"how to create a Default Profile without using SysPrep" Win10 REVIVE

  1. Posts : 3

    "how to create a Default Profile without using SysPrep" Win10 REVIVE

    Reviving an old thread from sevenforums with the intent on perfecting the process for Win10.

    here is the original thread link: https://www.sevenforums.com/customiz...ml#post1987294

    I have replied to the original thread with the hope that someone may help me there, but its an old thread. Hoping someone here can help with the final piece to make it perfect. I'm pretty sure the answer has to do with including the appdata/local directory within the new default user profile.

    Hoping someone with some experience with custom default profiles in windows 10 can help finish this tutorial off.

    badshah said:
    OS: Windows 7 I have been looking at how to create a default profile without using SysPrep. There is a lot of information on the web on how it could be done in XP by just using a "copy to" command, and how it is not possible under Windows 7. The officially supported method from Microsoft involves using SysPrep. Official method despite being too complex for most also has the added disadvantage that it is meant to be used when setting up an image for deploy. I needed a method that I could use on a PC during any stage of its life cycle (i.e. both pre-deploy and post-deploy times) without going through SysPrep. There are several ways listed on the web on how to "fool" Windows into accepting any profile as Default. A sampling of those methods is: creating a user and then copying its c:\users folder and renaming it to Default, OR updating DefaultProfile registry key to point to the desired profile's folder, OR using a hack to enable 'Copy To' button in Windows Profiles dialog box, etc. All of those methods work to an extent BUT also result in side-effects to solve which MS brought up the SysPrep method. I have also come across methods which attempt to resolve these issues by running a bat file to update certain registry keys upon every logon. That wasnít acceptable to me either due to extra overhead of maintaining a bat file/login script, etc. After much trial and error, I have been able to combine information from various sources (with some of my own tries sprinkled in :)), and have come up with the following method of editing and updating Default profile WITHOUT having to use SysPrep AND avoiding much (if not all) drawbacks of using a non-SysPrep method. Please try it and post your success rate here so I can validate its usefulness. I have been satisfied with my testing but need to see how others find it. Steps: Please note that you can do it at any time: during image prep, on a deployed PC, audit mode, non-audit mode, you name it... 1. Login as Administrator2. Create a user (at this time, the Default profile is the original Windows one). Let's call it to_be_default3. Login as that user and do whatever customizations you need to make (desktop, power options, IE settings, etc)4. Log off and login as Administrator5. Do a copy and then paste of the new user folder in C:\users. You will end up with a folder named "to_be_default - Copy" in C:\Users folder.6. Rename C:\Users\Default to something like c:\users\Default_original. This will be the backup copy you can fall back to if things go wrong.7. Rename "c:\users\to_be_default - copy" to c:\users\Default.8. Verify that 'Everyone' and 'Users' have "Read & execute", "list folder contents", and "read" permissions on this newly renamed c:\users\Default folder.9. Run this in cmd window with c:\users as current directory: "attrib +H +S Default"10. Run regedit as Administrator (required even if you are logged in as Administrator or Load Hive command will not be active in File menu)11. Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and then on Load Hive in File menu (note: load hive may not be active until you click on HKLM).12. Select c:\users\Default\ntuser.dat13. regEdit will ask for a name for this hive's node. Give it any name (let's call it Default Profile)14. Click on the new Default Profile node which just created in regedit under HKLM, and then select Export from File menu. It will export out entire key structure present under new "Default Profile".15. Open the newly created .reg file in notepad. It is important to open in Notepad because you need the end file to have ANSI coding.16. Search for the following and change Username from to_be_default to Default.[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Default Profile\Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}]"Version"="6,1,7601,17514""Locale"="*""Username"="to_be_default" <-- Change to "Default"17. Do a bulk copy and replace as following:Search for: c:\\users\\to_be_defaultReplace with: %USERPROFILE%18. Save your edits and close Notepad.19. Back in Regedit, select Import from the File menu and select the .reg file you just edited and saved.20. Accept any warnings, and continue. If import fails with an error message that .reg file is not a registry file, make sure you used Notepad for above steps. To fix this error, just reopen the .reg file in Notepad and hit save. You are now done. From this point on, if you create a user, it will inherit Default settings as you configured in step #3 above, and the new userís registry settings will all be pointing to right locations (i.e. no cross talk, and pointing back to wrong user folders, etc). PLEASE DO LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THE ABOVE AND WHAT YOUR TESTING REVEALS. We intend to use it in production environment where we manage hundreds of PC's. This message of editing Default profile will save us a lot of time and effort. Please do let me know what you think about this approach. Thanks and I am glad if it works for you..... :)
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  2. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Build 1607, Windows 7 Pro x64

    Thank you treeman for reviving this thread now under the Windows 10 forums! I hope someone can answer these questions since following the instructions from Windows 7 thread, does not seem to work properly under Windows 10. Now that Windows 10 "is a service" it seems Microsoft is breaking things between versions now.
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  3. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Build 1607, Windows 7 Pro x64

    I see there is still no Tutorial for us users trying to create a Default Local Profile for use under Windows 10. The instructions listed from the Windows 7 forums no longer work under Windows 10 Build 1607. I hope there will be a guide on how to create a Default Profile WITHOUT using SysPrep soon.
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  4. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Build 1607, Windows 7 Pro x64

    HAS there been any further development of this for Windows 10 systems? I'm going off the older Windows 7 / XP method and a lot of things no longer work. It appears Microsoft may have blocked allowing the import of the edited registry file because what used to work under Windows 10 v1511 no longer works under v1703 and higher. It almost seems like Microsoft is trying to make our life harder than it should be to create a default profile without using Sysprep!
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