We currently have two buildings at different ends of the country, one contains the fileserver with our roaming profiles and a domain controller, in the other building we just have a domain controller to handle local logons.

Whilst replicating the DC locally has helped performance, having the roaming profiles synced over a VPN link is a killer for logging on and off, my only thoughts are to replicate the roaming profiles locally and to then have the two servers sync these overnight. Is this at all possible? As a user is almost definitely not going to be in both locations within a day having them sync overnight is the best solution to ensure speed of link and quick logon/logoff times but I don't know if what I want to achieve is reasonably do-able. Thanks for any tips or pointers. Both machines are Win2k3 R2.

2 Answers 2


This is a tough nut to crack. For starters, Microsoft does not support the replication of roaming user profiles except for backup purposes. The reason for this is that it may easily happen that both copies are modified, which would break the replication and introduce profile inconsistency (more commonly called "profile corruption").

Theoretically, if you could guarantee that replication if finished before a user can access the other copy of the profile, you could implement a replication mechanism that watches for logoffs (profile writebacks) and starts the migration process for that profile.

In practice I know of no software that does this. You would have to build it yourself.

For a detailed discussion of this topic please see my article Replicating User Profiles Between Sites (With or Without DFS) – Why it Should be Avoided.

  • Thanks for the link, it was a good read. I suppose realistically the question that follows is if the user is mobile with their own device or mobile between different desktops. If its with a mobile device then there isn't a huge need for roaming profiles... which may very well be true for most of our scenarios. The only issue that would result from switching to local profiles is an effective backup policy or to utilise a network drive for downloads, documents etc..
    – Draineh
    Sep 6, 2011 at 12:20

The following might be able to get you started:


  • That article is about Active Directory replication, not about user profiles. Sep 2, 2011 at 10:09
  • You're right, since the advent of DFS, Microsoft has "muddy up the waters" as they transition file synchronization to DFS. The following offers some ideas/information on utilizing DFS to replicate profiles - itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/itanswers/….
    – user48838
    Sep 2, 2011 at 13:55

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