Saturday, February 13, 2010

Customizing the default profile for use with RD Session Hosts

Microsoft has changed how the COPY TO function - used in the past to copy profiles - works. In 2008 R2 it can only be used to copy the DEFAULT profile. But what if you want to customize the default profile? Microsoft documentation now says that the only supported way to customize the default profile is to sysprep the machine, with the COPYPROFILE setting in a called XML file:

Here are the two articles I have found on this:

Each of those articles gives the command to run to do this. And they are both wrong. The correct command is:

sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot /generalize /unattend:unattend.xml

(the unattend.xml file for this command is located in the same root folder as the sysprep.exe file)

This causes the system to use the unattend file, reboot, sysprep, and then go into OOBE as opposed to audit mode.

I don't know about you but I really don't want to sysprep a RD Session Host if I want to customize the default profile in any way. There are other ways to do this (load the hive in regedit, customize it, unload it for example...).

But what if you are used to the COPY TO button and perhaps not so familiar with customizing a registry hive....If all you want to do is to customize the default profile in order to be able to copy a customized default profile to a network share (for example, to become a mandatory profile) then it benefits to have your RD Session Host virtualized. Then you can snap shot it, sysprep it using the steps from the articles listed above (but using the updated command I gave you), copy the default profile to a network share using the COPY TO button, reboot, then roll back the VM to its prior state. That way your default profile stays in tact and you end up with a customized profile.
Posted by Kristin L. Griffin at 7:36 PM

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