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Modifying Ntuser.dat Hive So New Users Get Defined Settings

This article was previously published under Q146050
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry.Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it ifa problem occurs. For information on how to do this, view the "Restoringthe Registry" online Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring a RegistryKey" online Help topic in Regedt32.exe.
Under Windows NT 4.0 you can modify the Ntuser.dat hive so that all newlycreated users inherit certain settings. Anything that can be defined ormodified in HKEY_CURRENT_USER can also be set in the Ntuser.dat hive (forexample, international settings, colors, screen savers, sounds, andcursors).
The default user profile is created when Windows NT is installed. Thefirst time a user logs on to a workstation (or domain), the default userprofile is copied to the user profile.

The default language in this profile is set to U.S. English. Every newuser that logs on will have U.S. English selected even if theadministrator has set the system default locale to a different language.

To change the default language or any other settings for NEW users, you canuse the registry editor to change the default user profile.

This profile is stored on the local workstation at:
%SystemRoot%\Profiles\Default User

with the name: Ntuser.dat.

If you want to create a default profile for all new users in a Windows NTdomain, the default user profile can be copied to the Netlogon share on theprimary domain controller. A subdirectory must be created within theNetlogon share called "Default User" and the default profile copied to thatsubdirectory. The easiest way to do this is to create a customized profileand copy that profile using the System tool in Control Panel and clickingthe User Profiles tab. The Everyone group should be given permission to usethe profile. This profile should be copied to every validating domaincontroller. The Replication service can be used for this.

The Netlogon share is normally located at
C:\WINNT\System32\Repl\Export\Scripts on the primary domain controller(PDC).

To view or modify the Ntuser.dat hive, do the following:

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems thatmay require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannotguarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editorcan be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys AndValues" online Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add andDelete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" online Helptopics in Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry beforeyou edit it.
  1. Start Registry Editor by selecting Run from the File menu of Program Manager, typing "regedt32" (without the quotation marks), and pressing ENTER.
  2. Select the "HKEY_USERS on Local Machine" window.
  3. From the Registry menu, choose Load Hive.
  4. From the C:\WINNT\Profiles\Default User (or equivalent) directory, select the Ntuser.dat file.
  5. In the Key Name field, type "NTUSER" (without the quotation marks).
  6. Select the NTUSER registry key.
  7. Modify the Default User subkeys as desired.

    NOTE: If you add new keys, make sure that everyone has at least read access to the new key. If not, it won't be copied to the user profile when a new user logs on.

    To change the access right of the key, highlight the key, then select Permissions from the Security menu. If not already included, add the Everyone group with at least read access.
  8. From the Registry menu, choose Unload Hive, and choose the Yes button.
  9. Quit Registry Editor.
Now when a user log on to the system for the first time, the new user'shive will contain the modified information.

Article ID: 146050 - Last Review: 10/31/2006 19:18:44 - Revision: 1.1

  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • kbnetwork KB146050