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I'm battling a hydra here, and I'd love a hand (and an aspirin)

We've just upgraded to Windows 7, and Server 2008. We've got users (students) using mandatory profiles signing in, and one of a few GPs (depending on location in our centre) having a homedir, printer and network share map, as well as the Documents library show the contents of the homedir.... most of the time.

We've got 40 student PC's, divided into 3 main OUs. Tutoring staff are also in their own OU.

There are multiple issues. If no-one tackles it successfully here, I'll divide them up into separate questions. A mixture of desperation and hope tells me to list it in full first, just in case there is a singular root cause.

Help with even just one would be appreciated.

1) Some computers refuse to let students sign in more than once. The virgin log-in on a PC is fine, but if they log out and log back in to the same machine, the User Logon service fails them. I need to log in as Admin and remove them through User Profiles before it will let them back in again. One even insists that I do it through Regedt32.

2) Some computers will refuse access to the Homedir share, but allows any other shares. (All shared by the same server). If staff (who have unrestricted access to student files) try, they can't access it either with their log-ons. The only solution we've discovered is to re-image Windows 7. This is less than desirable.

3) One network printer refuse to print, unless you uninstall/reinstall on the client machines. There are two other identical printers that work fine. Some of the PCs report an error, some just fail quietly. All 3 printers are shared by the same server.

4) One computer fails the User Logon service seemingly at random.

I hope I've been clear enough.

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Some rather belated follow-up. 1) We've changed from Mandatory to Roaming profiles, as the Group Policy is robust enough for our needs. 2) Changing from Mandatory also fixed this. 3) Timed out, as the driver for the NIC was clunky. – Silas B May 3 '11 at 9:14
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I may be way off the mark here, but it really smells like the method you're using to cook up your default profile did not include sysprep. I had an issue earlier this year where students who first logged into a certain lab's machines wouldn't get their printers, and I later traced it down to the connection attempt using the imaging account instead of the student's account to log in. It was a cached credential in the default profile and expired after they logged out and logged back in again.

The method used to create that default profile was descended out of WinNT in that the technicians had found a way to copy the profile, even though Microsoft removed that capability in Vista. The groups using the Microsoft supported Sysprep method didn't have these issues.

This is just a strong hunch, but after talking with our TAM about these kinds of issues, this kind of freaky behavior is not unexpected when using profile-copy.

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Frankly, the method to create a default user profile in Win 7 and W2K8 is a PITA. – joeqwerty Nov 4 '10 at 2:32
@joeqwerty Yes, which is why our techs are still using that other method. – sysadmin1138 Nov 4 '10 at 5:06

My suggestion would be to get windows installed on a machine manually and then see if users are able to login more than once. If they are, then you know it has something to do with the way imaging was done. The randomness of these issues is quite striking.

If these issues are a result of lack of sysprep, it might be worth checking out the SID of individual machines using a tool like NewSID. I used it quite a bit on Vista so I cannot vouch for it working on 7 but it might be worth a try. At least to display the current SID for all machines. If it matches, then you know that it is causing conflicts and locking people out.

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