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Windows Thread, Mandatory profiles and printers in Technical; I'm tinkering with mandatory profiles to try and speed up our login times. Currently we use group policy to set ...
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    Mandatory profiles and printers

    I'm tinkering with mandatory profiles to try and speed up our login times. Currently we use group policy to set all user's settings, and their local profile is created from the Default User profile.

    This all works fine, but I reckon using a mandatory profile in conjunction with a single, simple policy (for folder redirection etc) will help speed up these logins.

    However, one thing I can't seem to get around is printers. In our rooms each suite of PCs has the printer in the Default User profile - therefore anyone who logs in gets the right printers for that room, and all the associated policy settings.

    Is there a way around this if I use mandatory profiles? I did think of attaching printers using a login script, but that script would then need to know what room the user was logging into to connect the right printers?

    And if a PC/laptop has a local printer attached, will the user still get this with a mandatory profile?

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    steve's Avatar
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    For local printers you will be fine, they will appear as normal.

    For the networked printers, we add all ours to the mandatory profile. Then use a script to specify the default printer based on the PCs name e.g. ICT05PCXX will be mapped to printer ICT05_CLR

    There's another way using Printer Management that I'm sure someone will tell you about.

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    ajbritton's Avatar
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    There's a hundred and one ways to solve this, but one that just occurred to me would be as follows;

    On each PC...

    Create a folder; C:\Scripts

    Put a batch file in C:\Scripts called Printers.cmd

    Edit Printers.cmd to map printers appropriate to the location of that PC

    Have your logon script call C:\Scripts\Printers.cmd


    A more efficient method

    On each PC, set an environment variable called PCLOCATION and set it to the room name/number

    In a central location, create a Scripts folder (could use NETLOGON) and create a script for each room name/number

    Have your logon script call \\server\share\%PCLOCATION%.CMD

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    actech's Avatar
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    So long as the computers are named with the room in the string you could use a vbs script to map the printers at logon. There is a great script in the wiki to do this which I have used a variation of with great success.

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    Way most of the servers I work on are set up is the following:

    OUs are by location
    Each room OU has its own computer statup script that creates a reg key (I think its put were the computer name is stored) with the room name set.
    A login script is used with If room = ICT1 Then and it will setup the correct printers and defaults for that room.

    This will allow you to easily move computers from room to room just by moving them in the OU structure.

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    Cheers for the info and ideas - looks like a script is the simplest way.

    Having said that, I've just tried a test account that has a mandatory profile and uses a minimal group policy and it wasn't any quicker logging in!

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    On xp I have found the original way you are doing it is quicker i.e usiing the default user profile. I presume you are storing the mandatory profile on a server and every logon will pull that man profile down. It could be something in your group policy which is slowing down logon speeds or network issues. On windows 7 funny enough I have found man profiles are quicker than a locally built profile. A lot of slow logon problems can be faulty scripts or batch files in machine or user startup. I have done a lot of experimenting with profiles and the best way to deploy them and currently our logon speeds for xp with local profiles is 6 seconds (10 on man profiles) and for windows 7 on man profiles it is about 12 seconds but of course it depends on network conditions and and machine spec.
    Last edited by jsnetman; 30th March 2010 at 09:42 PM.

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    A technique that I have mentioned a couple of times is to cache copies of mandatory profiles on the C: drive of the PC as follows;

    * Create a folder 'C:\Profiles' on all PCs where mandatory profiles may be used and set security so such that normal users have read-only permissions

    * Have a startup script use Robocopy (or similar) to copy the mandatory profiles folder down to 'C:\Profiles'. Configure the copy command such that it 'mirrors' the files on the server.

    * Modify user accounts such that they load mandatory profiles from C:\Profiles\(profile name).

    Profiles can still be managed centrally and will auto-update when PCs are rebooted.

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    Hey Folks,

    After what feels like a life time, we have finally got Group Policy Preference Printer deployment to work with mandatory profiles.

    I realise this is probably a dead thread, but if anyone is interested in the long story, let me know.

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