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The mechanics of roaming profiles - need information please

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  • The mechanics of roaming profiles - need information please

    Hello there.
    Im just looking for some clarification relating to romaing profiles (server 2003)
    and windows xp clients.
    I find myself a little confused when trying to work out exactly what happens when a user first logs onto an xp machine. I know that a local profile is created for the
    user in conjunction with the default user local profile.
    when the user logs off their local profile is copied up to the server.
    Heres is where im unsure. When the user next logs on, if i recall correctly,
    their most current profile is used. But, which is more current, their local or server
    (roaming) profile if they both contain the same timestamp?

    One more thing, I have done some searching on google and Im looking
    for some general information on what exactly the ntuser.dat constituent profile
    file does? All the information i have found on google relates to viewing or manipulating this file.

    Thank you very much for you help
    and best regards.

  • #2
    Re: The mechanics of roaming profiles - need information please

    OK, when you log on SUBSEQUENT times, I believe Windows loads your server profile EVERY TIME if it can find it. If it can't it loads the local copy.

    Regarding NTUSER.DAT, this is the contents of HKEY_USERS\[SID]\ key of the registry for that user (which gets shadowed in REGEDIT as HKEY_CURRENT_USER). So - any user-specific settings for that user which are stored in the registry are saved by Windows as NTUSER.DAT in the user's profile.


    Tom
    For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

    Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The mechanics of roaming profiles - need information please

      Ah I see.
      Thanks for the info.

      Would it be possible for an ntuser.dat file to become corrupt?
      And also would it be possible for an ntuser.dat file to become
      corrupt to the point that you would need to rebuild a machine?
      in other words, would it be possible for the ntuser.dat file to corrupt
      other parts of the registry?

      Many thanks again for the expertise!
      regards

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The mechanics of roaming profiles - need information please

        OK, yes, it's possible for ntuser.dat to become corrupt.

        Yes, it's possible for it to become seriously corrupt such that a machine won't let that user log in... but it could never force a rebuild because all you have to do is log in with another account having administrative rights and delete the profile - and rename the server copy - and hey presto you get a fresh clean profile allowing you to once again log in with the "broken" user.

        Your last question though... it doesn't make sense. A registry is like two boxes, both containing fruit. The boxes are separated and they contain different kinds of fruit. If you jump all over the fruit in one box, it doesn't affect the other box.

        The registry is a database; two main "Hives" exist in it:

        HKEY_USERS contains information about users and groups which use the computer - and settings in this hive affect ONLY users. Part of this is loaded when someone logs in; the part which relates to that particular user.

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is the "system hive" and contains all the information about the computer AND ONLY the computer - NOTHING about users. This part of the registry is loaded during bootup.

        Other things you see in the registry editor are parts of these two hives which have been "broken out" for your convenience and ease of access. They don't exist in their own right, they are just displayed separately so that you can get at them more easily.

        So no - the User hive cannot corrupt other parts of the registry because it only contains information about a user and that's the only place that information is stored. However corrupt information in there can make a machine behave VERY oddly as it won't correctly understand how to react to certain demands and actions of the user.


        Tom
        For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

        Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The mechanics of roaming profiles - need information please

          Ah I see,
          good post tom!
          Many thanks for the information.
          regards,
          shamrock

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