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Windows Profile

How it works

There are two types of windows profiles, local and roaming (default for most users).

Roaming Profile

A roaming profile is the default profile type within the department; it will follow you to any computer that you work on. Every time you log on, your roaming profile is checked with Demeter, one of our domain controllers. Any changed files are at synchronized at this point. Each person has his/her own individual profile stored on Demeter in the profiles directory under his/her username. Logging on to a computer accesses your profile and loads it to make it available to you. You are then able to use that computer as it if were your personal computer even if it is not. At the end of your session when you log off, your roaming profile is updated on Demeter with any changes you have made on that computer though a few cache directories are excluded. You will be able to access your new profile from any other computer you want to work on.

Local Profile

The local profile is not the default type of profile within the department, but rather is when the data and config files are kept on the local machine. Any changes that are made to a local profile are kept only on that machine. The local profile is stored in the Documents and Settings folder on your C: drive.

What it Stores

The majority of the information stored on your Windows Profile is your personal desktop. Along with your desktop, the other things your profile stores are your My Documents, Internet Explorer favorites, your printer definitions, and user-defined drive mappings. If you are a MS-Outlook user your email, address book, and calendar are also stored on your profile.

The following directories are not synced to the profile server at logon/logoff, and the space they consume does not count toward the roaming profile quota:

Application Data\Microsoft\HTML Help
Application Data\Symantec\Packager
Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client
Application Data\Opera
Application Data\Mozilla
Application Data\Google\GoogleEarth
Application Data\Thunderbird
Application Data\Sun\Java\Deployment\cache
My Documents\My Music

Do NOT store data and important documents on your local profile, this is what your K:/ drive is for.


If you log on to two computers at once, the local profile of the last machine you log out of is going to be the local profile that is kept as your roaming profile on Demeter. If you make a change you want to keep on one computer while logged on to another make sure you do not close the profile you want to save until the other is completely done logging off. This will prevent the loss of any changes that were made.


Roaming Profile will not load

The first thing to do is check to see whether or not there are link lights on your network card. Many times the ethernet cord has simply slipped out of the network card and lost the connection so you cannot access your profile.
You can also try power-cycling your machine. This will often times set something back into place and allows you to gain access to your profile, otherwise feel free to email to have the systems staff assist you.

You cannot log off

This problem often occurs when you have recently added something to your local profile that makes it exceed its 100MB limit. This could be a large document or movie for example. Do *not* save large files to your desktop - instead, make shortcuts from the Desktop to some other location on the harddrive or to your home directory where there is more space for storage.
If you would like to check what you have stored on your profile simply click on the "Profile Storage Space" Icon located in your taskbar. This lists both the files and their sizes so you can see what is taking up space on your profile.