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Roaming Profiles

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Roaming Profiles

GIMoe
I just replaced a Windows NT file server with a Windows 2003 file server. This server holds all the users Home directories as well as their Roaming Profiles. While the majority of users have transitioned with no issues. I do have a handful of users who are experiencing the same issue. The issue is that when they login, they download their roaming profile, they have all of their desktop settings and icons, their favorites, etc... it's all there. When they go to open Outlook, it comes up as if it were opening for the first time. It goes through a couple of windows installer screens, and says "Outlook is preparing for first time use..." It takes 3-5 minutes to go through all of that, then their e-mail comes up. They do not have to recreate their outlook profile each time, but they do lose any specific outlook settings they had saved.

Has anyone else experienced something like this, any help would be greatly appreciated.
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    Netmamed

    Well, we are running a Win 2000 server w/ both Win XP, and 2000 workstations w/ 500+ users. We, on occasion, experience the same problem, and here is what we do. First make sure the user is logged off, then go to his profile, and delete all the contents within the users profile directory (make sure you have selected to view all hidden and system files). All these files will be created again when the user logs in again (Its what happens when a new user logs on for the first time). Next you will need to view the properties for the users profile, and make sure that all of the following are in place, Administrators, Creator Owner, System, and the user who's profile you are working on. You may have others that you use for various reasons, but what i have experienced is that these accounts at a minimum have to be in place. Also give full control to all the accounts previously mentioned. Next, you will need to go to the users home directory and verify that all these permissions are set there at a minimum as well. Then search the users home directory for "*.srs; *.tmp; *.pip; *.prf". You will need to delete "default.prf, Profgen.tmp, and the *.srs files from the users home directory (*.srs is the file that loads the profile that you have created, and will be named whatever you have saved it as "example profile.srs"). I also delete the MSOut11.pip, and MSOut12.pip files, but i don't think those are really as important for your problem, but it wont hurt. Next you will need to check the computer that the user is going to log into BEFORE the user logs into it, to see if the users profile is still on the local computer (sometimes the roaming profile doesn't remove itself when the user logs out). This profile will be located in C:\Documents and Settings, and if it is there, delete it. Sometimes this is kind of hard, but if your running a Win 2003 server, you can probably figure it out. Then, once you know the computer is clean of the users profile, you can logout, and let the user log in. This process will log the user in with a fresh profile, and will have reset all setting to default without touching there desktop items, favorites, etc. Then when they open outlook, it will run the install, like you said before, but only this time, and after they have reset all of there settings, they should be able to close outlook, logout, and everything should be working correctly (no matter where they login).

    Hope this helps...

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    GIMoe

    I apologize for the amount of time it took me to get back to this, I just got extremely busy between my primary job and my second one (tax preparer) that I just put this issue on the back burner.

    Thank you for your response and helpful suggestions.

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    Tony K

    Actually, you probably more have an Outlook problem than an issue with your roaming profiles. Let's start from there:

    What version of Outlook are you using? Is Outlook part of an installed Office suite, or is it standalone? How was Office/Outlook installed (directly on the machine, through an administrative share, as part of an image, custom or typical)? Who installed the software (was it an admin, via SMS or somesuch, does the user install it)? Has the version of Outlook/Office changed since you upgraded?

    What OS(es) is (are) on the client machines? Were the clients upgraded at the same time as the file server? If not upgraded, are they still using the same machines and the ONLY thing in your environment that's changed is the file server? If upgraded, were they an in-place upgrade, or did you just buy new machines? Are these new profiles, or did you just let the machine pull down the profile of their previous OS? Is every client exactly the same (same OS and OS version down to the service pack, same installed applications, same hardware)?

    Are all of the machines part of a domain? How locked down are the desktops (can a user just launch a selected set of applications or do they have admin rights on the box)?

    That should get us started. :)

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    GIMoe

    [What version of Outlook are you using?]
    Outlook 2003 SP1, soon to be updated to SP2.

    [Is Outlook part of an installed Office suite, or is it standalone?]
    Office 2003 Suite

    [How was Office/Outlook installed (directly on the machine, through an administrative share, as part of an image, custom or typical)?]
    Pushed through GPO

    [Who installed the software (was it an admin, via SMS or somesuch, does the user install it)?]
    Pushed through a GPO - Admin Install

    [Has the version of Outlook/Office changed since you upgraded?]
    My Server? No, when I upgraded my server from NT 4.0 to Server 2003, office was already installed.

    [What OS(es) is (are) on the client machines?]
    XP Pro, SP2

    [Were the clients upgraded at the same time as the file server?]
    No

    [If not upgraded, are they still using the same machines and the ONLY thing in your environment that's changed is the file server?]
    That is correct the last thing to change since this has started is my file server. However, this file server holds all the roaming profiles.

    [If upgraded, were they an in-place upgrade, or did you just buy new machines?]
    N/A

    [Are these new profiles, or did you just let the machine pull down the profile of their previous OS?]
    Same profiles as what they were using on the other file server

    [Is every client exactly the same (same OS and OS version down to the service pack, same installed applications, same hardware)?]
    For the most part, some difference, howver, they are all HP/Compaq machines with XP Pro SP2. They all have a standard set of applications then some WS get additional programs added.

    [Are all of the machines part of a domain?]
    Yes

    {How locked down are the desktops (can a user just launch a selected set of applications or do they have admin rights on the box)?}
    A user needs admin rights to install anything

    I think I answered all of them.

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    Tony K

    You sure did get 'em all. But, two I forgot: Are they getting this in any other part of the Office suite, or is it just Outlook? Are they having this problem on all machines they log into or just one or two (and, by extension, is it just one user on the machine or everyone that logs into it)?

    The problem you're describing is one I remember from a couple of versions ago (O2K, at the earliest, I think) where if the suite was installed by an admin, it would do that when a non-admin ran it. But, you'd see this in all Office components, not just Outlook.

    I really don't think your issue has anything to do with the fact that your profiles are roaming. A couple of things I'd try before doing something radical like deleting the entirety of their profile:

    First, I'd **** away the profile within Outlook itself then recreate it manually (go through the Startup Wizard again). Once the profile's been recreated, have the user close Outlook and reopen. If it doesn't come up again, have them log out of the machine to make sure their profile's updated on the file server.

    Second, I'd do what's recommended by Weaver above. It's a bit more radical than just using Outlook to do it, but it could be one or more of those file are corrupted.

    Next, load the user's hive and delete the Office key (export it first!). Next time you run an Office app, it should recreate it. You'll have to again go through the Startup Wizard, but this time they'll have a fresh set of registry entries.

    After that I'd try a repair of Office, then a reinstall, then as an absolute last resort, delete the user's entire profile.

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    GIMoe

    I apologize for the amount of time it took me to get back to this, I just got extremely busy between my primary job and my second one (tax preparer) that I just put this issue on the back burner.

    I will try deleting the registry key as you suggest and see if that takes care of the issue.

    Thanks again.

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    benjamin.bone

    Don't use roaming profiles! Re-direct their App settings / Desktop / My Docs in that OU's GPO to your file sever. Roaming profiles do nothing more than allow you to keep your purdy background and 1900 X 1620 screen rez. If each user saves his PST to his My Docs, and you re-direct their app settings then you will never have a problem. Plus no bulky profiles have to be loaded when they log in.

    Just an Thought, (GPO's can do anything!)
    Ben

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    GIMoe

    I have actually already started down that road. The My Documents folder is being redirected via GPO. As fortheir Desktop -- I do not push a generic Desktop. Not everyone likes the settings I would choose and besides backgrounds and screen rez, they like to have their own icons and internet favorites/cookies. Not much I can do, because the big boss allows it. But, I a making progress, a little at a time.

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    benjamin.bone

    They can use what ever desktop settings they want, it just wont follow them to a new computer. If they stay at the same workstation all of the time, then there is no need for roaming profiles.

    I went through this same battle at work, got some pointers (star trek babble) that may help if you want.

    Cheers
    Ben

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    0 Votes
    Netmamed

    Well, we are running a Win 2000 server w/ both Win XP, and 2000 workstations w/ 500+ users. We, on occasion, experience the same problem, and here is what we do. First make sure the user is logged off, then go to his profile, and delete all the contents within the users profile directory (make sure you have selected to view all hidden and system files). All these files will be created again when the user logs in again (Its what happens when a new user logs on for the first time). Next you will need to view the properties for the users profile, and make sure that all of the following are in place, Administrators, Creator Owner, System, and the user who's profile you are working on. You may have others that you use for various reasons, but what i have experienced is that these accounts at a minimum have to be in place. Also give full control to all the accounts previously mentioned. Next, you will need to go to the users home directory and verify that all these permissions are set there at a minimum as well. Then search the users home directory for "*.srs; *.tmp; *.pip; *.prf". You will need to delete "default.prf, Profgen.tmp, and the *.srs files from the users home directory (*.srs is the file that loads the profile that you have created, and will be named whatever you have saved it as "example profile.srs"). I also delete the MSOut11.pip, and MSOut12.pip files, but i don't think those are really as important for your problem, but it wont hurt. Next you will need to check the computer that the user is going to log into BEFORE the user logs into it, to see if the users profile is still on the local computer (sometimes the roaming profile doesn't remove itself when the user logs out). This profile will be located in C:\Documents and Settings, and if it is there, delete it. Sometimes this is kind of hard, but if your running a Win 2003 server, you can probably figure it out. Then, once you know the computer is clean of the users profile, you can logout, and let the user log in. This process will log the user in with a fresh profile, and will have reset all setting to default without touching there desktop items, favorites, etc. Then when they open outlook, it will run the install, like you said before, but only this time, and after they have reset all of there settings, they should be able to close outlook, logout, and everything should be working correctly (no matter where they login).

    Hope this helps...

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    0 Votes
    GIMoe

    I apologize for the amount of time it took me to get back to this, I just got extremely busy between my primary job and my second one (tax preparer) that I just put this issue on the back burner.

    Thank you for your response and helpful suggestions.

    +
    0 Votes
    Tony K

    Actually, you probably more have an Outlook problem than an issue with your roaming profiles. Let's start from there:

    What version of Outlook are you using? Is Outlook part of an installed Office suite, or is it standalone? How was Office/Outlook installed (directly on the machine, through an administrative share, as part of an image, custom or typical)? Who installed the software (was it an admin, via SMS or somesuch, does the user install it)? Has the version of Outlook/Office changed since you upgraded?

    What OS(es) is (are) on the client machines? Were the clients upgraded at the same time as the file server? If not upgraded, are they still using the same machines and the ONLY thing in your environment that's changed is the file server? If upgraded, were they an in-place upgrade, or did you just buy new machines? Are these new profiles, or did you just let the machine pull down the profile of their previous OS? Is every client exactly the same (same OS and OS version down to the service pack, same installed applications, same hardware)?

    Are all of the machines part of a domain? How locked down are the desktops (can a user just launch a selected set of applications or do they have admin rights on the box)?

    That should get us started. :)

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    0 Votes
    GIMoe

    [What version of Outlook are you using?]
    Outlook 2003 SP1, soon to be updated to SP2.

    [Is Outlook part of an installed Office suite, or is it standalone?]
    Office 2003 Suite

    [How was Office/Outlook installed (directly on the machine, through an administrative share, as part of an image, custom or typical)?]
    Pushed through GPO

    [Who installed the software (was it an admin, via SMS or somesuch, does the user install it)?]
    Pushed through a GPO - Admin Install

    [Has the version of Outlook/Office changed since you upgraded?]
    My Server? No, when I upgraded my server from NT 4.0 to Server 2003, office was already installed.

    [What OS(es) is (are) on the client machines?]
    XP Pro, SP2

    [Were the clients upgraded at the same time as the file server?]
    No

    [If not upgraded, are they still using the same machines and the ONLY thing in your environment that's changed is the file server?]
    That is correct the last thing to change since this has started is my file server. However, this file server holds all the roaming profiles.

    [If upgraded, were they an in-place upgrade, or did you just buy new machines?]
    N/A

    [Are these new profiles, or did you just let the machine pull down the profile of their previous OS?]
    Same profiles as what they were using on the other file server

    [Is every client exactly the same (same OS and OS version down to the service pack, same installed applications, same hardware)?]
    For the most part, some difference, howver, they are all HP/Compaq machines with XP Pro SP2. They all have a standard set of applications then some WS get additional programs added.

    [Are all of the machines part of a domain?]
    Yes

    {How locked down are the desktops (can a user just launch a selected set of applications or do they have admin rights on the box)?}
    A user needs admin rights to install anything

    I think I answered all of them.

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    0 Votes
    Tony K

    You sure did get 'em all. But, two I forgot: Are they getting this in any other part of the Office suite, or is it just Outlook? Are they having this problem on all machines they log into or just one or two (and, by extension, is it just one user on the machine or everyone that logs into it)?

    The problem you're describing is one I remember from a couple of versions ago (O2K, at the earliest, I think) where if the suite was installed by an admin, it would do that when a non-admin ran it. But, you'd see this in all Office components, not just Outlook.

    I really don't think your issue has anything to do with the fact that your profiles are roaming. A couple of things I'd try before doing something radical like deleting the entirety of their profile:

    First, I'd **** away the profile within Outlook itself then recreate it manually (go through the Startup Wizard again). Once the profile's been recreated, have the user close Outlook and reopen. If it doesn't come up again, have them log out of the machine to make sure their profile's updated on the file server.

    Second, I'd do what's recommended by Weaver above. It's a bit more radical than just using Outlook to do it, but it could be one or more of those file are corrupted.

    Next, load the user's hive and delete the Office key (export it first!). Next time you run an Office app, it should recreate it. You'll have to again go through the Startup Wizard, but this time they'll have a fresh set of registry entries.

    After that I'd try a repair of Office, then a reinstall, then as an absolute last resort, delete the user's entire profile.

    +
    0 Votes
    GIMoe

    I apologize for the amount of time it took me to get back to this, I just got extremely busy between my primary job and my second one (tax preparer) that I just put this issue on the back burner.

    I will try deleting the registry key as you suggest and see if that takes care of the issue.

    Thanks again.

    +
    0 Votes
    benjamin.bone

    Don't use roaming profiles! Re-direct their App settings / Desktop / My Docs in that OU's GPO to your file sever. Roaming profiles do nothing more than allow you to keep your purdy background and 1900 X 1620 screen rez. If each user saves his PST to his My Docs, and you re-direct their app settings then you will never have a problem. Plus no bulky profiles have to be loaded when they log in.

    Just an Thought, (GPO's can do anything!)
    Ben

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    0 Votes
    GIMoe

    I have actually already started down that road. The My Documents folder is being redirected via GPO. As fortheir Desktop -- I do not push a generic Desktop. Not everyone likes the settings I would choose and besides backgrounds and screen rez, they like to have their own icons and internet favorites/cookies. Not much I can do, because the big boss allows it. But, I a making progress, a little at a time.

    +
    0 Votes
    benjamin.bone

    They can use what ever desktop settings they want, it just wont follow them to a new computer. If they stay at the same workstation all of the time, then there is no need for roaming profiles.

    I went through this same battle at work, got some pointers (star trek babble) that may help if you want.

    Cheers
    Ben