Having problems accessing Roaming Profiles on new Windows 7 PC on SBS/Win 2003 Network.

    General discussion

  • Hi,

    I'm a networking novice trying to add a new Windows 7 Desktop PC to our existing XP Desktop family in the office. All of the PC's are linked into a SBS/Windows 2003 Server, which I've managed to get the Win7 PC added to.

    I've got the Internet working, the Network Printers working, our (network based) Call Management Software working, and I can access the shared files which we all store in a pre-determined area on the Network Server. I'm even able to access and run the SBS Server screen on the Win7 Desktop as a remote web-based access, so it looks like I've done everything else, but ...

    ... It seems the one thing I cannot do is the Roaming Profiles. I can log into the Win7 Desktop using a Roaming Profile ID and it recognises and allows that particular user access, so it's clearly finding the details on the server and allowing the user in as there is no local account set for the user to connect to. The problem I'm having is getting it to bring across all the existing settings (especially Desktop Shortcuts) and accessing the emails for that user.

    I've read a lot of posts on this (and other forums) and they all seem to say that when you access the Win7 PC with a Roaming User, it will create a v2 version of the old XP Profile as they are incompatible, but so far I've not seen any v2 versions of anything. I take it that I have failed to set-up something, or missed a setting somewhere to get the Roaming element kicked in.

    I've seen a lot of threads try to talk you through and go into the technicalities of all the various Network Tools & Settings, but I find that being a total novice I'm just running around in circles and not getting anywhere.

    Is there anyone who can help me on this with a more basic 'type this, click on this, tick this' approach as I'm sure I'll be OK with it once I've been guided through it once.

    I don't need to create a Roaming Profile as the user already has one (generated on one of the old XP Desktops), I just need to access or transfer it over to be accessed by her replacement Win7 PC - but I do need to retain the Roaming element as eventually we'll all have Win7 PC's.


    Andrew Maher (working at a very small company where I'm the "lad who knows something about computers, so he'll sort it out")

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:54 AM

All replies

  • Hi,


    First off: roaming profiles in a mixed environment (multiple OS versions) is a challenge to say the least. Your info on the V2 issue is correct. Vista/Win7 profiles are not compatible with older OS profiles, so a new profile is created, with the extension .V2. These are not interchangeble, so data is not synced between the two. This means that if a user is working on XP and adds something to his desktop, it does NOT show up on the desktop of that user if he uses a Vista/Win7 client.

    Having said that, roming profiles should work just fine between WinXP/WinXP and Win7/Win7 clients. You should check that:

    1. the AD user object has a profile folder on the Profile tab of the account properties in ADUC - it should be a UNC path (like \\server\profiles\%username%)
    2. the Profilepath exists, is shared and is accessible (do a copy of the value mentiones above, past it in a Run box and hit Enter; an Explorer window should open with te path)
    3. the Administrator has the NTFS right to create new folders in the root of that path (\\server\prfiles) as a new profile is created for Win7. Also check the permissions of the share; Administrator should have Full Control there too.
    4. the useraccount has NTFS richts on his personal profilepath (mentioned in point1)
    5. At least for testing purposes, switch OFF folder redirection and offline files.

    To verify working, create a new "dummy" useraccount and only work with that account on Win7. You can allso grant Administrators permissions to acces userprofiles on the server. In order to get that working, use the Group Policy Management tool, edit the Default Domain Policy. The setting you need to enable is [Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\User Profiles: Add the Administrators security group to roaming user profiles]

    If you have any questions, pleas reply to this post.

    Good luck,


    Wednesday, July 06, 2011 12:38 PM
  • I’m also having problems with roaming profiles in Windows 7. I am currently changing everyone over from XP to Win 7 pro and can’t get roaming profiles to work in Win 7. All Xp clients update, so I know it’s not a problem with a group policy (I think). Also the SBS 2003 box is up to date with patches and updates. When a user logs on to the Win 7 box the new profile is created with the .v2 extension, however the folder is empty. I realize that the user is running a local profile at that time, but I would expect the profile to update at the subsequent log off. The .v2 profile never updates and always is empty. I can have the user log on to their old XP box and the old profile updates with out a hitch. Also when a user logs off on a Win 7 machine the date modified changes, but the profile remains empty. I have been looking for answers out on the web and it seems that there are a lot of people seeing this problem and I can’t seem to find answers.

    I run a small house with under 25 users and want to get all of the clients updated, but this roaming profile problem has me stumped. I can’t update to SBS 2011 yet as I am waiting for my ERP software to become compatible.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011 3:06 PM
  • Hi Ken,

    I have no experience with using a Windows 2003 server with Windows 7 Roaming Profiles. We work with 2008R2 servers. Maybe that is the issue?

    At our sites, we have set it up as per Best Practices with Server 2008R2, and it works just fine. Just be sure to (initially) switch off off-line files and folder redirection; if you do not, results may not be what you expect. Please look at this page:

    and download the "Managing Roaming User Data Deployment Guide" document.

    Allthough it is for Vista, 99% of it also applies to Windows 7.

    You could set up a (virtual) testing environment with Win2008 and Win7. For Win2008 Microsoft offers 120 day versions for testing - or you can use you Technet Subscription to download it...



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    Monday, July 11, 2011 1:22 PM
  • Martin

    Thank's for the advice, but I am stuck with 2003 until my ERP provider gets on the ball and makes their product compatible with SBS 2011.



    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 1:57 PM