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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, Roaming Profiles in Technical; I am currently managing a network with a parent domain and 2 child domains. Staff & Students (Admin & Academic) ...
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    Roaming Profiles

    I am currently managing a network with a parent domain and 2 child domains. Staff & Students (Admin & Academic) I have just inherited this system and the first thing I have noticed is there are no quotas set so users are free to save as much data as the server will take. To add even more insult to injury they are using roaming profiles so although students desktops are locked down staff desktops aren't so they are absolutely loaded with desktop files. The network is dreadfully slow at times because of this IMO.

    The last school I worked at used did not use roaming profiles. Instead we used a default user profile for certain application settings that went on the image and for everything else we used GPOs.

    I would like to stop using roaming profiles but we have a large number of staff laptops so when connected to the network it sync's their profile. I can overcome this by using offline files to sync any changed documents to their home folders.

    What do you think is the best process for eliminating roaming profiles from the system and changing to default local profiles? I know that to do this we will have to re-image all of our desktop machines and laptops and I'm guessing any document files will need to be manually moved from their profile folder into their home folder but is there anything else overly obvious that I'm missing?

    I'd like to hear anyone who has done this and what problems you encountered if any.

    Cheers.

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    if you redirect the desktop to somewhere it should copy from existing location to your new one without users even really noticing

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Roaming profiles are not as evil as you are making out, sure they are evil but not that bad.

    Ben

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    We use roaming profiles for staff and mandatory for pupils.

    They key to making roaming work is to redirect as much as possible... including the desk top. It makes a huge difference!

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    I am not looking to change just because I'm not used to using them. More so because I have done some research and the cons far out weigh the pros.

    All I am looking to do is find out if anyone has changed from using them to local default profiles and what problems you had if any.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    So you wish to restrict your users ability to customise their applications and have those settings follow them?

    Ben

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    So you wish to restrict your users ability to customise their applications and have those settings follow them?

    Ben
    What he said... our teachers don't just work in one room. They customise things to suit themselves and want things to be the same wherever they are.... roaming profiles are there for a reason.

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    In my experience not everything should be customisable. I'm sure plenty of teachers would complain about everything if they could.

    End of the day we have a bandwidth and space issue and roaming profiles are not helping.

    Also it makes life difficult when trying to diagnose problems with software if every teacher has customised things their way.

    Our Teachers have clearly dictated in the past and have got what they want. They have no storage limits either? Or should I leave that alone to? just because it's best for them?
    Last edited by Badaz52; 17th April 2012 at 07:02 PM.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Yes, but roaming profile size is easily controlled with redirection, surely that would be a logical step to try first?

    Storage limits are different... you show the school how little space they have and present them with the quote for a second server. You get quotas quite quickly then! (Had to do it myself)
    Last edited by elsiegee40; 17th April 2012 at 07:10 PM.

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    Please could you let me know, what you guys currently re-direct and also any exclusions from roaming profiles?

    Cheers
    A.

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    With roaming profiles for staff, I redirect:

    Start Menu
    Desktop
    My Documents (AD setting)
    AppData
    Favourites (takes a bit of tweaking)

    That way they get a unified experience across all staff PCs, but keep fast logons.

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    So am I right In thinking that if you re-direct say application data you then need to set the GPO to exclude application data from the roaming profile also or do both achieve the same thing?

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    By redirecting AppData, it sticks it into the user's home area - as the default roaming profile may do. Both seem to achieve the same thing.

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    im not a fan of redirecting app data ive seen it stop user areas syncing before because some file is open

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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    im not a fan of redirecting app data ive seen it stop user areas syncing before because some file is open
    Hi again,

    I think I've worked out what I am going to do on the desktop machines. I am going to get rid of roaming profiles for students but keep them for staff. With the staff I'm going to re-direct app data, desktop and start menu.

    The hardest part of this is dealing with staff laptops. Currently there is a policy applied to staff laptops that excludes "my documents" from roaming although I can't understand how this works. I get a synchronised message with some staff laptops so does that mean that the previous NM has set the laptops up to use roaming profiles and offline files?

    What is the best way to manage staff laptops? they need to be able to login at home and at school to the domain to get their mapped drives etc. They also need to be able to work on files at home and those files should be synced back up to the server on login to domain to ensure the newest copy exists. I also need to stop them saving to desktop on their laptops too.

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