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XP pro Default Profile

By -TwiTch- ·
Though this is not a huge issue, I would like to know if there is a way to login as the "defult user" account in XP pro and make changes to settings like desktop background, Visual effects, and registry tweaks, that would automatically be applied everytime a new user signs on to that workstation.

The problem: I manage over 20 PC's on a client/server network. I don't want to use roaming profiles because of the ammount of time it takes users to login on other PC's. aside from that as Maintenance I like to go through each PC and delete the profiles of users that shouldn't be logging on to that system on a regular basis *(cuts down on spyware/un-needed files). But when they DO need to use a system other than the one that they are assigned I would like some of the basic settings to carry over. like IE settings, Printers, and visual effects (or lack there of).

does anyone have a solution to this, avoiding roaming profiles? Or perhaps a simple "default user" Roaming profile?

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Group Policy

by Lost_one In reply to XP pro Default Profile

Group policy might be what you are looking for.

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You certainly can!

by gbickel In reply to XP pro Default Profile

You certainly can. Just create a new profile, modify it to you heart's content. Reboot, and copy it to "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User". New users logging on after this point will assume all of your modifications. Users logging into existing profiles will not be affected. Please note, be sure to copy the profile properly. If you just try copying the folders in explorer, you will not get all of the settings, and create problems. To properly copy a profile, go to control panel/system/advanced tab/user profiles "settings" button. Highlite the profile to be copied, click "copy to", then browse for where you want the profile to be copied.

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copying the "Default User" profile

by -RON- In reply to You certainly can!

That is what I have been doing. I have been copying the local administrator profile to the defaut user profile once I had everything setup the way I wanted it but here is the problem I run into.

For every user that logs in after that, their My Documents say administrator's documents. This becomes a problem when you are trying to figure out who has a network shared file open and it says administrator instead of the username.

I also made the mistake of setting up MS Office prior to copying the profile. Every document is created by administrator instead of the user.

Any suggestions on how to correct these two problems?


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Definitely recommend Group Policy

by alowenkron In reply to copying the "Default User ...

If you have an active directory domain, then a Group Policy is likely the easiest way to manage this.

From Active Directory Users and Computers, right click on the OU that contains the user's account (e.g. john.doe) and choose Properties. This should bring up a window with a Group Policy tab.

Select the Group Policy tab, and create a new policy. If you're not using Group Policies, perhaps it might be worth exploring them.

Alternatively, you could replace c:\windows\web\wallpaper\bliss.bmp with your chosen wallpaper. I believe that is the file that the default profile pulls its default wallpaper from.

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FIX: Copied admin to default and now uses admin path instead of new users

by MattyUSA In reply to copying the "Default User ...


The problem seems to be in the Desktop.ini file. you can edit it to get the desired correction.

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Custom Default Profiles

by wandah In reply to copying the "Default User ...

I know this post is over a year old, but just in case...

It is NOT recommended you use the local Admin account to do this! The creation of a new 'generic' account is what you need to do. Name it User for example. SEt your shortcuts, wallpaper, browser set-up and any other tweaks you want. Once you are satisfied, THEN replace the original default profile with the new custom profile you just created, following the steps from the other posting.

Never, NEVER use the local admin account - that will come back to bite you sooner or later. I have been setting up all new builds with our own custom default profile and have been very pleased with the results.


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