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Is it possible to create just one profile for all users via policies?

Is it possible in Win2k to have just one profile for all users? I am upgrading all workstations to Win2k Pro and would like to use Policies. The problem is this: If I restrict all users from installing new software, and then I need to install new software, I cannot just log on as admin and install cause it is a different profile. And when the person re-logs on with his account, the new software isn't there or is not configured. Having one profile and restricting it via Domain Policies should solve the problem. But is it possible? Thank you.

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Yes. You can create a mandatory profile that is assigned to all users. None of the users will be able to change it. However, if the software installation is the only problem you have, consider using RUNAS.exe. Using RUNAS will allow you to be logged on as the user yet operate the installation using the credentials of the administrator. This does not work for all applications, but may help you with a lot of the mainstream applications you might be installing.

You may also consider using SMSInstaller (downloadable from MS) or the Winstall Lite. Winstall Lite is on the Windows 2000 Server CD in the ValueAdd folder. You can use these to create pre-packaged versions of the applications, so that they can be configured to install correctly no matter who is logged in.

In addition, you can use Active Directory to deploy the applications via Group Policies. Here is MS Knowledge base article Q257718 that outlines the process nicely: HOW TO: Create Third-Party Microsoft Installer Package (MSI)

This was first published in July 2002

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