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Automating Setting Up New User Account Settings

By Kiwi Si ·
Hi all,

I am hoping that some kind person can help me out with this, probably, rather easy to answer question.

I am responsible for a remote office with about 30 users. Most of these are contractors meaning we have a regular turn over of people. Due to budget restraints the internet connection between the main office (where I am located) and the remote office - over which our VPN runs - is not the fastest.

When a new user starts I create the user account on a local server or RDP onto the DC at that remote office. The server (DC) at the remote office is part of the same domain - which also services the file/print role. When the new user starts I remote control their PC (using 3rd party remote control s/ware) and set up their printers and Outlook settings, etc.

As I quite often get poor performance when trying to remote control their PC's what I am after is a way to automate the whole Outlook, printer configuration side of things. I know I can add printers via scripting though wasn't too sure on the initial Outlook configration side of things. What would be nice is that when they log on for the first time a script (or similar) is run and sets everything up for m, ie: all I'd need to give them is their user name and password.

Any ideas or assistance much appreciated. I'd also be really interested to know how other people configure first time users configuration settings. Also any good web resources on this topic would also help.

Thanks in advance,

Simon :)

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It's a tough job...

by curlergirl In reply to Automating Setting Up New ...

but we all have to do it. My consulting firm does network management for a number of client firms, and we have a setup instruction sheet for new users for each of our clients - and many of these instructions sheets are more than 6-7 pages long. I'm sorry to say I haven't really found a better way of doing it.

One of the things you can do on the AD side, if you haven't already done it,is to create a new user template. Just create an AD user called "New User Template" and configure it the way you want all new users to be set up, then disable it. If you need to specify a home directory location or user roaming profile location, you can use the wildcard "%username%". So, the path to the user's home profile on the template user would be, for example, "\\server\users\%username%." This will cause the system to pick up the actual user's name when creating a new user and create his home directory in the users folder with his own user ID as the folder name. Then, when setting up a new user, you simply copy the New User Template user.

Another thing that can be done is to use roaming profiles, which allows you to create and manage the user's profile remotely. Since you are dealing with remote offices, you will want to choose carefully where the profile folders will reside - you probably want to use a folder on the local server rather than one at your main office. However, you can use a machine in your main office to create the roaming profile initially and then copy it to the correct location.

Hope this helps!

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