Microsoft

Get IT Done: Shorten logon time for Windows 2000 roaming profiles

Tips to shorten the logon time for Microsoft Windows 2000 roaming profiles


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Roaming profiles explained
Roaming profiles enable users to log on to the network and access their desktops from any computer, complete with documents and other custom settings. This is extremely helpful for users who need to move around the network frequently but still need a consistent working environment.

Over time, the logon time for a user with a roaming profile can increase dramatically—sometimes taking several minutes to complete. The primary reason for this is the size of the profile. Because the profile includes the user’s documents and other files, the profile size can grow to be several hundred megabytes. Those files are copied to the user’s logon computer when the user logs on. To view the size of a user’s profile, log on as that user and open the Control Panel. Right-click My Computer, select Properties, and click the User Profiles tab to view the user's profiles and their sizes.

Decrease the profile size
There are a handful of things you can do to decrease the user's profile size and speed up logon time. First, look at the user's desktop and the folders under his or her desktop to make sure there aren't large files being saved there that could go elsewhere. Also, check to see if the My Documents folder is pointing to a network share that's available from all logon locations. This will prevent documents from following a user around the network.

Another potential culprit is the user’s Internet Explorer cache, which is located by default in the \Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files folder (or the same folder under \WINNT\Profiles for systems upgraded from Windows NT).

To alleviate this problem, configure a couple of settings in Internet Explorer.
  1. Open Internet Explorer and go to Tools | Internet Options.
  2. Click the Advanced tab and scroll down to the Security section.
  3. Select the Empty Temporary Internet Files Folder When Browser Is Closed check box.
  4. Click Apply and OK.

Now that this option is enabled, Internet Explorer will delete cached pages when the user exits Internet Explorer but will leave the cookies intact.

As an administrator, you can help enforce this change by applying a group policy setting that prevents the user from changing various Internet Explorer settings. These policies are found in the \User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer branch. For example, enabling the Disable Changing Advance Page Settings policy is probably a good idea.

Get great Windows 2000 tips like this one sent directly to your inbox!
If you would like to read more Windows 2000 tips, sign up for the Windows 2000 Professional TechMail. Let us know what you think about this article by sending us an e-mail or by posting a comment below.

 

Are you looking for a simple way to learn more about Windows 2000 Professional? We’ve got the answer with our Windows 2000 Professional TechMail. This message contains valuable information that can save you time and effort. Below, you’ll find an example of what the Windows 2000 Professional TechMail has to offer. Get valuable tips, links to Windows resources, and much more, all delivered straight to your inbox—absolutely free. Sign up for the Windows 2000 TechMail today!

Roaming profiles explained
Roaming profiles enable users to log on to the network and access their desktops from any computer, complete with documents and other custom settings. This is extremely helpful for users who need to move around the network frequently but still need a consistent working environment.

Over time, the logon time for a user with a roaming profile can increase dramatically—sometimes taking several minutes to complete. The primary reason for this is the size of the profile. Because the profile includes the user’s documents and other files, the profile size can grow to be several hundred megabytes. Those files are copied to the user’s logon computer when the user logs on. To view the size of a user’s profile, log on as that user and open the Control Panel. Right-click My Computer, select Properties, and click the User Profiles tab to view the user's profiles and their sizes.

Decrease the profile size
There are a handful of things you can do to decrease the user's profile size and speed up logon time. First, look at the user's desktop and the folders under his or her desktop to make sure there aren't large files being saved there that could go elsewhere. Also, check to see if the My Documents folder is pointing to a network share that's available from all logon locations. This will prevent documents from following a user around the network.

Another potential culprit is the user’s Internet Explorer cache, which is located by default in the \Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files folder (or the same folder under \WINNT\Profiles for systems upgraded from Windows NT).

To alleviate this problem, configure a couple of settings in Internet Explorer.
  1. Open Internet Explorer and go to Tools | Internet Options.
  2. Click the Advanced tab and scroll down to the Security section.
  3. Select the Empty Temporary Internet Files Folder When Browser Is Closed check box.
  4. Click Apply and OK.

Now that this option is enabled, Internet Explorer will delete cached pages when the user exits Internet Explorer but will leave the cookies intact.

As an administrator, you can help enforce this change by applying a group policy setting that prevents the user from changing various Internet Explorer settings. These policies are found in the \User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer branch. For example, enabling the Disable Changing Advance Page Settings policy is probably a good idea.

Get great Windows 2000 tips like this one sent directly to your inbox!
If you would like to read more Windows 2000 tips, sign up for the Windows 2000 Professional TechMail. Let us know what you think about this article by sending us an e-mail or by posting a comment below.

 

About Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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