For Customizing Default users profile

For Customizing Default users profile
Read here for Full Artical
There are a number of
resources available on the CopyProfile topic
  • 973289 How to customize the default local user profile for
    Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2
  • The blog on the Deployment Guys website does a good job of
    describing the issues around the changes with this functionality.
I wanted to let add
some additional points around this topic to help with your deployments:
  • The Copy Profile button in control panel, system,
    advanced system settings, Advanced, User Profiles, Settings, is greyed out
    on accounts to address issues found in the Shell when using this legacy
    method from NT4 days to overwrite the Default user profile so although
    this process appeared to work there were issues in Windows that were
    traced back to this process. Although not blocked in previous operating
    systems it was considered
     unsupported and was one of the reasons SP2 was modified to copy the
    administrator account customizations automatically instead of using the
    manual method of overwriting the default user profile
  • Microsoft-Windows-Shell-SetupCopyProfile setting in
    unattend.xml is the only supported method for customizing default user
  • With this change not all customizations persist even
    when using CopyProfile
  • Since there are so many settings in the Shell we do not
    have a list of what persists and what is reset.
  • In order to determine what will persist we recommend
    testing of your specific scenario and the settings you are configuring
  • When a new user logs in many different components in
    Windows must execute some first run actions to prepare the user account.
    These first run actions can sometimes reset the customizations that were
    set prior to running sysprep
  • For those settings that do not persist you can check
    group policy to see if there is setting to control it. The
     Group Policy
    Settings Reference
     is a good
    place to look.  There are some also some specific group policies for
    Start Menu and TaskBar
  • If the CopyProfile process does not copy the setting
    then ultimately you must find some other method to configure the setting.
  • Many of the settings that are lost are related to the
    Start Menu and the Taskbar
    • At times Microsoft Customer Service and Support
      (CSS)is asked if there is a way to script changes to these but as this
       blog outlines there is limited programmatic access to them.
      Additional CSS does not help with authoring scripts.
    • There are supported methods for adding additional
      icons using steps outlined in this
       blog but it is difficult to remove icons without some type
      of custom scripting
  • The CopyProfile code copies the profile based on
    modified time.
    • If you have multiple accounts on the computer it is
      possible that some account other than the one that was customized may be
      copied. So to ensure that the customizations are copied from the correct
      account we recommend that the computer only have the local administrator
      account and customizations be configured in this account
    • You cannot use a domain account either because the
      CopyProfile process occurs later in the specialize phase and by then
      Sysprep has unjoined the machine from the domain and the profile is
    • To check to see if the CopyProfile worked and what
      account it copied you can review the
      WindowsPantherUnattendGCSetupact.log and search for CopyProfile
    • For more information on this see the following KB
  • Use of CopyProfile in reference build
    • When installing the OS initially do not specify
      CopyProfile=true in the autounattend.xml. Used during reference build can
      problems with themes, Aero, and other unknown issues
    • It should only be specified in the answer file you
      supply to sysprep.exe when creating a custom image
  • Use of CopyProfile with ConfigMgr
    • Since ConfigMgr runs in the system context when
      building an image it is not possible to use it to copy customizations to
      default user
    • One option is to use Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010
      to build your reference image and then deploy that image with ConfigMgr
  • Use of CopyProfile with Terminal Servers
    • We would recommend using group policy to lock down or
      configure desktops vs using CopyProfile to configure user profiles.
How you use
CopyProfile depends on how the image is created and how it is deployed. Some of
the common scenarios are listed below
Manual build of image
(not recommended)
If you are building
the image manually you should follow these basic steps
Install Windows. Note:
Do not specify CopyProfile in unattend.xml
Login as
administrator. Note: Make sure other accounts do not exist
Customize your
c:windowssystem32sysprepunattend.xml that contains at minimum the entry for
Microsoft-Windows-Shell-SetupCopyProfile and set it to true. Sysprep by
default looks for unattend.xml in the sysprep folder
%windir%system32sysprepsysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /shutdown
If you use ConfigMgr
to deploy this image you do not need to do anything special in ConfigMgr to
deploy it to get CopyProfile to work. So you do not need to modify any unattend
settings in the task sequence
Use MDT 2010 to build
the image and to deploy the image
Note: I would recommend that if you are using MDT
2010 to upgrade to
 MDT 2010 Update 1 because there have been a number of fixes in
the sysprep and capture task sequence. You must always re-created your sysprep
and capture task sequence after installing update 1 in order to get these
Because MDT runs
setup.exe to apply an image (instead of just using imagex to apply it) the
following outlines the steps required
In MDT 2010 Update 1
create a task sequence “Deploy Windows” to install Windows
In MDT 2010 Update 1
create a task sequence based on the Sysprep and Capture Task. For more
information on this see this
Boot the Lite Touch
image and choose the “Deploy Windows” Task Sequence. If prompted by
lite touch wizard say NO to prompt to capture image
After Windows is
installed and you login as administrator make the changes to the shell you
desire. Note: Microsoft would generally recommend that changes to the profile
be done via automated fashion and not manually. See for more information.
Map network drive to
the MDT 2010 Update 1 DeploymentShare$.
Run the Sysprep and
capture task sequence. Note if you may run into issue with multiple connections
you are likely still running MDT 2010. See this
 blog. This issue is resolved in MDT 2010 Update 1
Import the captured
image from DeploymentShare$capturesimage.wim.
Create a task sequence
“Deploy customized Windows image” to deploy the custom image you just
In properties of the
task sequence choose OS info tab
Click edit
Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup under the Specialize phase and change CopyProfile
to true
Click File, exit, and
save changes
Boot lite touch image
and choose the “Deploy customized Windows image” task sequence
To test create a new
user and login as the user. Look for the changes you made. Note not all changes
are carried over in this process. If a setting is not carried over you must
find alternative means to make the change. Use group policy, scripts, or other means
Note: If you use MDT
2010 to capture the image it does not capture the WindowsPanther folder so if
you were to deploy it manually using imagex, WDS, or some other manner then
CopyProfile would not execute. It would be better to manually capture the image
using imagex if you are not going to deploy it with MDT
Use MDT 2010 to build
the image and capture it then use ConfigMgr to deploy the image
Follow steps 1-7 above
to create and capture your image
Create a
CopyProfile.xml in Windows System Image Manger that contains at least the
version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>
<unattend xmlns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend”>
<settings pass=”specialize”>
<component name=”Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup”
processorArchitecture=”amd64″ publicKeyToken=”31bf3856ad364e35″
language=”neutral” versionScope=”nonSxS”
<cpi:offlineImage cpi:source=”catalog:c:flatinstall_windows 7
enterprise.clg” xmlns:cpi=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi” />
I would not recommend copying/pasting the example since you need to account for
different architectures.
Create a package in
ConfigMgr that contains the copyprofile.xml file created in Step 2.
Import the image into
In the ConfigMgr
console modify the “Use an unattended or sysprep answer file for custom
installation” property in the Apply Operating system task. Specify the package
created in Step 3 and the file created in Step 2.

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