Well cool! Cheers Geoff - I'll give that a go!Originally Posted by Geoff
In the past I have just left the 'broken' shortcuts in the start menu - a little untidy but not too bad.
I tend to only ever buy site licensed products too because it's a pain in the arse to manage the licenses when you have 30 of this and 15 of that, etc.
Well cool! Cheers Geoff - I'll give that a go!Originally Posted by Geoff
You redirect the Start Menus to a place on the server (read only) - I have menus for each Year and another cpouple for teachers - seems to work OK.Originally Posted by mark
'pologies in advance for the length of this post!
What I don't get about not using any form of Mandatory or Roaming profile, is what happens to the local profile when the user logs off. Does it stay there, do you have some kind of startup script to delete them or is there some GP setting that I have never seen which deletes 'standalone' profiles when the user logs off?
If the profile is not deleted, then you have no further control over it's content. If you add more software, you need to delete all the local profiles on all the PCs (not a problem I suppose if you still use Ghost). Any damage done to the profile by a student will also persist on the machine in the profile until such time as it is deleted and recreated. I'll assume then that you are deleting local profiles somehow.
If the profile is deleted, then a new one will be created each time the user logs on. If this is the case and there is no domain level profile, then all the required software settings need to be in the local default user profile on every machine. Again, somewhat tedious to manage with lots of machines. I'll now assume that a domain level default user profile is the way to go.
OK, so you use a domain level Default User profile. You can modify this as necessary and every new profile that gets created will pick up the new settings. Now if this is happening every time a user logs on, then you are no better off than if you were using a Mandatory profile. In fact you are worse off, because you can only have one domain level Default User profile, whereas you can have as many or as few Mandatory profiles as you need.
Please feel free to point out what I'm missing !!!
For what it's worth, here's how I deal with the problem of different software setups on different PCs...
1 - Staff get Roaming profiles and can see the content of the All Users profile. This means they can always see everything on the Start Menu and anything placed on the All Users desktop. As the All Users profile contains data specific to the individual PC, Staff see valid start menu/desktop items on every PC they logon to.
2 - Students share one or more Mandatory profiles, but are denied the All Users start menu/desktop. They only see the start menu/desktop which is part of the mandatory profile. The Mandatory profile does NOT contain any extra Start Menu/Desktop shortcuts but read on...
3 - When the student logs on (they always get a fresh new profile based on their assigned mandatory profile), the logon script identifies the location of the PC (using an ADSI call which returns the position of the PC in the AD tree). The script then copies down additional Start Menu and Desktop items from a central location on the server. This gives me complete control over the content of student desktops and start menus.
4 - When the student logs off, the local copy of the profile is deleted (via GP setting). This means that no matter where the student logs on, they are guaranteed to get the profile that I set up without any changes they may have managed to make to it in their last logon session.
But I need different start menu's for unique machines. Here I have technology with thier own software set for example - different version of office plus lots of little odd programs - which is why I need different start menu's. I already re-direct but using loopback processing to do it on machine groups.
@ajbritton: I delete the locally stored profile. Admittedly you still get the network traffic when copying the Default profile but you can keep this relatively small (and it isn't too much of a problem for me cos I use Citrix and I'm using gig links between servers which are all on the same switch).
The advantage you do get though, is the disk space saving. Say, for example, a user profile is 6MB (I know it varies but I have seen much bigger!). If you multiply this by 1200, you've used 7GB of disk space!
A typical mandatory profile in one of my sites is no more than a couple of MB and I generally have no more than one per academic year (total size = 15MB tops!).
There is a GP setting which can limit the size of roaming profiles. I would point out that, if you are redirecting Application Data to a server, you are still storing most of the profile content anyway. If you are not redirecting Application Data, then you don't have anything like the same functionality as roaming profiles. Also, if space is a concern, (ooh those hard disks are SO expensive - NOT!), there are GP settings which allow you to control which parts of a profile actually roam (ie get copied to the server).
Daniel Petri has some useful tools for writing CMD style logon scripts which need to determine Group or OU membership.
@ajbritton: Sorry to come back to this, but what's the point in the mandatory profiles if the program groups, etc. are all pulled from the server via a login script?
That's OK Ric, always happy to talk about profiles!!Originally Posted by Ric_
Basically the answer to your question is two things;
1 - User registry (HKEY_CURRENT_USER) which is stored in the NTUSER.MAN file. Some apps need settings present to work correctly.
2 - Application Data folder. Again, some apps need files here to work correctly.
Before you (or anyone else) says it, yes I know I could keep these things in the Default User profiles (either at domain or worktation level), but I prefer to keep those as clean as possible. Also, every time you make a change to a Defau;t User profile, the render all existing profiles out of date. That means they have to be deleted and recreated (doable by script, I know). Using the mandatory profile means I don't have to worry about getting rid of any local profiles from PCs.
As others have pointed out, it's horses for courses, but It seems to me that not using Mandatory profiles (a mechanism specifically designed for managing locked down environments) and having to fart about with scripts to delete profiles makes life a lot more complicated.
A final point is that it is possible to have as many or as few different Mandatory profiles as are required. There is only one domain level Default User profile (or only one per PC). I can configure different Mandatory Profiles for different year groups if necessary.
Hope this answers your question. Incidentaly, these are the sort of questions that led me to suggest the creation of a WIKI to draw together everyone's experience and knowledge of what profiles/roaming/mandatory/temporary are, how they work and how they can be used.
Wiki pages started - add your ideas... http://www.russdev.com/edugeek/doku.php?id=how-to
@ajbritton: Yep .. pretty much the same here, but we have one Mandatory profile for *all* students.
There are a few things in the default user profiles that are specific to the certain rooms, but these are rareties ...
The staff have roaming, as I have said before, this is due to the laptops and home use.
I'll stick my bit in the Wiki later.
@mark: Whoa there! I think you're going to start a civil war. When I suggested a wiki, I was thinking more along the lines of something explaining the following;
- what a profile actually is and why it is necessary (you CAN'T not have profiles, it's impossible)
- the different types of profile available (temporary, local, mandatory, roaming)
- pros/cons of each profile type
then and only then
- suggestions on suitability of each profile type to particular environments
I'm only mildly interested in how other people take care of their profiles, I know what works for me. I wanted to help those who come to EduGeek looking for answers, who perhaps don't have the same experience or understanding of profiles that some members do.
I'm a bit worried that all we are doing with the current wiki format (which looks a bit confrontational) is moving the debate from the forum to the wiki pages.
Beginning to wish I'd kept my gob shut about the whole damn thing :cry:
Not at all. It looks like it could be quite a useful reference. I've cheekily grabbed the easy one (setting up and managing local profiles) for a kick-off. Any improvements welcome, obviously.Originally Posted by ajbritton
Agreed AJB - I've removed my original section.
Love the new layout - absolutely on the nail. Just what we need [IMHO ]
I've chilled out a bit since last night. Sorry if I came over like a bit of a t**t.
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