Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Creating a Windows 7 Mandatory profile

This is the only "Microsoft supported" method of creating a Windows 7 Mandatory profile. There are other online methods (eg. editing  NTUSER.DAT via Regedit) but they are unsupported.

The process is based on the following official Microsoft Technet library documents

How to Customize the Default User Profile by Using CopyProfile

Configuring Standard User Accounts

Creating a Mandatory User Profile


The process is as follows:

1. Create Windows 7 reference PC (Workgroup only)
2. Log on with local account (member of Local Administrators)
3. Customise profile as required.
4. Download and install WAIK for Windows 7.
5. Launch Windows SIM (System Image Manager) and create answer file
6. Run Sysprep and restart the PC in OOBE
7. Log on as same local user 
8. Copy Profile to network location
9. Rename NTUSER.DAT to NTUSER.MAN
10. Assign profile to user

1. Create Windows 7 reference PC (Workgroup only)

2. Log on with local account (member of Local Administrators)

3. Customise profile as required. 

Add desktop shortcuts, change background etc.

4. Download and install WAIK for Windows 7.

WAIK for Windows 7.



Select Windows AIK Setup




5. Launch Windows SIM (System Image Manager) and create answer file



Launch Windows SIM


Windows SIM Console 


Insert Windows 7 DVD. Under Windows Image right click and "Select Windows Image"


Browse to sources directory and select install.wim


Choose your version and click OK.


The Windows Image section is now populated.



Under Answer File right click to create New Answer File. The Answer File section becomes populated.



In the Windows Image pane, expand Components, highlight amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup


Right click and then click Add Setting to Pass 4 specialize.


In the Answer File pane, select the Components\4_specialize\amd64-Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_neutral folder


In the Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup Properties pane, in the Settings section, type the value CopyProfile = true


The CopyProfile parameter causes Sysprep to copy the currently logged-on user's profile folder to the Default User profile





Save this new answer file to the root directory of a removable media, and name it CopyProfile

6. Run Sysprep and restart the PC in OOBE


Open a command prompt as administrator


Run Sysprep as follows:


Sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /reboot /unattend:E:\CopyProfile.xml





PC enters Out of Box Experience (OOBE)

7. Log on as same local user 

8. Copy Profile to network location


Navigate to  Start /Control panel/ System/ Advanced/User Profiles  Settings

Profile has now been copied to Default Profile using CopyProfile parameter (see Modified date)


Select the Default Profile and Copy To


Choose an external location for the profile


Change "Permitted to use" to Everyone


Save the profile

9. Rename NTUSER.DAT to NTUSER.MAN

 Add .v2 extension to the folder name



Rename the file NTUSER.DAT to NTUSER.MAN

10. Assign profile to user




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