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New User Profile Quick Setup

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Bradford Thorpe

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Posted: 24 Jul 2001

Current version: ZENworks for Desktops 3

I got this idea while trying to find a way to stop Office 2000 re-installing every time a user who had not logged onto a machine before did so. We are currently not using roaming profiles and therefore if a user logs onto a different machine all their apps redistribute even though they are most likely on that machine already.

What I did first is remove all the app associations from the users as the apps are now installed by the standard build. I then created an app which runs when a new user logs on. I called it new-user-profile-setup and it contains all the HK-Current-User settings for Office, GroupWise, and other apps. Also Internet settings, shortcuts and any other customised settings we need to give our users to get them started.

Basically this app distributes in about 5 seconds. That means I can delete a user's profile and they will be setup with our company settings and all applications within a few seconds. This idea also works well when using Applications which are shortcuts, linked with the fault tolerance trick you can make sure that every app will always be available even if the machine is completely blank.

I found this to be a great help also with remote users who do not have the bandwidth to wait for all apps to be distributed.

Another Idea

Posted August 8, 2001

I have received a lot of e-mails regarding this idea and have been led to an even easier solution than the one posted above. This idea uses the "Default User" profile on Win2000. Basically it is this:

  1. Create a "build" user and give them all the apps you wish to be standard.
  2. Log on as that user and deliver all the apps.
  3. Setup the profile as you wish, including icons, registry settings, etc.
  4. Log out and copy that user's profile to the "Default User" profile.
  5. Any user can now log onto that machine and have access to all the applications installed as the "build" user.

I have tested this and it works on Win2000 perfectly. I then can send out any changes to the user in a similar way as before.

As the PCs where I am working have already been rolled out, it was a simple matter to create a ZEN app to deliver the "Default User" files onto their PC, therefore making Office and the other applications available to any new user that logs on, or when a user profile is reset.

Simple, and effective. Thank you to those people who sent me their ideas.

Any questions feel free to e-mail me at

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