How Do Users Get Their Profile?
The way in which users get their profiles depends on the type of profile they're configured to use. This section describes this process. Roaming Profile - New User
- The user logs on.
- The path to the users roaming profile is retrieved from the user object on the Domain Controller.
- Windows checks to see if a profile exists in the roaming path, if no profile exists a folder is created.
- Windows checks the list of user profiles located in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList to determine if a cached copy of the profile exists. If a local copy of the profile is not found, and the computer is part of a domain, Windows checks to determine if a domain wide default profile exists in the Default User folder on the domain controllers NETLOGON share.
- If a domain wide profile exists, it is copied to a subfolder on the local computer with their user name under %Systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\.
- If a default domain profile does not exist, then the local default profile is copied from the %Systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\Default User folder to a subfolder on the local computer with their user name under %Systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\.
- The users registry hive (NTUSER.DAT) is mapped to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER portion of the registry.
- The users %userprofile% environment variable is updated with the value of the local profile folder
- The user can then run applications and edit documents as normal. When the user logs off, their local profile is copied to the path configured by the administrator. If a profile already exists on the server, the local profile is merged with the server copy (see merge algorithm later in this paper for more details).