ProfileCopy – Move User Profiles easily in Windows

One thing I always hated to deal with as a Windows Administrator is the user profiles. Roaming profile dealt with many of the issues, except for how long it took to load that profile for users who have large profiles. In my last position as IT Director, since many of the proprietary software’s we used had a large dependence on the local user profile, roaming profiles was out of the picture. Some of these profiles would be 5 – 6 GB’s as well making roaming profile a real pain in the neck. This was especially true when a user was moving from an old computer to a newer one. To make matters worse when we did these upgrades (every two years) it often came with a new operating system. In my time at the firm we went from NT4 to Vista. This meant many of the user settings that mattered were copied to a file share and manually replaced. You can imagine that for 150 user environment we were not always successful it getting this done proficiently. Funny, I never would have thought to look for a tool to help me with the process. I just thought the answer was roaming profiles and since we couldn’t deploy these, I dealt with the pain. We’ll not really me, my team, sorry guys!!! I recently came across a product from a company called 12 Ghosts. The company offers over 40 ghosts (power tools for Windows), one such tool is a product called ProfileCopy. ProfileCopy allows you to save and restore user profile settings, including wallpaper, desktop icons, favorites, start menu and desktop shortcuts. You can also add registry settings, files and folders. What is cool is these settings can be restored independent of the Windows version. Copy a Windows 2000 user profile to Vista. Copy a Vista user profile to XP (not sure, why you would do that). ProfileCopy not only copies the files, it places them in the correct folders, arranges desktop shortcuts exactly as they were on the old machine and copies not just the settings but the files they reference. So no longer will you move the CEO’s user profile to a new machine and have to explain why the picture of his kid is not on the screen even though the wallpaper shows it should be there. This newest version works fully unattended and can be scripted to work across a network, the profile can also be compressed with 12-zip. ProfileCopy is one of those great inexpensive little tools that just make an Administrators life easier. Download the trial from 12-Ghosts and check out some of the other power tools they have to make your world…. A Better Windows World!

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