Hi everyone,

First, thank you in advance for any help that you may be able to provide. I greatly appreciate it and if you need any clarification whatsoever, please don't hesitate to ask.

I work at a community college where I have just been told that we are going to be migrating to Windows 8 Enterprise in some of our computer labs in the Computer Science department, effective August 2013. So far, application testing has been going well, but I am having an issue with the start screen with local mandatory profiles.

A little background: Our I.T. administration is divided between me, who handles the computer science department, and a larger IT group that services the rest of the campus. Larger I.T. has recently upgraded all of their labs from Windows XP to Windows 7. What that means in this context is that students logging in will, come August, have the potential to log in to Windows 7 in some labs, and then come to my computer science labs and log in to Windows 8.

Here’s the problem: Our network engineers have configured most of the domain accounts that students log on to with a mandatory profile path of %systemdrive%\manprofile in Active Directory. (This translates to a ".v2” profile for Win 7 & 8.) This is OK except that when I log on to a Windows 8 machine, the start screen has 3 tiles on it: the IE live app tile, the Desktop tile, and the Store tile, and that is it. We have some other accounts that do not have a hardcoded profile path in AD, and those work fine when I log into them from the domain- I get all live tiles and application tiles exactly as I should.

To recap: Most student domain accounts have %systemdrive%\manprofile configured in Active Directory. Logging in with an account like this pulls the profile from c:\manprofile.v2, and I only get the IE live app tile, the Desktop tile, and the Store tile, and that is it. No other icons or tiles are visible.

If I log in with a domain account with no hardcoded profile path configured in Active Directory, I have all live tiles and application tiles that I should have.

We need to have the Windows 8 start screen available to students in its entirety. Is there anything I can do to get this to work with accounts configured for mandatory profiles?

Again, thank you for your time. I do appreciate it. At this point, I don't know if my efforts are futile or not, but my supervisor wants it to work as advertised, so I thought I would put it out there and see if any of the awesome people here had an idea as to what I can do.

All the best-
Dr. 6