I am sysadmin for a small business with 30 clients. We have a server running windows 2003 and all the client-computers run windows XP.

Now this is not an important issue, but it would be nice if it worked. My personal (home) computer is running windows 7 RC.

When I bring my home-computer to work and log into the network with domain\username it logs me in just fine. Although, approving my profile, letting me into the network, including all network drives and printers, it does not download the profile fully. I do believe it might be getting the roaming profiles.

So all my user- items, documents etc. attached to the profile does not show up on Windows 7.

Is there any way to make it fully download the profile? as it does with Windows XP.

  • I have decided (and am getting reminded more frequently) that roaming profiles are more trouble than they are worth, unless your users switch computers constantly. I Microsoft agrees, and is structuring things to encourage a move to GPO and away from roaming profiles. – tomjedrz Jun 25 '10 at 0:49

Windows XP profiles are not compatible with Vista/W7 profiles out of the box. Microsoft has a whitepaper Managing Roaming User Data Deployment Guide which includes a section called 'Windows Vista and Windows XP Roaming User Profile Interoperability'. This document contains the details you need to get as much compatibility as possible on Vista, I believe most of the directions should be the same for Windows 7.


Windows 7 and Vista use a new format for user profiles. It's not your server being incompatible, it's Vista and Win7 being incompatible with 2000/XP profiles.

Check your roaming profile directory, and you'll notice that you'll have a .V2 folder there (thats your Win7/Vista profile).

A half-way solution to this is folder redirection of the desktop and my documents.

  • Ah, that clarifies things. Is there any way to do a full-solution? Making windows 7 compatible with how profiles are stored on the server. – caspert Jun 16 '09 at 16:26
  • You can't make it compatible, but you can use the User State Migration Tool from Microsoft to transfer the old-format profiles to newer versions (and thus, XP will not read the new profiles). I havent tried it though, maybe someone else can comment on it. – pauska Jun 16 '09 at 16:29

What you probably want is essentially two sets of settings, one for XP and one for Vista/W7, that redirect all things you want shared to "common" areas. Or are you sure this is a one way think and you won't need changes you make here to go back to your "old" XP profile?

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