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< Same Settings for all Users >

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by alumaline, Oct 10, 2008.

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  1. alumaline

    alumaline Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
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    Hi

    I run Windows XP Pro. I want to set one user settings the way I want
    and have all other users have the same desktop, bkmks, screen savers,
    programs load, etc. etc. It is time consuming to set up all the same
    programs for each user.

    I have read about permissions, group policies, roaming profiles, etc
    I am confused what to do.

    I don't connect to a network it is just for one laptop computer with
    two other users profiles.

    thanks in advance

    Mark S
     
  2. new tech guy

    new tech guy

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    Mar 27, 2006
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    5,178
    Here is an easy little trick that should do the trick. I would probably use the group policies and if your really crazy and dont want to allow changes (they can change the things around during the session but will revert on logoff/logon cycle/reboot. All you do is rename NTUSER.DAT to NTUSER.MAN. At that point it will always revert the desktop. As for others, use group policies.
     
  3. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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    Basically what you can do is setup one user the way you want, then logout of that user profile and login as an administrator. Then go into system properties and copy the users profile to the default folder in Documents and Settings. When a new user is created is pulls from the default profile.
     
  4. peterh40

    peterh40

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    First Name:
    Peter
    Group policies is ok for Windows settings but not application settings.
    Sqluashman's answer is correct, but it will apply to new users only, not existing users (unless you delete the existing user profile's first, if not needed). Note the the Default User folder is hidden, so remember to unhide it first before overwriting it.
     
  5. alumaline

    alumaline Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
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    Hi

    thanks for the help to all.

    In response to the changing DAT file.
    Which DAT file do I rename?

    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\NTUSER.DAT
    C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\NTUSER.DAT
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\NTUSER.DAT
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\NTUSER.DAT

    and each of the above files has a hidden NTUSER.DAT (1KB)

    thanks
    Mark S
     
  6. alumaline

    alumaline Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
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    Hi

    Here is another question.

    If I copy the User Profile to the Default folder is this a duplicate
    of everything? Because the user profile I would have to copy is a
    2.6GB size profile! Although my disk is 80GB a don't like to duplicate
    this much info unless this is the only way.

    thanks
    Mark S
     
  7. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    24,388
    Yikes!! I would definitely not recommend copying any NTUSER.DAT files or even an entire profile folder to a second location. Maybe the other members that are suggesting it have first-hand experience doing so, but messing with system files can be a quick way to render a system inoperable.
     
  8. new tech guy

    new tech guy

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    Mar 27, 2006
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    I learned that lesson from my microcomputer operating systems class which teaches us xp pro, also the microsoft textbook we use reccomends this method, so i see no harm in it :). All the .man trick is is to make the file mandatory so that it reverts on every logon/boot process as windows can read but not write to the ntuser file.
     
  9. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Aug 7, 2007
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    Keep in mind that My Documents, the Temp folder, and your browser cache is all part of the profile, and if you use Outlook/Outlook Express, your address book and all emails. Also your browser History, Cookies, Saved Passwords, Automatic Forms entries, Recent Documents list, Run box History, etc.
    Might be better to create a new user, configure it the way you want, then copy it to the Default User Profile.

    If you just want to copy Appearance settings, those are stored in the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel for the most part.
    You can export that key from the profile you want to use as a template, then log into the other accounts and merge that file. You'll need to find the path/file name for the current wallpaper (under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop in the OriginalWallpaper and Wallpaper keys -- usually C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Wallpaper1.bmp) and copy that file to the matching location on each profile, or manually set the wallpaper.

    To merge that into the Default User profile so new accounts will have the same settings, you'll need to edit the exported file, replacing every instance of HKEY_CURRENT_USER with HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT. If you don't use the Welcome screen this will also set the logon wallpaper to match your desktop wallpaper.

    Obviously, be careful when editing the registry. Be sure to export the HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel branch before you merge in your file. If something goes wrong, you can (hopefully) delete the entire tree and merge the original back. Make sure the other profiles are working before changing this key. If the other profiles become corrupt, Windows will use the .Default user key to create a temp profile -- if the default is also corrupt, you'll be looking at restoring an image, or doing a re-install.
    Also, create a new user and test it to make sure the default settings will work to create a new user.

    If you still want to copy one of the current profiles, you'll need to clear things out. I would also recommend that you don't copy the Application Data or Local Settings folders. The only way to prevent that is to copy the originals to a folder that is not under the Destination profile folder. After copying the profile, delete these two folders, and move the originals back. If there is an application you want to be configured the same in each profile, best to find where it stores it's settings, then copy just those files.

    This list covers the major items, but not everything:
    Empty the temp folder, clear Cookies, History, and Temporary Internet Files. If you use a browser other than IE you'll probably need to delete History, Cookies and clear the cache from within that browser as well as clearing IE's info:
    Control Panel | Internet Options, General tab.

    1. Click Delete Cookies... button then click OK
    2. Click Delete Files... button, check Delete all offline content then click OK
    3. Click Clear History Button then click Yes.
    Content tab

    1. Click AutoComplete... button
    2. Click Clear Forms and Clear Passwords and click OK to confirm each.
    3. I think Certificates also get copied (these are used to encrypt email and for encrypted folders on XP Pro) so you may want to export the certificates then delete them. You can import them back into the "source" profile after you copy it.

    Also goto Control Panel | Java General Tab, Settings... button under Temporary Internet Files, then the Delete Files... button and delete everything.
    Clear Recent Documents/Run box history by Right clicking Start, click Properties, Start Menu tab, Customize... button, Advanced tab, the click the Clear List button.
    Run the Disk Cleanup utility, it'll find a few more things.

    After copying the profile into the Default user, you'll need to go through the My Documents folder and delete anything you don't want copied in every profile.
    Move any Documents, Music, Videos, etc that you want all users to have access to into the Shared Documents tree, then delete the rest (make sure you still have a copy in the "source" profile!)

    HTH

    Jerry
     
  10. alumaline

    alumaline Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    35
    Wow - I will consider these instructions. Thanks for your detailed
    responses. Best Regards. Mark S
     
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