Creating a default network profile

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 15 April 2009 / Last Updated on 3 Dec. 2008]

How to create a default network profile in Vista.

You can pre-configure user profiles for your Vista users by creating a default network profile for them ahead of time. To do this, follow these steps:


  1. Log on to a computer running Vista using a domain user account.
  2. Configure the computer as desired by changing its wallpaper etc.
  3. Log off, then log on again but this time using a Domain Admins account.
  4. Click Start, right-click on Computer, select Properties.
  5. Click Advanced System Settings, select the Advanced Settings tab, click Settings under User Profiles.
  6. Select the user profile created in step 2 above and click Copy To.
  7. Type \\\NETLOGON\Default User.v2 in the Copy To box.
  8. Click Change, type Everyone, click OK twice.

Doing these steps copies the customized user profile you created to the NETLOGON share on your domain controller. Now when a user logs on to their Vista computer for the first time, the computer will check this NETLOGON share, find a profile there named Default User.v2, and use this profile as the basis for creating a new user profile for the user.

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see www.mtit.com .

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