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HOWTO set up Active User Manager to auto-create user home folders

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by , 16th July 2013 at 12:10 PM (54068 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by danboid View Post
HOWTO set up Active User Manager to auto-create user home folders

One of my most frequently performed tasks under Active Directory is creating new users. Every time I do this I used to have to manually set/create the users home folder and ensure they were a member of the appropriate groups and other repetitive things that MS sadly neglected to simplify for Server 2008. This is no longer the case thanks to Active User Manager, a very useful and free tool that I have successfully used under both Server 2003 and 2008.

AUM also lets you import batches of users from a csv file. I haven't tested this aspect of the app yet although I should expect that these instructions will also work when importing and creating multiple users from csv but I'd certainly recommend getting it working with just one test user first.

Obviously, the first step is to make sure you have Active User Manager (AUM) installed. If you don't, you can download it for free here:

Mikey Magic's Web Site - Active User Manager for Windows 2000 & 2003 Active Directory (AD)

Once installed, start AUM and open Preferences - which is under the Action menu. On the main preferences page it was necessary for me to untick 'Use OU structure when creating users folders' to get home folders created where I wanted them but if you have a more conventional set up than I do then you may need to keep this ticked hence finding the correct setting for this may just be a case of trial and error if you are unsure. I leave the other three check boxes on this page ticked.

Next, click the 'Set Up User Defaults' button which is under Preferences and this will open the 'Global Default User Settings' window. You will notice it defaults to opening with the 'Profile Folder Settings' tab being displayed. We use local profiles here hence using AUM to create profiles is a feature I have not yet tested and hence will not be covering in this guide. If your organisation also uses local profiles then you will likely want to untick all the check boxes on this tab like I have then click on the 'Home Folder Settings' tab.

In the field labelled 'User Home Folder Path' within the Global Default User Settings 'Home Folder Settings' tab you must enter the network path to the server and share which contain your users home folders so you would enter something like:


Make sure that the user who will use AUM has the correct permissions to create and modify folders within this share else AUM will not be able to create the home folders for you. Ensure that 'Create user home folders' under this tab is selected and you will likely also want to have 'Delete User Home Folders' checked also. I have both user home share options unticked because this is not a feature we require. Now click on 'Folder Permissions' and tick 'Full Control' for Active User then click 'OK' to close the folder permissions window.

Finally, we shall click on the 'User properties' button under the Global Default window to configure our default user properties. First, go to the 'Profile' tab under Default Properties and choose a drive letter that will be used to mount the users home folder but DON'T enter a network path in the adjacent field as AUM will fill this out for you when you create a new user. Switch to the 'Member of' tab and add in any groups that you require new users be added to by default such as 'Domain Users'. In my case at least that is all I need to configure to have AUM successfully auto-create home folders for new Active Directory users created with it.

I have been in touch with the author of AUM and unfortunately he is no longer able to work on or support this handy app so if AUM fails to work for you you may have to find another solution although I have had no problems with it once I figured out how to configure it correctly with thanks due in no small part to the authors much appreciated assistance in doing so. Thanks again MM for the help and for giving away what is in my opinion the tool that should've been used by default for user management in Server 2008!


  1. harryeds's Avatar
    Looks good - however if you create a user in AD and give the profile and home folder values like
    \\SERVER\USERS\%USERNAME% and apply group memberships etc
    then when you need to create a new user, simply copy that user and it will do all the work for you
  2. harryeds's Avatar
    there is also a Microsoft tool called CSVDE which will allow you to create users from a CSV file but it's a bit long-winded to use...


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