I'm somewhat new to the Server 2008 front, and I'm afraid I've hit my first snag: I've set up roaming profiles, and they appear to be working too well.

Is there a way to limit, ideally on a folder/object basis, what gets synced with a roaming profile?

What I'm trying to do is:
1) stop my roaming profile from syncing desktop layout - I run a dual-screen desktop and a laptop, and it's really annoying to have to reposition everything after logging onto the laptop, because it forces everything onto one screen.

2) stop it from syncing registry variables - specifically, I want Visual Studio to load different setting files on each computer. Currently, the variable that contains that path is getting synced whenever I log in, so I get the settings from whatever box I last logged out from.

3) stop syncing the start menu - this one's not as big, but I'm noticing 'program not found' icons even for programs that are installed. they work when I click them - they just look ugly.

I'm running Windows SBS 2008 x64 with two Win7 clients (x86 Pro, and X64 Ultimate).

Is there a simple way to do that? Or am I trying to work too much against what roaming profiles are designed for?

I could, of course, set up different profiles for the desktop and laptop, but that seems to defeat the point of roaming profiles entirely...

Thanks in advance!
Any help will be much appreciated =)

  • Awesome, thanks for the answers =) I'll post an update once I get a chance to try this out.
    – b34r
    Apr 15 '10 at 17:42

What about just using the Redirected Folders?

Run the "Redirect folders for user accounts to the server" task from the Users and Groups tab of the SBS Console. From here you can choose Desktop, My Documents, and Start Menu (although you may just want the My Documents).

You can fine-tune what gets redirected in the Group Policy Management Console > "Small Business Server Folder Redirection Policy" and then drill down to User Configuration > Policies > WIndows Settings > Folder Redirection

you should be able to change which folders you want to include there. May take some trial and error (and gpupdate /force) to get the right folders you want/need as I'm not sure where some of those registry key are located (likely Application Data).


You can exclude certain things from roaming with the profile. In your case you would want to exclude whatever folder contains those settings.


It would not be possible to do with the registry though. You could make a complicated script to accomplish it. Redirecting the Desktop and My Documents folder to a network location and then disabling roaming profiles might be better suited for your direct question, but that is also a drastic change from your current setup.


Roaming profiles are best used in conjunction with common workstation images or automated deployment tools to allow users to just log into another computer and work. Generally speaking, the best solution for exception users is to not have their profile roam.

Admins and techs (who log into lots of machines) and executives (or others with custom configurations) aren't good candidates for roaming profiles. Better to use the folder redirection policy for your documents and manage your desktop and installed apps yourself.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.