All Customizations to Default User Profile Lost


You set the CopyProfile property to TRUE in an unattended .XML answer file and run sysprep.exe using the steps in Microsoft Knowledge base article KB973289 to copy the customizations in the current user profile to the Default User profile for a computer running Windows Vista or later. However, you find that the customizations (e.g background desktop, desktop shortcuts, screensaver, etc.) do not appear when you log on as a new user after running sysprep.


This behavior may occur when multiple user profile accounts exist in Windows.


Delete all the user account profiles except the Administrator built-in account using the User Accounts control panel and make the customizations using the local Administrator built-in user account.

More Information

During the 'Specialize phase' of Sysprep, Sysprep.exe looks at the Last Modified Date of the ntuser.dat file for each user profile to determine which user profile to copy to the default user profile. However, the earlier cleanup functions of sysprep.exe loads each Ntuser.dat file to make security ID (SID)generalizations. You cannot predetermine which user profile will be copied if more than one user profile exists.

You can confirm which user profile was copied to the Default user profile by opening the file %systemroot%\panther\unattendgc\setupact.log and searching for lines similar to the following (in the 'specialize' pass):
   [shell unattend] CopyProfileDirectory from c:\Users\Administrator succeeded.
   [shell unattend] CopyProfile succeeded.

In this example, the built-in local Administrator account was copied to the default user profile.

See the following Knowledge Base article for more information about customizing the Default User Profile:

973289 How to customize default user profiles in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2;EN-US;973289