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Will HS2011 allow a common "login desktop" across multiple home machines? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Our house has several machines running Windows 7 and the people in our house frequently log each of the machines depending on which room they are in and which computer is already in use by their brother / sister.

    Is there any way that Windows Home Server 2011 can provide for common network login?  That is, no matter which machine they sit down and log into, they will pick up their current desktop, all of their browser links and cookies, etc.?  

    Or, can anyone advise on how we can solve our problem of multiple users using multiple shared computers?  (buying a laptop for each kid is tempting but not the route I want to go :-)

     

    Thansks.

     

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 4:54 AM

Answers

  • On Tue, 14 Jun 2011 04:54:37 +0000, rcstevensonaz wrote:

    Is there any way that Windows Home Server 2011 can provide for common network login? ?That is, no matter which machine they sit down and log into, they will pick up their current desktop, all of their browser links and cookies, etc.? ?

    Or, can anyone advise on how we can solve our problem of multiple users using multiple shared computers? ?(buying a laptop for each kid is tempting but not the route I want to go :-)

    There is nothing built-in to WHS 2011 that will allow for this, however,
    since WHS 2011 has the ability to act as a simple file server you can
    accomplish what you're trying to do.

    You first need to make sure that each of the computers in question have a
    common account name and password for each user. Next you'll need to create
    a matching account and password combination for each user on the WHS 2011
    box. Then you'll need a share on the WHS 2011 box, either one for each
    profile, or a common profiles share, with a subfolder below the share for
    each user. Finally, at each Windows 7 computer, open Computer Management,
    open Local Users and Groups, open Users, then open Properties for each user
    and fill out the Profile path text box for each user, pointing to the
    folder where you want to store their profile on the WHS 2011 computer. For
    more details you can check out the Help topic on the Profiles tab.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Netnews is like yelling, "Anyone want to buy a used car?" in a crowded
    theater.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 5:08 AM
  • Windows Home Server 2011 doesn't support roaming profiles, which is what you're really looking for. That requires Active Directory.

    If you want, you can move users' Documents folder to shares on the server, which will accomplish much of what you probably really want, but settings, installed applications, etc. will have to be set up individually on each computer.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, June 17, 2011 3:56 AM

All replies

  • On Tue, 14 Jun 2011 04:54:37 +0000, rcstevensonaz wrote:

    Is there any way that Windows Home Server 2011 can provide for common network login? ?That is, no matter which machine they sit down and log into, they will pick up their current desktop, all of their browser links and cookies, etc.? ?

    Or, can anyone advise on how we can solve our problem of multiple users using multiple shared computers? ?(buying a laptop for each kid is tempting but not the route I want to go :-)

    There is nothing built-in to WHS 2011 that will allow for this, however,
    since WHS 2011 has the ability to act as a simple file server you can
    accomplish what you're trying to do.

    You first need to make sure that each of the computers in question have a
    common account name and password for each user. Next you'll need to create
    a matching account and password combination for each user on the WHS 2011
    box. Then you'll need a share on the WHS 2011 box, either one for each
    profile, or a common profiles share, with a subfolder below the share for
    each user. Finally, at each Windows 7 computer, open Computer Management,
    open Local Users and Groups, open Users, then open Properties for each user
    and fill out the Profile path text box for each user, pointing to the
    folder where you want to store their profile on the WHS 2011 computer. For
    more details you can check out the Help topic on the Profiles tab.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Netnews is like yelling, "Anyone want to buy a used car?" in a crowded
    theater.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 5:08 AM
  • On Tue, 14 Jun 2011 04:54:37 +0000, rcstevensonaz wrote:

    Is there any way that Windows Home Server 2011 can provide for common network login? ?That is, no matter which machine they sit down and log into, they will pick up their current desktop, all of their browser links and cookies, etc.? ?

    Or, can anyone advise on how we can solve our problem of multiple users using multiple shared computers? ?(buying a laptop for each kid is tempting but not the route I want to go :-)

    There is nothing built-in to WHS 2011 that will allow for this, however,
    since WHS 2011 has the ability to act as a simple file server you can
    accomplish what you're trying to do.

    You first need to make sure that each of the computers in question have a
    common account name and password for each user. Next you'll need to create
    a matching account and password combination for each user on the WHS 2011
    box. Then you'll need a share on the WHS 2011 box, either one for each
    profile, or a common profiles share, with a subfolder below the share for
    each user. Finally, at each Windows 7 computer, open Computer Management,
    open Local Users and Groups, open Users, then open Properties for each user
    and fill out the Profile path text box for each user, pointing to the
    folder where you want to store their profile on the WHS 2011 computer. For
    more details you can check out the Help topic on the Profiles tab.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Netnews is like yelling, "Anyone want to buy a used car?" in a crowded
    theater.


    Hmmm,

     

    Since the users log into different machines, I believe an additional step that's required is to select "Roaming Profiles" for each. That way, each users profile will get copied up to the WHS server on logout and back down to whatever machine the user logs onto.


    Stuart
    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 6:06 PM
  • On Tue, 14 Jun 2011 18:06:47 +0000, StuartR wrote:

    Since the users log into different machines, I believe an additional step that's required is to select "Roaming Profiles" for each. That way, each users profile will get copied up to the WHS server on logout and back down to whatever machine the user logs onto.

    I don't really know what part of the UI you're referring to here, but I can
    assure you that my solution is a complete one.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Futuristic:  It will only run on a next generation supercomputer.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 7:23 PM
  • On Tue, 14 Jun 2011 18:06:47 +0000, StuartR wrote:

    Since the users log into different machines, I believe an additional step that's required is to select "Roaming Profiles" for each. That way, each users profile will get copied up to the WHS server on logout and back down to whatever machine the user logs onto.

    I don't really know what part of the UI you're referring to here, but I can
    assure you that my solution is a complete one.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Futuristic:  It will only run on a next generation supercomputer.


    Without using Roaming profiles, when the user logs into each machine he/she will see only the locally-cached copy of their profile. Any changes made during a logon session will only be saved locally to that machine. When he/she logs into a different machine, they won't see the current profile (from the other machine). Roaming profile support will copy the current profile up to the WHS and it will be copied back down to each machine the user logs into.

    Profiles can be changed from Local to Roaming using the System control panel applet (Advanced/User Profiles).

     


    Stuart

    Thursday, June 16, 2011 5:39 PM
  • But if the local profile is stored on the server as per "...pointing to the folder where you want to store their profile on the WHS 2011 computer", I am not sure why that would not work as suggested by Paul? I may be wrong but I thought Roaming Profiles were related to being connected to a Domain with a Domain Controller (which WHS is not).

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Thursday, June 16, 2011 7:04 PM
  • Windows Home Server 2011 doesn't support roaming profiles, which is what you're really looking for. That requires Active Directory.

    If you want, you can move users' Documents folder to shares on the server, which will accomplish much of what you probably really want, but settings, installed applications, etc. will have to be set up individually on each computer.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, June 17, 2011 3:56 AM
  • On Fri, 17 Jun 2011 03:56:47 +0000, Ken Warren [MVP] wrote:

    Windows Home Server 2011 doesn't support roaming profiles, which is what you're really looking for. That requires Active Directory.

    This is simply not true. You might want to actually try this before posting
    an answer that is simply technically incorrect.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Help!  I'm trapped in a Chinese computer factory!

    Friday, June 17, 2011 5:53 AM
  • Paul, if you show me where the dashboard lets you do this, I'll immediately apologize and say "Oops! It looks like Windows Home Server 2011 does support roaming profiles after all!"

    WHS 2011, like V1 before it, has a lot of stuff you can get to if you make an end run around the interfaces Microsoft provides for end users. None of that is supported functionality for Windows Home Server, however.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, June 17, 2011 6:39 PM
  • Paul, if you show me where the dashboard lets you do this, I'll immediately apologize and say "Oops! It looks like Windows Home Server 2011 does support roaming profiles after all!"

    WHS 2011, like V1 before it, has a lot of stuff you can get to if you make an end run around the interfaces Microsoft provides for end users. None of that is supported functionality for Windows Home Server, however.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Did you read any of the responses in this thread? This has nothing at all to do with either AD or the dashboard. It is a function of WHS being an SMB/CIFS file server.

    You said nothing about WHS in your response. You said that Roaming Profiles require AD which is untfue.

    Friday, June 17, 2011 7:03 PM
  • On Thu, 16 Jun 2011 19:04:24 +0000, PhilipJH wrote:

    But if the local profile is stored on the server as per "...pointing to the folder where you want to store their profile on the WHS 2011 computer", I am not sure why that would not work as suggested by Paul? I may be wrong but I thought Roaming Profiles were related to being connected to a Domain with a Domain Controller (which WHS is not).

    Indeed. The only missing piece from my post is that it seems that you
    need to have the local Administrators group, the group, and not the user
    account, be the owner of the profiles folder on the WHS 2011 server which
    you can do by access the Security tab for the folder, going to Advanced and
    then the Owner tab.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Apple:  Typically, a device used to seduce men.  Usually equipped with
    display screens and/or worms.

    Sunday, June 19, 2011 10:14 AM
  • If you could do a step by step for this I would apperciate it.  I tried repointing the profile to my server but I could not get the folder permissions correct.  I need to add my login for the pc but it was not availible on my server.  So I could do username(servername\username) but not username(pcname\username)
    Friday, November 4, 2011 4:16 AM