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How can I have multiple user settings in one user profile?

I am looking for an easy way to centralize a user's settings across profiles, or better yet, have all settings in one user profile.

My laptop has three user profiles depending on network connectivity and our corporate virus checking. I have local admin rights. What I really would like to have happen is whenever I install a software application, it is available to all users. Whenever I install something now it is only available to that user profile, and it causes a mess if I install two versions of the software while logged in on one profile versus the other. I spend a lot of time moving the Program shortcuts (Start menu) to the All_Users profile! Is there an easier way to accomplish the same thing? I thought Win2k had an option to make a program available to other user profiles. I appreciate any help you can give.

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This is also a typical desktop deployment problem. Ideally the application will give you the option of installing for all users or just yourself. If it's a Windows Installer application (which is packaged as an MSI file), you can try adding "ALLUSERS=2" to the end of the command line. For example, to ensure that a package called Myapp.msi is installed for all users, the command line is "msiexec /i myapp.msi ALLUSERS=2." Last, if the application has a legacy setup program, you can easily repackage the program as a Windows Installer package file using something like Wise for Windows Installer, which is the tool I've used to repackage many applications.

This was first published in April 2003

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