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Create / modify Default Domain profile

    Question

  • I've done a lot of reading on this subject and the only secure way to create a Default User Profile seems to involve SysPrep. Seems a bit overkill for just creating a default user profile since I don't need an image. Would be nice if Microsoft could strip down SysPrep to a form for just creating a user profile. Run the program, pick the user profile you want to set as default and voila.

    Second best thing would be to know _what_ SysPrep does to create a default user profile, so we can somehow implement our own tool. Any knowledge about this?


    Simon Weel

    Monday, February 27, 2017 10:36 AM

All replies

  • Windows already has a default user profile - sysprep (specifically the copyprofile mechanism) is one way of making changes to it.

    You can also make changes to it directly - by copying shortcuts etc into C:\Users\Default, or by loading the registry hive C:\Users\Default\NTUSER.DAT (using REG LOAD) and modifying the default user's registry that way.

    Both of these are scriptable operations, so you can construct a script that makes the changes you want, and use that every time for consistency.

    There are some downsides:

    1. You need to know, key by key and file by file, exactly what you want changed.
    2. Some settings are overridden by processes that run on a user's first login. So some things will always have to be handled by scripting that takes place after profile creation on a user's first login
    3. Upgrading to a newer build will stomps all over the default user profile with the profile from the build you're upgrading to, and most of your changes will be lost.

    Of these, Sysprep copyprofile helps with the first if you're already doing things with manual steps involved. It's also been badly bugged in various builds, although I think it's been OK recently. The other two apply regardless of how you make the default user profile changes.

    Monday, February 27, 2017 10:58 AM