apply, now again go to advanced. click "change permissions, highlight the everyone group you just added and select replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object.  --important step this is what makes it work - click apply or ok and say yes to the box that pops up questioning your actions., now to get the wallpaper to work for everyone,

    rename c:\users\builder to c:\users\Default 

    now since your in as administrator level user, go back to the right click my computer/manage local users and groups and make your self a new user, call him test or whatever you want, and also put a password on his account.

    reboot the machine - dont just log out and log back in as your new "test" account walah your good to go.

     I just did a batch of 75 on the domain (w2k8r2) and the group policty and my "documents" redirectors work great.

    oh and best part, I made this so I could GHOST the machine with no sysprep required. its just like the xp days again with a little more work, - the problem people were having way above was due to the many locations of the user profiles, and more so because of the "security" within the default user only to "SYSTEM" where a user could not copy the profile dir completely due to rights, so this fixes it and i hope it really helps you deploy it in your organization.

     

    give me a shout if you need some more help or if you have any problems or issues.

     

    thanks

     

    Chris

     

     

     

     






    • Proposed as answer by macphreak4evr Friday, April 22, 2011 3:20 PM
    Friday, April 22, 2011 3:01 PM
  • As reported above Sysprep works about 1 time out of 10 and even then it does not work the way you want it to. Sysprep is a pain in the butt to try and use, that is finally why I went back to copying the profiles over and cleaning the registry. It takes a little more time but I know it is going to work and if like Microsoft says it is creating some problems, I have yet to experience them, or they are so minor that no one has complained about them.   Rob


    I recently started working for a department of the University of Virginia and I admin over 150+ workstations and I am stunned this simple process has been so hamstrung by Microsoft with nothing more than a "it causes problems... trust us" reason. Amazing! Ever since XP SP3 (the infamous hotfix) they have been INDIVIDUALLY configuring user profiles as the "Copy To:" no longer worked. Now with many XP machines getting surplused and replaced with Windows 7 Pro machines, this "default user profile" issue is coming to a head.... Especially since I refuse to NOT find a way to create a custom user profile that can be used on each machine for the several users on that one machine that must logon daily.

    Rob, thanks so much for your "Windows Enabler" workaround... I will try that next image build I do...

    Otherwise, shame on MS for not providing a workable solution that does not include the program from hell, SYSPREP...

    Robert Glantz

     

    Monday, May 9, 2011 4:48 PM
  • The Sysprep method does work if you know how to do it and do it right.  It's tedious to understand, but once you do understand it, it works.  I'm going to try to explain these stpes that I have done and tested and how to make the sysprep method work in 2 ways.  I hope this helps explain this method and makes it easier.  If I could post screenshots I would.  I know it's frustrating, but it works and it's been working well for me and my organization. 

    There are two things people need to know about sysprep for Win 7
         1.  Sysprep can only be done 3 times with the same key.  There is a command you can add in the unattend XML file that can bypass the 3 strike rule, but you'll have  to put a key for each time you deploy that image.
         2.  The wmpnetwk.exe service can cause it to fail.  It's the "Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service".  I typically stop tihs service and disable it. 
         3.  This works when you have ONLY ONE custom profile on the system.  (I know... i know... some of you have already deployed machines and would like to go back
              through and apply a default profile.  This method isn't the best solution for that.  This works well for new machines getting ready for deployment).

    2 ways this can be done.  It can be done to a machine individually,  OR  It can be done with WDS for those who use WDS.  My organization has been using WDS for 6+ months and it has worked beautifully.

    Before I go over those, the first thing that has to be done is get an unattend file created.  The easiest way to do that is use the WAIK.  Here's the best way to get one.

    1.  Download and Install the WAIK tools. (You don't need to install them on the computer you're creating the image.  You only need WAIK for the Unattend.XML)
    2.  Once that's installed, NEXT, you'll need a .WIM image.  You can use an image you have already created OR a .wim exists on any Windows 7 media DVD.  If you put in a Windows 7 install CD, do a search for a .wim, and it will come up.
    3.  In the WAIK tools, There are only 2 sections that are important:  The Windows Image Section and the Answer File section.
    5.  Right Click on the Windows Image section.  Search for your .WIM image. 
            -  You can select an image you have created or the image from the DVD.
            -  It may ask you to catalog it, just click yes to catalogging the image.  (If the catalogging errors out on the DVD, you may need to copy the .WIM to the local 
               machine.)
    6.  Next, Right Click in the section Answer File.  Choose 'New Answer File'

    Now you have both your image components up and your answer file, the "Copy Profile" function is only 1 piece that you need.  There is a lot you can do with an answer, but I would suggest ONLY setting the "Copy Profile" function to start.

    To get to the "Copy Profile" function:
    7.  In the Windows Image, under the Components section (not packages), scroll down till you see the "x86_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_neutral". 
    8.  When you come to this piece amongst all the numerous components:  Right Click on it.  You should see 7 options.  Click on the number 4 option "Specialize"
    9.  Go over to your answer file and you should see a plus sign under "Specialize".
    10.  Expand out Specialize and click on the ""x86_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_neutral". 
    11.  When you click on it, you will see the window on the very right of the image manager have some options.  One option should be "Copy Profile". 
    12.  Over to the right of this option should be another cell.  Click on the cell to the right of "Copy Profile", a drop down menu will appear.  Set it to True.
    13.  Next, Click File -> Save Answer File.  Name it unattend.xml.

    Now you have an unattend file that will copy the profile you create once you sysprep.  Put this file on a flash drive and put it somewhere.

    If you're using WDS, go into your WDS manager, find the image you want, right click on the image, click properties.  Theres a tab that has an option that says, "Use Unattend File".  Click the check box and browse to the file.  Doesn't matter where you put it. 

    NOTE:  If you're using WDS, once you put out this image, you can always do a 2nd sysprep without an unattend file because your custom profile has already copied to the Default profile.  Again remember you only 3 strikes with sysprepping or else it will fail because of the license strike out (can't remember the technical term.  I call it a strike out because you literally have 3 times to get it right from a fresh image.)

    For a single image, I first recommend starting an image from scratch.  Get all your updates, configure your profiel accordingly.  Give it a clean reboot.
    1.  Take your unattend file and put in a folder on the C: drive
    2.  When you're ready to sysprep (remember to stop the wmpnetwk.exe service), run the sysprep from the command line.
    3.  Open a command prompt (Make sure to click the 'Run As Administrator)
    4.  Change directories to the sysprep folder
             cd %systemroot%\system32\sysprep
    5.  Type in this command:
             sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot /generalize /unattend:c:\answerfile\unattend.xml  <- Make sure to point this to where you put your AnswerFile.

    It will reboot and you will have to go through the original setup, but when you create a new profile, it should have your all the settings as the profile you customized.

    The single image method might get tedious after a while for each machine, but if you use WDS or have another networking imaging solution, you can now take this image with a default profile already copied.  This helps without the hassle of the clean up of the "Windows Enabler" function.  Not to say it's not a good method, but it was causing too many headaches for me.  The sysprep with WDS method works really well.

    I hope this helps!!!  GL HF.  :)


    JB
    Tuesday, May 10, 2011 2:03 AM
  • Chris,

    I've tried your solution and it works!

    Having said that, how did you manage the SID's on the cloned images without SysPrep? At some point in time, won't your domain choke the clients off the domain? Just curious.

    Thanks.


    Tuesday, May 17, 2011 1:57 PM
  • I changed my sids with ghostwalker, or ghwalk.exe on my ghost install, when i cloned them i just chose it to do so after each clone batch, or you can run the ghwalk.exe manually afterwords. but its best before the os loads.
    Thursday, June 2, 2011 12:10 AM
  • We have been copying profiles in Win 7 64 bit using the Windows Enabler, however we are experiencing an issue where the user can't delete any of the desktop icons brought over by the profile copy. Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone have any suggestions how to fix this?
    Thursday, June 2, 2011 3:32 PM
  • thanks Wayne.....very, very much appreciated!
    Monday, March 12, 2012 10:26 PM
  • Microsoft is always wondering why the business community is slow to adopt their new products. Duh...

    If they think W7 was bad, wait until W8 hits the fan.

    Saturday, April 14, 2012 3:10 PM
  • I am a one man I.T. SHow and have absolutely no time to do this for win 7. Especially when I know eventually I will need to update the default profile to include or omit something... then what.

    I was going to update the servers to accomodate Win 7, but not now.  We will stay on XP indefinately.

    Monday, July 30, 2012 3:26 PM
  • How to make the Default profile from a template profile.

    First let me say that Microsoft SUCKS. DUH! The last thing they want you to be able to do is have FULL control over the default profile. If you do then they can not trick people into choosing Bing as their default search engine and other such crap. The want to make sure that EVERY user is asked when starting Internet Explorer about making Bing, the default search engine, they want Internet Explorer to be the default browser, they want other such defaults in place also and I could go on. So they will never take the 1 week it would take to tweak Sysprep to let the Enterprise IT admin create a template profile and simple say "make my default EXACTLY like it" during the  the Sysprep process.

    Now with that said I too work in higher ed as do many of the people in these forums who are looking for ways to control the defaults for their images. I have been in the IT bus. for about 30 yrs, before the IBM PC and DOS was invented. I am not a genius and there is a lot I don't know and need to learn, but there are a few things I have figured out and one of them is how to get my default profile to be EXACTLY the way I want it. And here is how I do it and some of the problems that can occur if a step is missed.

    The first thing to do is FORGET Sysprep exist. It is USELESS in the Enterprise environment so just forget about it. Secondly a "new" SID is not needed.  See the following Article by Mark Russinovich at http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2009/11/03/3291024.aspx. Third, the SID is not a concern because in one of my steps you will remove all reference to the SID assigned to the Profile/User you create to use as the default profile. As for the Machine SID, I have 100s, if not 1000s of Win 7 PCs, we skipped Vista for obvious reasons, think Windows ME, that I have deployed and cloned, with full control over the Default profile, and I have never had a problem. All the PCs I am doing this to are part of a Domain and update via WSUS. The PCs I create for the Students are Frozen using Faronic's DeepFreeze program. The ones I create for our faculty are not frozen. In the past we used XP and the NewSID program from Mark Russinovich, who is now working for Microsoft and no doubt has been told NOT TO make a Win 7 version, see my first comment for reason why, and the process was much simpler. But it can still be done for Win 7. Here's how...

    If all you want to do is take an existing PC and make an existing user profile in to the default profile skip to step 5.

    Step 1...

    Take a blank PC, or any PC, and install Windows 7 or 8.  It can be Home, Pro, or Enterprise, etc. (With Home you can't easily use the local Admin account, but it can still be done, you can also Google how to enable the local Admin account for a HOME based PC if you want to use it. If you don't want to use it just skip the part in step 2 that tells you how to enable it in Pro and above.)

    Step 2...

    Log in for the first time, when asked give the PC a generic name such as "TemplatePC" and an initial user name of something like "TempUser"and if you are using PRO or a higher version go the Control Panel and the the ADMINISTRATIVE Tools Folder and click on "Computer Management" then go to "Local Users and Groups" and then click on "Users" then right click on the "Administrator" account and un-check the "Account is Disabled" box. You can disable it later when you are done configuring the new Default profile. Now reboot and log in as the local admin or if you are doing this on a Home version just create a new user as a local admin, you might call it, "Master" for example and then reboot and log in under that user. If you want you can forget about the initial user that is created when you first log on and create a new "TempUser" who is a member of the local administrators group. Don't worry about subsequent "New Users" based on this profile automatically becoming members of the local admins group because they will not.

    Step 3....

    Now go ahead and install all the software, Office, Firefox, Program X, and Program Y etc. that you want on the system. Install all the MS updates, install all the other updates systems need these days such as Flash, Java, Shockwave, and Silver Light Etc. Install all the printers you need and setup the default printer you want everyone to start with as well as configuring the printer settings etc. Join what ever domain you will be joining, you can use the cloned system for other domains later if you want. Map any drives that need mapping. The reason for joining a domain now is so that any members of the domain you want to make a member of the local admins group, such as the Domain Admins group, or in our case we have an AD group which has all the IT personnel in it which we use to ensure that all the IT will always be able to log in as a member of the local admin, for all subsequent clones of this Template PC. One of the last steps you will take before cloning this system will be to un-join the domain so don't worry to much about it at this time. Just join one if that is what you would normal do with the cloned PC. If you are not going to be joining a Domain, and you are going to eventually disable the local Admin account, I would create new "Master" account with local Admin rights with a good strong password that can be used in the case of an emergency to get control of the PC, you will not need to log in with this account just make sure it is not disabled before you clone your Template PC.

    Step 4...

    Once you have installed EVERYTHING you could want on the PC and added any accounts to the local admins group that you want on all the clones made from this Template PC, reboot the system and log in to it via the "TempUser" account. Again, make sure that this account is a member of the local Admins group. After we have configured it the way we want it and have gone through the steps needed to turn it in to the new Default profile we will be deleting it so you don't need to worry about leaving a potential security hole in the system. (You can use an existing user profile if you want and you won't need to delete it later or change its membership status in the local admins group either) Once you have logged in to the system under the "TempUser" account, exercise all the installed software setting up the default configuration options the way you want them and make exceptions for them in the Popup Blocker section. Start IE answer all the questions, set your default home page, setup any trust that you may need. We add in our Online Lesson system and our college web site etc. Start Word and Firefox or Chrome or Safari or Opera etc. Start any program that will prompt you for user specific settings and give it the setting you want all future users to have. (I recommend, to save space at the least, and for other reasons that you research how to install Chrome for all users under a general location and NOT ever install it using its default location which is under the user's hidden profile folders who did the install etc. A stupid thing for Chrome to do) In a nut shell exercise the profile, arrange your Icon desktop locations, any programs you need to auto start, whether any hidden files will be visible etc., exactly the way you want it to work when it is the default. Don't forget anything or you will need to redo this part of the process and have to do the next steps where you will actually "clone" the profile as the default all over again. Take your time do it right, this is where the model for your default is created. If the end user is going to be using email etc, do not initialize it during this process. That should be done only after they log in to the actual PC that they will be using. Never do it to the default profile. Once you have the system/profile exactly the way you want go to Step 5.

    Step 5...

    After completing step 4 or if you have skipped step 1 - 4 because you already have PC with an existing profile on it you want to turn in to the default profile log in to the system with the "TempUser" account profile and then go to the start menu and in the "search" box type "regedit" and press enter. This will bring up the registry editer. Now click on the "HKEY_CURRENT_USER" folder to select it and then click on the "File" menu option and then click on the "export" option. Give the reg export a name, I use the name "newdefault" and pick the place you want to save it, pick a spot not part of this profile which is where it will default too and then click save. Now reboot the PC. DO NOT just log off and then back on as the local admin. If you do then the TempUser profile folder will still have open files in it and it that can cause problems later on. Log on to the PC with local Admin account or an account that is a member of the local admins group. If this account has not been setup so that all the hidden files and folders are visible go in to control panel and use the "folder Options" option to make them visible. Now navigate to the "Users" folder where Win 7, and Vista, store the user profile folders and rename the "default" folder to something like default.old. You may need to take ownership of the folder to do that. Use Google to learn how if you don't already know. Now right click on the TempUser folder and drag it to a blank location in the Users folder and release. This should make a new folder called "TempUser - Copy". Rename the folder "Default".

    Step 6....Right click on the new Default folder and choose "Properties" on the bottom of the menu. Change the owner from what ever it is to the local administrators group. (you can Google how to do this if you need to.) Make sure you check the "Replace owner on sub containers and objects" option so it will propagate on down. Now go to the permissions tab and make sure that the local Admins group is there with Full Control as well as the "System" group then add in the 'Everyone" group with only "Read & execute" permissions. Do not give "Everyone" write permissions or Full permissions as this could create a security problem. Make sure that you check the "Replace all child permissions with inheritable permissions from this object" option and then click "Apply".

    Step 7....

    After rebooting the PC and logging in as the local Admin, go to the Start menu and type “regedit” in the search box and then press enter. This should bring up the Registry Editor. Now go to the key group HKEY_USERS and click on it to select it. Now click on the “File” menu option and then click on “Load Hive”. Navigate to the Users\Default profile folder and then click on the NTUSER.DAT reg file. When asked to give it a name, choose something like “NewDef” and then press enter. This will load the new default registry settings in to the registry editor.

    Step 8…

    Now click on the little arrow next to the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” Key Group also called HKLM to expand it and then navigate the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList key. You should now see several Reg Keys that start with “S-1-5….”. Look at each one of these keys for one that has a “ProfileImagePath” value that has the path that leads to the “TempUser” Profile folder. In our example the path would be “C:\Users\TempUser”. If you are using an existing users profile such as John Smith’s the path will most likely look like “C:\users\John Smith”. Now go back to the “S-1-5…” name of the key under which you found the path of your template profile folder and record that name somewhere. This is the SID for that user. In a little bit we will need to find all references to that SID in the new default profile registry settings and delete them. In my example the name or SID of my “TempUser” profile is “S-1-5-1088881533-725345543-211294742-2253”. I like to copy and paste this in to a temp text file to make it easier to search for with out needing top type it in every time. Once you have recorded the SID somewhere you should delete the KEY. (If you are using an existing real profile like “John Smith” then DO NOT delete this key.)

    Step 9….

    In this step you will look for all the references to the SID found in Step 8 and delete them. If the profile you are making in to the new default came from an existing real user profile then you will look for the SID in the registry hive you opened up in Step 7 ONLY. If you are converting a template profile such as the “TempUser” I am using in this example then you will need to search through the entire registry and delete all references to it.

    To look through the whole registry click on the “computer” at the top of the registry tree and the click on the “Edit” menu option then click on the “find” option. Type in the SID or cut and paste it then click “Find Next”. The system will start searching. The SID will be found in several places. I will list the places I found it using my example “TempUser” profile SID below and I will show you the places it was found in the “NewDef” hive we loaded in Step 7.

     

    The first place it found the SID was in a key under the HKCU (HKEY_CURRENT_USER) key. The full reg path is HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\ProcessedSearchRoots\0020. The SID is part of that keys “Default” value. The SID is going to be found in several numbered keys found under the “ProcessedSearchRoots” key in several places in the registry. The actual number key will vary from system to system. There may be more than one of the numbered keys that has the SID in it. Delete them all. In my example the SID was found in the numbered keys 0020, 0024, and 0026. I deleted these key but left the other numbered keys under “ProcessedSearchRoots” alone. Again, if you used a real existing profile for your template then DO NOT delete any SID keys found in the HKCU hive.

    The Next place I found the SID is in the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\IdentityStore\Cache’ part of the HKLM reg hive. The actual key has the same name as the SID, “S-1-5-1088881533-725345543-211294742-2253” in my example. Delete this key. If you used a real existing profile for your template then DO NOT delete any SID keys found in the HKLM hive.

    Pressing “F3” to look for the next instance of the SID brings me to the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\GameUX key and under that key there is a key with the same name as the SID. Delete this key.

    The next spot the SID was found was under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy key and had the same name as the SID. Delete this key.

    The next spot was under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\State key and it too had the SID for its name. Delete this key.

    Next is the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Status key and again the name is the same as the SID. Delete this key.

    Next it was found under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Print\Providers\Client Side Rendering Print Provider and had the name of the SID. Delete this key.

    Next it was found in the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ProfileList key and had the same name as the SID. This key should have been deleted in Step 8 unless you have used a real users profile for your template in which case you would leave it alone as well as all the keys found above, other wise delete it.

    Press “F3” again to continue searching, the next location for my example was found under a numbered key under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\CrawlScopeManager\Windows\SystemIndex\DefaultRules”. The number key for me was “35” it may be different for you and it may be found in several of the numbered keys in this part of the registry. For me it was found in 35, and 44. I deleted both keys.

    Next it was found under numbered keys under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\CrawlScopeManager\Windows\SystemIndex\SearchRoots” key under the numbers 17, 28, and 7 key. The numbers may be different for you. Delete them all unless you used and existing real profile.

    The next spot is a numbered key under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\CrawlScopeManager\Windows\SystemIndex\WorkingSetRules key. For me the numbers were 38, and 47. Delete these keys.

    The next spot is a key with the SID for a name found under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gather\Windows\SystemIndex\Sites key. Delete it. (If you look under this key you also find more keys with the SID in it, but by deleting this key you will get all the references under it so don’t worry about them)

    The next spot is another numbered key under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gather\Windows\SystemIndex\StartPages key. For me the numbers were 22,  and 23.

    Next it was found in a key with the name the same as the SID under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\SMS\Mobile Client\Software Distribution\Presented Programs key which only exists on a 64 bit OS. (The test system I am using is a notebook with Windows 7 Enterprise x64 SP1 installed.) Delete this key

    The next key is also only found in a 64 bit system HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy and the key to delete which is found under this key has a name the same as the SID.

    Next we will find another key with the SID for a name under the following x64 only key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy\State. Delete it.

    The next SID named key also x64 only, is under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy\Status key. Delete it.

    The next x64 only SID named key is found under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Print\Providers\Client Side Rendering Print Providers key. Delete it.

    The next x64 SID named key is under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\ProfileList key. Delete it.

    The next place the SID is found is under the “NewDef” hive we loaded in Step 7. This is the only place/hive that you want to delete refernces to the SID in if you used a real profile for your template. To just start your search in this area and skip all of the above areas you can click on the HKEY_USERS\NewDef key found under HKEY_USERS, other wise know as HKU and then go to the Edit option on the menu and choose “find”. The first place the SID that is found under the NewDef hive is another numbered key under the HKU\NewDef\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\ProcessedSearchRoots key. For me the numbers it was found in were 0020, 0024, and 0025, for you it may be a different number or there may be more than one numbered key it is found under. Delete them all. This is also the ONLY place in the NewDef hive that the SID was found. The next key with the SID found in it is in another hive, so If you used a real profile you should now be done with searching for the SID in the registry editor. You will need to look for it in another location later.

    For those who used a TempUser for there default template the next key with the SID in it is another numbered key under the HKU\S-1-5-21-1077777777-725435353-211342521-2251\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\ProcessedSearchRoots key. In reality you should not find this key. The “S-1-5-21-1077777777-725435353-211342521-2251” is the SID of the user I am currently logged in as, the local admin for me in this example. This is the same key as the HKEY_CURRENT_USER or HKCU key we found the SID in earlier and deleted so it should not exist here. If it does you must have missed one earlier so delete it. After deleting this key no more keys were found in the registry or the NewDef hive with the SID in it. You are now done searching for the SID in the registry. We will look for it again in the registry file we created in Step 5 via the export option later.

    Step 10….

    In this step we will go back to the top of the Registry tree, where it says “Computer” and we will click on it to select it then we will click on the “Edit” menu option and then the “Find” option and then we will look for the path to our template profile. For this example the path to my template profile is “C:\Users\TempUser” this is what I will type in to the search line. If you used a real profile for your template DO NOT start your search at the top of the tree. Instead start in the “NewDef” hive found under the HKEY_USERS key. This is similar to looking for the SID.

    In my example the first place I found the TempUser profile path was in a value under a numbered key under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\CrawlScopeManager\Windows\SystemIndex\DefaultRules key. For me the number key was 11. For you it may be different and there may be more than one. Delete this key.

    The next one was found under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\CrawlScopeManager\Windows\SystemIndex\WorkingSetRules and the number for me was 11. Delete the key/s found.

    The next one is a numbered key and is found under the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gather\Windows\SyatemIndex\Sites\LocalHost\Paths. The number for me was 9 for you it could be different and there could be more than one. Delete it.

    The next location is under the “NewDef” hive we loaded in Step 7. This is where you would start your search if you had used a real profile for your template instead of at the top of the reg tree. The key it was found under is found under the HKU\NewDef\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CD Burning\StagingInfo key called “Volume{b1a8be1a-4232-11d1-b652fde-806efde6963}. This key could have a different Hex number after the Volume label on your system. In addition to that you will only have this key if you have the “CD Burner XP” program installed. You need to delete this key.

    In your system, you may find many references to the folders in your template profile folder path that are not going to be in my system. That is because you may have software I don’t have installed and vise versa. You will need to delete all of these references, especially any found under the NewDef hive. Failure to do so could result in folders being created and used under the template profile folder path instead of the actual users profile path which is created the first time a new user logs in. In the case where you used an existing profile the problem could be compounded so DO NOT miss any of the references to the template user profile path found under the NewDef hive. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!

    The next spot in the NewDef hive you find the template profile path is under the HKU\NewDef\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders key. This is a VERY critical place you need to pay attention too. In it you will find the paths for most of the default storage locations for things like the users Documents or their Music etc. You need to delete all of these or you need to replace the part of each one that has the base path for your template profile in it with “%userprofile%”.  So for me in my example I would change the AppData key value data from “C:\Users\TempUser\AppData\Roaming” to “%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming”.  My Music would change from “C:\Users\TempUser\Music” to “%userprofile%\Music” and so on. The path for the “Fonts” key value I would leave alone.

    In some cases you may want ALL users to have their data, Word Docs, Music, Videos etc to be stored in the same locations. We do this for computer we have frozen so that any data created by a student will be saved in the thawed area of the PC. For us it is a drive called “U”. We do this so that a power outage or an unexpected reboot of the PC will not cause the user to have all the data they have created erased when the PC reboots to its frozen state. For cases like this you can take the User Data folder paths and change them from “%userpath%\foldername” to “U:\foldername”. So My Music becomes “U:\Music”. Now All users who’s profile is created using this new default profile will have their music saved in the “U:\Music” folder by default. DO NOT do this for the Hidden folders paths used by the system for storing user settings etc. such as the “AppData”, “Send To”, “Cookies”, and “History” key values to name a few. Failure to get the paths in this section correct can have serious consequences and can cause all kinds of data corruption and system problems. This is where most people who try to clone a profile into a default profile fail and have a default profile that dosen’t work. If after you delete the template profile path and log in with a new user you find the old template profile folder path has been recreated, the problem will most likely be because one of these folder paths did not get changed or deleted. This becomes even more of a problem and a harder one to discover if you are using an existing profile for your template. To check if this mistake was made and the integrity of a default profile created from an existing one, temporarily rename the template profile folder path then log in as a new user and see if a new profile folder path base on the template folder path has been created along with the new users profile path. If you find that this is happening just reload the NewDef hive per the instructions in Step 7 and then navigate to the HKU\NewDef\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders key and find the offending path and fix it. Then unload the hive and delete the problem profile folder and try again. Once you have the default profile paths working you can change the name of the template profile folder back to its original name.

    The next spot under the NewDef hive the template profile is found is in several REG_DWORD key values found under the key HKU\NewDef\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage\NewShortcuts. Under this key there are many values that have a folder path for the name such as “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\.......” These paths are to generic windows paths and not paths that lead to the actual user profile folders. There are other, however, that do lead to the template profile folder s such as the one in my example that is named “c:\Users\TempUser\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs…..”. These values MUST be deleted. The bottom line is you must delete any of these values that have your template profile path listed in their name and leave the rest.

    You should now be done searching through the registry.

    Step 11…

    Go back the top of the “NewDef” hive found under HKEY_USERS and click on it to select it. Now click on the “File” option in the menu and then click on “Unload Hive”. This will save the changed made and unload the hive. This is VERY important. Do not forget to unload your hive before closing the registry editor in Step 12.

    Step 12….

    Now you need to make an adjustment to the permissions for the .DEFAULT registry hive in the registry. Right Click on the “.DEFAULT” registry hive under the HKEY_USERS group and then choose “Permissions”. Click on the “Advanced” button near the bottom.  Click on the “Owner Tab” and then click on the “Administrators” group and then check the “Replace owner on sub containers and objects” check box and the click “Apply”. This may take a while to complete.  Ignore any warnings about sub keys that can not be changed. Now click on the “Permissions” tab and click on the “Administrators” permissions entry and then click on the “Edit” button. Make sure the “Full Conrol” check box is checked. Also make sure that the “Apply To:” drop down option box shows “This key and subkeys” and click “OK” and then “Apply”. Ignore any messages about it not being applied to some of the sub keys etc. You may now close the registry editor.

    Step 13….

    Now it is time to create the last piece of the puzzle. In Step 5 we exported the registry hive called “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” to a file with .reg extension. We are now going to edit this text based file and remove the items in it that have the path for the template profile in it and/or the SID of template user. Once this is done we will do a quick search and replace and them we will import this set of reg settings back in to the registry where it will replace the HKU\.Default registry hive. There are two items that make up the registry setting for the default profile, one is the NTUSER.DAT file we loaded as the hive NewDef in the steps above, the other is found under the HKEY_USERS registry group and is show as “.Default” These two spot contain pretty much all the custom settings etc for a user and their profile.

    So lets open up the NewDefault.reg file we created in Step 5. The file is a large one, as far as a text based file is concerned. We can open it up in “Notepad” which is the default editor for this type of file but I would recommend that you use Word or some other more robust editor that can work with the file without changing it from a text based format. The reason for that is that I have seen it take minute instead of seconds to do some of the searching and search and replacing that we will need to do. The resultant file that I got in my example is over 5,000 pages and has over 168,000 words so NotePad has a hard time with it. Word does not.

    After opening the NewDefault.reg file with an editor search for any area that has the SID in it we identified in Step 8, “S-1-5-1088881533-725345543-211294742-2253”. In my example it was found in 3 places.

    The first place it was found is in a numbered key, 0025. In a text based .reg document the key is found between the “[“ and the “]” square brackets. The key values are then shown below that with the key name being first and then an “=” sign and then the data value of that key. The data value may be a DWORD value, a String value, or a Binary Value. The first key value in any registry key is named Default and in the registry editor looks like “(Default)”. In the .reg file the Default key value name is shown as an “@” sign. (Most of the time this key value is blank.) It is in the Default key value that we find the first instance of the SID. Here we want to delete the reg key and the key values under it. See the example below.

    ************** Delete the 0025 Key and the Key Values listed below it. ********

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\ProcessedSearchRoots\0025]

    @="defaultroot://{ S-1-5-21-1077777777-725435353-211342521-2251}/"

    "Version"=dword:00000000

    "DoNotCreateSearchConnectors"=dword:00000001

    *************************** Delete the lines above ****************************

    The last 2 places it is found are also numbered keys under the same “ProcessedSearchRoots” key as the first one. The numbered keys here are 0028, and 0029. Again we want to delete the entire key and its key values. See example below.

    ************** Delete the 0028 and 0029 Keys and the Key Values listed below them. ********

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\ProcessedSearchRoots\0028]

    @="csc://{S-1-5-21-1078081533-725345543-2111294741-2251}/"

    "Version"=dword:00000000

    "DoNotCreateSearchConnectors"=dword:00000001

     

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\ProcessedSearchRoots\0029]

    @="iehistory://{S-1-5-21-1078081533-725345543-2111294741-2251}/"

    "Version"=dword:00000000

    "DoNotCreateSearchConnectors"=dword:00000001

    *************************** Delete the lines above ****************************

    Step 14….

    Next we will search for the template profile folder path in the NewDefault.reg file we opened in Step 13. We are going to search for the same path we searched the registry for in Step 10. When we put in the string we were searching for in to the search string text box in the registry editor we put it in just like we would see it shown in a DOS window, “C:\Users\TempUser”. But when we search for folder or a file paths in a .reg text file we have to double up on the back slashes and so our search string will look like the following “C:\\Users\\TempUser”. This is because all folder/file paths shown in a .reg file will have two back slashes instead of one. (Microsoft use a single back slash in the registry “keys” paths such as the one show here, [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\ProcessedSearchRoots\0029]. This was to prevent confusion between a key path and a folder/file path Microsoft choose to use two back slashes for separation in the folder/file paths.)

    After typing in “C:\\users\\TempUser” in to the search string text box the first item found is shown below.

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Apple Computer, Inc.\QuickTime\LocalUserPreferences]

    "FolderPath"="C:\\Users\\TempUser\\AppData\\LocalLow\\Apple Computer\\QuickTime\\"

    This key is used by Apple’s QuickTime. You do not need to delete the “QuickTime\LocalUser\Preferences” reg key or the key value “FolderPath”, and I would not do so, but you do need to delete the data value from the key value. To do this simply delete all the text between the two quotes after the equal sign which follows the key value name “FolderPath”. That will change the above registry file lines to the ones shown below.

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Apple Computer, Inc.\QuickTime\LocalUserPreferences]

    "FolderPath"=""

    The next instance of the template path found is under the following key.

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{0633EE93-D776-472f-A0FF-E1416B8B2E3A}]

    And is in the Key Value: shown below.

    "FaviconPath"="C:\\Users\\TempUser\\AppData\\LocalLow\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Services\\search_{0633EE93-D776-472f-A0FF-E1416B8B2E3A}.ico"

    I would either delete the key value data or I would change the path in the data to use the environment variable %userprofile%. So make the FaviconPath data value look like one of the following…

    "FaviconPath"=""

    "FaviconPath"="%userprofile%\\AppData\\LocalLow\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Services\\search_{0633EE93-D776-472f-A0FF-E1416B8B2E3A}.ico"

    The next location is similar to the last one and has the same “FaviconPath” key value but it is for Google instead of Bing like the last one. Do the same thing to this that was done to the last one.

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{509D0936-9AB9-4EBA-B387-C8D8B505BA84}]

    "FaviconPath"="C:\\Users\\TempUser\\AppData\\LocalLow\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Services\\search_{509D0936-9AB9-4EBA-B387-C8D8B505BA84}.ico"

    *********Change the FaviconPath key value data string to look like one of the following***********

    "FaviconPath"=””

    Or

    "FaviconPath"="%userprofile%\\AppData\\LocalLow\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Services\\search_{509D0936-9AB9-4EBA-B387-C8D8B505BA84}.ico

    The next find for the template path is in the Default key value for the following key.

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WAB\Me]

    @="/GUID:\"96d1ea4c-6808-45f3-9c0c-0742baf9369c\" /PATH:\"C:\\Users\\TempUser\\Contacts\\Student.contact\""

    Here I just delete the whole key and its key value and the key value data shown above.

    The next key is similar to one found in the registry we searched through in the earlier part of this guide. It is used by the CD Burning XP program and may or may not be part of your system. See below.

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CD Burning\StagingInfo\Volume{d6bea6c7-7785-11e1-9b15-806e6f6e6963}]

    "StagingPath"="C:\\Users\\TempUser\\AppData\\Local\\Microsoft\\Windows\\Burn\\Burn"

    "Active"=dword:00000001

    "DriveNumber"=dword:00000003

    Here I just delete the Key Values, StagingPath, Active, and DriveNumber and their data instead of the Key itself.

    Next comes one of the most important spots, the “Shell Folders” key. Here just like in the registry you have to be perfect and you can’t miss anything. The exact key here is [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders], and the first key value under it is “AppData”.

    Here just like in Step 10 we want to either remove the key value and its data or we need to change the key value data and replace the template profile base folder path with the %userprofile% environment variable so that the AppData key value line would now look like the following.

    "AppData"="%userprofile%\\AppData\\Roaming"

    Whether you delete the key values and their data or modify it with the %userprofile% variable you need to do the same thing in this section that you did to the “Shell Folders” key values in Step 10. Also, just like in Step 10, this is the place where you can, if you want to setup the users default save locations for things like their documents and their music by assigning a real path value here. For example if you want everyone’s default save location for their pictures to be in the “Pictures” folder on drive U you would change the “My Pictures” key value and data line to look like the following.

    “My Pictures”=”U:\\Pictures”

    Also just like in Step 10 leave the “Font” key value data alone. The last key value and data line of concern in the Shell Folders section in my example is as follows.

    "{4C5C32FF-BB9D-43B0-B5B4-2D72E54EAAA4}"="C:\\Users\\TempUser\\Saved Games"

    It should be change to "{4C5C32FF-BB9D-43B0-B5B4-2D72E54EAAA4}"="%userprofile%\\Saved Games" or deleted. On your system the last item may be different.

    The same concerns and problems that can occur if one of the Shell Folders paths is incorrect that were mentioned in Step 10 apply here. Use the same testing process of your default profile mentioned in Step 10 here to make sure no mistakes were made before cloning and deploying the image.

    The next section with the template profile folder path in it in my example is found in the key values under the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage\NewShortcuts] key. Here you will find a mix of DWord key values with names which point to the profile folder path and others to the systems ”ProgramData” folder path. Delete all the key value and Dword data lines that point to the profile path such as the one shown below and leave all the ones that point to the ProgramData folder alone.

    "C:\\Users\\TempUser\\AppData\\Roaming\\Microsoft\\Windows\\Start Menu\\Programs\\Audacity.lnk"=dword:00000001

    Delete all lines that look similar to the one above and leave all the lines that look similar to the one below alone.

    "C:\\ProgramData\\Microsoft\\Windows\\Start Menu\\Programs\\JAWS 13.0\\Braille Viewer.lnk"=dword:00000001

    The next profile path found in my example is as follows.

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\Debug]

    "StoreLocation"="C:\\Users\\hc.student\\AppData\\Local\\Microsoft\\Windows\\WER\\ReportQueue\\NonCritical_x64_6c897a70c2e4aaeb9dd4758d201d8bdae0415a_cab_0dccde9b

    In this key I would just delete the data for the key value “StoreLocation” making that key value line look like the following.

    “StoreLocation”=””

    The next place a profile path was shown in my example is under the following key.

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Compatibility Assistant\Persisted]

    Under this key there are several DWord key values that have the profile path in their name. Here just like in the section above I would delete any of the ones that have the profile path in them. You may not have this key section in your system and you may have other key sections and key values with profile paths in them that I do not as many of these key are dependent on the software that you installed in your system,. Try to use common sense and follow the principles expressed in this guide to decide if you should delete the key value or modify the data or key value name to remove the profile path.

    The next section of concern where the profile path and other key value items with the name of the template user in it will be found under the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Volatile Environment] key and the key values will look similar to the following.

    "LOGONSERVER"="\\\\CARINA"

    "USERDNSDOMAIN"="DomainName.MyCollegeOrCompany.Com”"

    "USERDOMAIN"="DomainName"

    "USERNAME"="TempUser"

    "USERPROFILE"="C:\\Users\\TempUser"

    "HOMEPATH"="\\Users\\TempUser"

    "HOMEDRIVE"="C:"

    "APPDATA"="C:\\Users\\TempUser\\AppData\\Roaming"

    "LOCALAPPDATA"="C:\\Users\\TempUser\\AppData\\Local"

    In this section I would leave the key values alone and just delete the data values assigned to them. You should leave the “HOMEDRIVE” data value as is. The new set of key value lines should look like the following.

    "LOGONSERVER"=""

    "USERDNSDOMAIN"=""

    "USERDOMAIN"=""

    "USERNAME"=""

    "USERPROFILE"=""

    "HOMEPATH"=""

    "HOMEDRIVE"="C:"

    "APPDATA"=""

    "LOCALAPPDATA"=""

    Like the Shell Folders section, don’t make any mistakes here.

    That should be all the references to the template profile path but I would do a second search from the top of the file for the path just to make sure that none were missed.

    Step 15….

    Now we need to do a search and replace for every instance of the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” part of the keys. We need to change this to “HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT” Yes that is a slash and then a period and then the word DEFAULT. I mention this because on some systems it may be hard to see the period after the slash and it is very important. Once this is done the keys should all look like the following at the start of their name.

    [HKEY_USER\.DEFAULT]

     

    [HKEY_USER\.DEFAULT \AppEvents]

     

    [HKEY_USER\.DEFAULT \AppEvents\EventLabels]

     

    [HKEY_USER\.DEFAULT \AppEvents\EventLabels\.Default]

     

    [HKEY_USER\.DEFAULT \Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\SearchPlatform\Preferences]

    Now do a search for “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” and make sure that none are found. Once you are sue that all the search and replacing is done SAVE your file.

    Step 16…

    Now we want to import the .Default registry setting in to the registry. We do that by double clicking on the NewDefaults.reg file we just got done editing. You will be prompted for permission to import it. Click “yes”. You should not see any messages about some of the keys not importing. If you do double check the permissions for the .Default and HKEY_USERS part of the registry and make sure that the local admin group has full control. See Step 12 for more information on how to do this.

    Step 17…

    Now you want to hide the new default profile folder. This is the way Microsoft has it. If you don’t do it nothing will be broken, but the folder is supposed to be hidden. I don’t worry about hiding any of the sub folders under it. To hide the Default profile root folder in explorer navigate to the “C:\Users” folder and right click on the “Default” folder and click properties. In the Attributes section njear the bottom of the folder properties  windows there will be a check box called “Hidden” put a check in this box by clicking on it and then click “Apply” Click on the “Apply changes to this folder only” option and then click “OK”. And then click “OK” again to close the properties window.

    Step 18…

    Now is the time to test your new default profile. The easiest way, if you are in a domain is to test it by logging in the PC with a domain user who has never logged in to this PC before. Before we do that though we need to navigate to the “C:\Users” profile folder and delete the profile folder with the same name as the template profile you were using. If the template profile was an actual user or you don’t want to delete the template profile just yet then just temporarily rename it. This is also talked about in Steps 10 and 14 along with other info on testing the new default profile. The important thing is that there must not be any folders in the profile folder area with the same name as the profile you used for your template before we reboot and log in as a new user.

    Once you are sure that the template profile folder has been renamed or deleted reboot the PC and log in as a new user. (You may need to create a new user to test with under “Computer Management” or under the “User Accounts” option in control panel.) If you don’t know how to create a new user just Google it.

    After logging in as a new user, navigate to the “C:\Users” profiles folder and look for a new folder with the name of the new user. Since you either renamed or deleted the template profile folder you used to create your new default profile you should NOT see any folders with that name after logging in to the system as a new user. If you do, then you missed deleting or modifying a profile path in Steps 10 or 14. If this occurs then you will need to open the registry editor and re-load the Default NTUSERS.DAT registry hive, see Step 7. Once you have loaded the hive do a search for the Template Profile path like you did in Step 10 and make any corrections you need then reboot the PC and log in as the local admin. Delete the folder under “C:\Users” that has the template profile name and the folder that was created with the name of the new user and try again. Once you have successfully logged in and NOT had any folders recreated with the name of the template folder you can test all the settings you expect are now a part of the default profile to make sure everything is just the way you want it. If anything is not the way you want it you may need to start the process over. Once you are sure the default profile working the way you want it you can move on to the next step which will clean up the system and prepair it for cloning or immediate use as the case may be.

    Step 19….

    Now that you have your default profile working the way you want you can do a little cleaning up and your system will be ready for cloning or immediate use.

    The first think to do is to log on to the system as the local admin and navigate back to the users profile folder “c:\users”. Once here you should delete you template profile folder, for me that would mean deleting the “TempUser” folder. If you used a real profile for the template and had renamed to test the new default profile as recommended in the steps above you may now return it to its original name.

    Next you should clean out the temp folders in the new Default profile folder. Navigate to “c:\users\default\appdata\local\temp” and then delete everything in the temp folder. Next navigate to c:\users\default\appdata\local\microsoft\windows\temporary internet file\content.ie5” and delete all the folders found in there.

    Next I would go to the C:\Windows\Temp” folder and delete all the files and folders in that location too. (Some items may not be open and can’t be deleted)

    If you are not going to clone this computer you should be done. You can disable the local admin account if you want as long as there is one active account on the system with membership in local administrators group. If you used a template user instead of a real user for you template profile you should also delete or at least disable the template user account you used to create your default profile.

    If you are not going to clone your PC then you are done and can deploy the unit. If you are going to clone the PC I would first un-join the domain and then rename the PC to a generic name, then image and clone it.

    I know this is a long and rather detailed description of the process for controlling the default profile but after doing it a few times you will find that the actual profile cloning process can be done in about 10 to 20 minutes.

    I hope this helps and good luck.

    Ralph Malph

    Friday, October 12, 2012 1:51 PM
  • LOL... This might be about the same amount of work as sysprep.  :)

    I completely agree that this could easily be done but then we would not all be forced into the self-promotions like Bing...

    Someone please write a program/script...

    Roy

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012 2:48 AM
  • I agree with you Roy.  And I'm not so sure about step 14.  If I'm not mistaken, i don't think the .DEFAULT registry key is 'directly' assoicated with the default user profile.  Anytime I've had to make a change to HKCU of the default profile, i always had to Load the Default User -> NTUSER.dat file to make it work. 

    We were doing something similar with one of our corporate applications that only contained settings in the HKCU\Software key.  We had to make sure every user got the same custom settings.  With XP, we used the Copy Profile, but for Windows 7, before we starting using WDS with Sysprep, we had to load the default user profile hive (ntuser.dat) and run the registry fix, then unload the hive.  Never worked importing it into the .DEFAULT key.  I don't even know what this is used for.

    Anyways, I agree with all the complaints on here.  Microsoft's goal should be to make things easier for the admin as well as the end user.  This change ONLY makes things harder for us.  ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY CAN'T STAY CONSISTENT ON IMPORTING A NETWORK DRIVER INTO A .WIM BOOT IMAGE THROUGH WAIK.  It annoys me everytime i find the wrong instructions for the wrong version...  and honestly, i think that's a lot of the problem.  The information and instruction Microsoft gives is NOT clear and consistent (HINT!, HINT!).  It's nice to know that i dont' have to use ImageX anymore to do these tasks with the upgraded version of WAIK! 

    I wish Microsoft would revise and update the sysprep method because it is VERY FLAKEY, but most of the time it DOES WORK. We run the Microsoft Windows Deployment Services (WDS), and we love it. It's been a wonderful system to use. And for each new image we build, we create an answer file for and make sure the copy profile option is enabled, apply it do the WDS image, and it works everytime we deploy an image. Once you get it right, it works beautifully. I can honestly say that the failure rate of images created and deployed, versus images out of Ghost have been significantly different. I've had ghost images that would just crap out and fail and I would have to rebuild them from scratch... but again... if sysprep fails, it's been better for us to rebuild the image from scratch... which we've had to do on occasion.  It's time consuming, but once you get it right, it works.. and works really well.


    JB

    Monday, October 22, 2012 9:17 PM
  • My client did something to their comp. Now, when she wants to access her profile (c:\users\her) she gets a typical default desktop. All her programs are lists under All Programs. But, her docs, pics, music, and video, /app are all brand new i.e., empty except the generic stuff.

    User Profiles has "Default 1.84 MB" and "Her-PC\Her 12. GB"

    To access her usual stuff, she has to login, then open "Computer", then open "My Documents"  Using Library/Documents results in empty folder.

    Yet, in an identical system on an identical laptop, there is no "Default user", just the user, and it works fine.

    Is it possible there area variety of Window 7 Home Premium editions?

    a

    Saturday, January 10, 2015 10:51 PM