Lesson 1: User Profiles in an Upgrade

User profiles provide a way of allowing Windows NT users to have the same desktop settings and configuration regardless of which Windows NT workstation they log on to. The profile is supplied to the user's workstation during logon. In this lesson, you'll examine how the upgrade affects the Windows NT user profiles.

After this lesson, you will be able to

  • Understand how profiles are updated when a Windows NT server is upgraded to Windows 2000 and any type of mixed Windows NT and Windows 2000 systems are involved.

Estimated lesson time: 20 minutes

Effect of an Upgrade on Profiles

The location of the profile is a property of the user name. If it is a roaming profile, it is stored in a shared folder. When the user logs on, the profile is uploaded to the workstation being used for logon. At logoff, it is then copied back to the shared folder unless it's a mandatory profile, in which case, nothing else occurs.

When a system is upgraded to Windows 2000, all user properties are retained, including the user profile information. Therefore, the behavior of user profiles for both downlevel and Windows 2000 clients will remain the same. Users shouldn't notice any difference in the way their profiles perform.

Potential Profile Problems

The caveat to the previous scenario is that profiles will work perfectly as long as your users don't switch between logging on to Windows 2000 clients and Windows NT clients. If your users need to use both versions of workstations, you might find inconsistencies. For example, if the Windows NT workstation client has bitmaps being used for the desktop that the Windows 2000 client doesn't have, the bitmaps won't be available when the user logs on to the Windows 2000 workstation client. This type of problem existed with Windows NT networks as well, but it's likely to be exacerbated now when working with Windows 2000 clients as the Windows 2000 Professional clients are more likely to contain different files from the Windows NT workstation clients.

Another complication occurs when Windows NT system policies are in use. If a user is subject to a Windows NT system policy that updates his or her roaming profile in any way, such as changing a bitmap, these settings will be cached with the profile and then uploaded when the user logs off. As you'll see in the next lesson, Windows 2000 saves its policy settings in a different location. This, in turn, causes the size of the user's profile to increase because of the number of extra (duplicated) registry settings.

Practice: Testing User Profiles

In this practice, you will investigate how user profiles work in a mixed Windows NT and Windows 2000 environment. The user names that were created for the MIGKIT domain in Chapter 6 were assigned roaming profiles that are stored in the C:\Profiles folder on MIGKIT1.

  1. Log on to MIGKIT2 with the user name Migkitfin2 and the password secret2.
  2. Right-click the desktop and select Properties from the shortcut menu that appears.
  3. Select the Background tab, select Critters from the Pattern list, and then click OK.

    The desktop pattern will change as Critters is loaded.

  4. Log off MIGKIT2.
  5. Log on to MIGKIT1 with the user name Migkitfin2 and the password secret2.

    Notice that the desktop changes to show the Critters pattern. This indicates that the user profiles are working as they should. Now you'll investigate scenarios where anomalies in user profiles can occur.

  6. In the Tools folder on MIGKIT1, delete the file Winnt.bmp.
  7. Log off MIGKIT1 and then log back on to MIGKIT2 with the user name Migkitfin2.
  8. Right-click the desktop and select Properties from the shortcut menu.
  9. Select the Background tab and use the Browse button to select the Winnt.bmp file from the C:\Tools folder as your wallpaper.
  10. Click OK to close the Display Properties dialog box.

    The Windows NT Workstation bitmap should appear on your screen.

  11. Log off MIGKIT2 and wait a few seconds for your profile to update on MIGKIT1.
  12. Log on to MIGKIT1 using the Migkitfin2 user name.

    You shouldn't see the Windows NT Workstation bitmap because it isn't contained in the C:\Winnt folder of MIGKIT1.

  13. On MIGKIT1, open the Display Properties dialog box again and select the Background tab.
  14. Change the background to Solar Eclipse. Click the Web tab and enable the Show Web Content On My Active Desktop check box.
  15. Click OK and log off MIGKIT1.
  16. Wait a few seconds for the profile to update, and then log on to MIGKIT2 with the Migkitfin2 user name. Does the Solar Eclipse background appear on the MIGKIT2 desktop?

  17. What do you think causes the anomalies in the profiles when user Migkitfin2 logs on to MIGKIT2 or logs on to migkit1.migkit.microsoft.com?


When working with a mixture of Windows NT and Windows 2000 clients, these types of anomalies will occur frequently. However, if you're upgrading only the Windows NT servers, your Windows NT client profiles will be unaffected. The best solution for this is to store all profile components such as bitmaps on a network share or to upgrade the Windows NT workstations as soon as possible. See Appendix B on Windows 2000 Workstation deployment for further details.

Lesson Summary

In this lesson, you learned that the profile settings for a user are retained after upgrading a Windows NT domain controller; however, if a mixed environment of Windows NT and Windows 2000 clients are used, users who log on to both platforms might encounter inconsistencies with their profiles.

MCSE Training Kit (Exam 70-222. Migrating from Microsoft Windows NT 4. 0 to Microsoft Windows 2000)
MCSE Training Kit (Exam 70-222): Migrating from Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 to Microsoft Windows 2000 (MCSE Training Kits)
ISBN: 0735612390
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2001
Pages: 126

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