The lack of terminology's knowledge make's it difficult to find an answer with search engines for the following issue. Please excuse me.

The problem is as follows:

In a local windows network enviroment focus on a specific PC workstation, call it M, and two domain users, say user1.example.local and user2.example.local. user1 has isntalled on M all of his the applications and profile settings: Outlook email account, browsers, etch. Obviously, when user2 logs in to M with his own domain credentials, he sees his own profile.

The objective is when user2 logs in to M to get to the enviroment that has been set up by user1. The "poor" way i guess would be to delete temporarilly user2 from active directory users and computers service and ovewrite user1 account with user2, but i assume that there is a better way to do it. Any help please? Thank you.

  • Check out USMT. (User state migration tool). I've never used it as such, but you should be able to use it to copy user1's profile to user2. – HopelessN00b Jul 17 '14 at 17:22
  • It sounds like you want user2 to impersonate user1, which isn't possible. – joeqwerty Jul 17 '14 at 20:53

One way to achieve this would to copy the user profile of user1 over the one of user2:


| improve this answer | |
  • Copying user1's profile won't work. A user's profile includes desktop backgrounds, screen savers and that stuff, but no the programs installed for that user. – gunros Jul 17 '14 at 17:55
  • Programs are installed on the computer, program settings are specific for each user. Outlook is on the computer and it's available to all users, Outlook's email accounts are user-specific. And yes, they are stored in the user profile. – Massimo Jul 17 '14 at 18:52
  • @user3333331 What do you mean "installed for that user"? usually programs are installed for all users (under program files). Anyway, what massimo suggested should work on XP (or 2003), but this option has been deprecated and is not supported by MS. The new way is by using Sysprep with answer file. If you still want to do what Massimo suggested, you'll need to do so manually - copy the profile and edit all relevant registry keys accordingly. – EliadTech Jul 17 '14 at 19:18
  • @EliadTech, the article references XP/2003, but this works perfectly on later systems. I used it personally on Windows 7 with no ill effects at all. And BTW, what has Sysprep to do with this?!? That's for imaging/cloning installed systems, not for copying user profiles. – Massimo Jul 17 '14 at 19:48
  • This article says (about creating default profile, but same concept applies here) that the option to copy manually or by script has been deprecated since WinXP, but only got blocked on Win7. Of course you can ignore this and bypass the block, but that doesn't make it supported. Also, as mentioned by the article, the only supported way to create a default profile, and thus allowing to create an identical profile, is by using SysPrep. – EliadTech Jul 17 '14 at 20:57

Sysprep performs a variety of functions, but in essence like EliadTech said, it prepares the environment for migration to another environment (another system). Also as EliadTech has mentioned, the copyprofile component of an answer file used in conjunction with Sysprep is the only supported method for creating a profile for creating a default profile. There are details provided for the scenario in this TechNet Blog.

You may also want to review Configuring Standard User Accounts which is here on TechNet.

| improve this answer | |

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.