This step-by-step article describes how to configure a user account to use a roaming user profile. To do so, you must create a shared folder to store roaming user profiles, and then configure the user account to use a roaming user profile. After you complete this procedure, the user's profile, including the user's unique desktop settings, is stored on a server, and the profile is available to the user when the user logs on to any Windows NT 4.0-based computer in the domain.
A Windows NT Server 4.0-based computer (that meets the requirements listed on the Hardware Compatibility List [HCL]) that is a primary domain controller must be available on the network when you configure the user account.
If you decide not to store roaming user profiles on the primary domain controller, an additional Windows NT Server 4.0-based computer must be available on the network.
How to Create a Shared Folder to Store Roaming User Profiles
Before you configure a user account to use a roaming user profile, you must create a shared folder on a Windows NT Server 4.0-based computer in the domain to store the roaming user profiles. This shared folder is often located on a domain controller, but it can also be located on any Windows NT Server 4.0-based computer in the domain.
To create a shared folder to store roaming user profiles:
Click Start, point to Programs, and then click Windows NT Explorer.
Click the drive on which you want to create a shared folder to store roaming user profiles.
On the File menu, point to New, and then click Folder.
Type a name for the new folder, and then press ENTER.
NOTE: Typically, the folder that is used to store roaming user profiles is called "Profiles". However, you can assign any name that you want to the folder.
Right-click the folder you created in step 3, and then click Sharing.
Click Shared As, type the name that you want to assign to the shared folder in the Share Name box, and then click OK.
NOTE: The Profiles folder is commonly shared as "Profiles."
How to Configure a User Account to Use a Roaming User Profile in a Windows-Based Domain
To configure user accounts in the domain, you can use any Windows NT Server 4.0, Windows 2000 Server, or Windows Server 2003-based computer in the domain or any Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Windows XP Professional, or Windows 2000 Professional-based computer that is running Windows NT Server Administration Tools in the domain. In addition, you must be logged on as either an administrator or as a user that is a member of the Administrators local group or the Account Operators local group in the domain.
To configure a user account to use a roaming user profile:
Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools (Common), and then click User Manager for Domains or Active Directory Users and Computers for Windows Server 2000 or for Windows Server 2003.
Double-click the user account to which you want to assign a roaming profile, and then click Profile.
Type the complete path to the shared folder that contains the user's profile in the User Profile Path box, and then click OK.
Use the following format for the user profile path:
For example, if you want to store the user's roaming profile in a folder that has the same name as the user account in a shared folder that is named "Profiles" on a server that is named "Server1," type the following path:
NOTE: Windows NT automatically replaces the %username% variable with the user account name when it creates and accesses the user profile. When you use this variable, you can type the same path for all users.
Click OK, and then quit User Manager for Domains or Active Directory Users and Computers.
The next time the user logs on, the user profile folder that you specified in step 3 is created. When the user logs off, the user's profile is copied to the new folder.