Default Profile with Windows 7 - How Do You Set It?

Following a massive headache with the many failed attempts of figuring out this same issue with Vista, I'm back again with Windows 7. We pulled our Vista attempts with the 1,100 new computers we got and dumped XP Pro on them which has worked great.

Windows 7 is looking to be very attractive, and we're anxious to upgrade to it pending one key thing.

We utilize default profiles here very, very much. Them not working would be a massive headache and would almost completely warrant staying with XP Pro all together, even though XP isn't all that future-proof.

How do you set a default user profile in Windows 7?

I work at a large school district with an easy 1,500+ computers. We have many schools, many buildings, many libraries, many labs, many special ed rooms, etc etc... the list goes on and on. In every instance, there's different desktop icons that are needed, different printers, different print settings, etc. In short - we need local profiles. Period. We just do.

I have tried many, many, many times to use the unattend.xml file to sysprep the computer, which supposedly does the profile parameters there. It just... doesn't work. I'm sorry but it didn't work, even with the very detailed tutorials that I had.

So anyway, here I am giving it another shot. Vista is done for and we're focusing on Windows 7 only. Is there an easier way to set the default profile in Windows 7?

bump - this is critical for us if Microsoft hopes to ever sell any products to school districts besides XP Professional......

Bumping till we get an answer.

Copy default profiles

I'm no expert in massive networks but couldn't you use the copy command under "System Properties" then 'User Profiles" to copy your desired default profile either directly across the attached systems in the network or to your IT guy's systems so they could copy to each terminal as needed? I know you can copy a profile that way and put it in whatever directory you chose as well as change who has permission to use it.

Take a look and see if that would work.

I always set the local administrator account up with the settings I want the users to have.

In Vista, I could do this, but Vista would always corrupt the profiles.

In 7, this option is grayed out, so I can't even attempt it.


I always set the local administrator account up with the settings I want the users to have.

In Vista, I could do this, but Vista would always corrupt the profiles.

In 7, this option is grayed out, so I can't even attempt it.

I using Windows 7 Ultimate RTM 7100...what's your version and level?

I'm still using the RC, 7100.

Is there seriously nobody who's dealt with this before? Maybe it's just because I work with them every day, but there's a crap-ton of computers in school districts - and every single last one of them uses default profiles. Unfortunately every district I've talked to has avoided Vista for obvious reasons and is also giving 7 a solid 6-10 months before they even touch it, leaving me the experimental guinea pig trying to iron it out on my own.

No clues?

Wouldn't this work ???

From a search for "user groups" under help in Windows 7 Ultimate RTM 7100. It seems that this approach as laid out here will only work in Win 7 Ultimate and above but it looks like what you want to be able to do is quite do-able
User groups in Windows

"A user group is a collection of user accounts that all have the same security rights. User groups are also sometimes referred to as security groups.
A user account can be a member of more than one group. The two most common user groups are the standard user group and the administrator group, but there are others. A user account is often referred to by the user group it's in (for example, an account in the standard user group is called a standard account). If you have an administrator account, you can create custom user groups, move accounts from one group to another, and add or remove accounts from different groups. When you create a custom user group, you can choose which rights to assign.
To create a user group

  1. These steps cannot be completed on Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, and Windows 7 Home Premium.

    <LI class=step>Click to open Microsoft Management Console.*
    If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    <LI class=step>In the left pane, click Local Users and Groups.
    If you don't see Local Users and Groups
    1. If you don't see Local Users and Groups, it's probably because that snap-in has not been added to Microsoft Management Console. Follow these steps to install it:

      <LI class=step>In Microsoft Management Console, click the File menu, and then click Add/Remove Snap-in.
      <LI class=step>Click Local Users and Groups, and then click Add.
      <LI class=step>Click Local computer, and then click Finish.
    2. Click OK.
    <LI class=step>Double-click the Groups folder.
    <LI class=step>Click Action, and then click New Group.
    <LI class=step>Type a group name and a description.
    <LI class=step>Click Add, and then type the name of the user account.
    <LI class=step>Click Check Names, and then click OK.
  2. Click Create.
For information on adding a user account to a group, see Add a user account to a group.

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