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Windows 7: User Accounts across Homegroup

22 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7
User Accounts across Homegroup

I am setting up multiple machines to run Windows 7 on my home network. I would like the users to have the same profile settings regardless of the machine they log into.

Can user profiles be synced between machines within the same homegroup?

If not, during the setup of the user, can I copy user preferences/profile settings so when they log in for the first time they don't have to reset everything?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7
RE: user accounts across Homegroup

Very good question. As far as I know, there isn't really a good way of making a profile "mobile" or "roaming" without a full Network OS like Active Directory.

Also, assuming you DONT want to just copy things like screen color or background between machines and DO want to sync files, favorites, etc.. You are going to need to have one place to keep these settings. Designate one machine to be the "Server" and create a folder for each account and share it. Then...

1. Under COMPUTER MANAGEMENT > LOCAL USERS AND GROUPS: Right-click the account you want to setup and select PROPERTIES. Then under the PROFILE tab, put the path of the network share you created for that user in the "Profile path:" field.

You could "redirect" the Home folder to the network share also in the area below.

2. Login with the user and goto the users profile folder. (*:\users\profile) Right click the My Documents folder, select PROPERTIES and under the LOCATION tab, put the same network share in that field. You can do this for the FAVORITES, PICTURES, and DESKTOP folder. (Do this only once on the machine that has the users primary account and data, no need to do it on all machines)

Here are some issues you might need to consider:
* the machine that has the share needs to be available at all times on the network. you cant shut it down for example.
* you will have to do this on each machine for each user that you setup. Since you dont have NOS setup, you will have to keep all the users accounts and password the same on all machines.

Hope that helps and good luck.

BTW, have you thought about Windows Home Server?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7

thanks for the detailed advice.
After posting my question and before seeing your response I managed to do the following which seems to work fairly well with a few items I can think of which will not be perfect.

1. I created user accounts on my main desktop which I want to act as my "server". I have a 1TB NAS and Mozy backing up all files on this machine - which is my main reason for this effort in the first place.

2. I created the same name user accounts on the other machines and pointed each users "mydocuments" file to the server "mydocuments" files for each user.

Everyone is able to login on any machine, click on mydocuments and all their files come up. That part works great.

What I was not able to get was the preferences - desktop, etc. to copy over. I imagine their internet favorites, history, etc will not be on each machine either. That would be nice to get as well.

Can you explain further your comment "You can do this for the FAVORITES, PICTURES, and DESKTOP folder. (Do this only once on the machine that has the users primary account and data, no need to do it on all machines)"

I've looked at a number of demonstrations of Windows Home Server but they all seem to focus on the ease of file sharing and don't talk much about user environments like I am concerned about. Do you know if Win Home Server will solve this concern?

BTW family of 5 sharing 4 pcs, two printers, wanting to add 3 tv's to the mix as well. So I need to learn about media streaming as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Mar 2010   #4

Windows 7
Homegroups - accessing personal files

From what I have read it appears as if homegroups is more set up for sharing files between different users.
I want to do virtually the opposite!
We have 2 computers (1 on windows 7 & one I am about to upgrade to windows 7 from XP) and 4 users with separate logons. What i want to do is for one user to be able to access their files (word, excel, powerpoint) from either computer and not see other peoples file except for shared files.
Can this be done & how?
One thought I had was setting up muliple homegroups (one for each person) & only allow each homegroup to look at that users files on the other computer. I haven't seen anything that shows you how to set up multiple homegroups
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2012   #5

windows 7 ultimate x64, profesional x32

as you can go about it this way, i have 7 computers all running windows 7, i also have a 2tb nas and i just set all directoies to the nas, and each person has there own file which is password protected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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