Windows Profile

Purpose

Your Windows "Roaming Profile" is a collection of data which reflects the way you use the University Windows service. It includes:

  • personal settings for Windows and for programs - settings which are made as you use the service;
  • your Internet Explorer Favorites (in University Windows XP systems, but not in University Windows 7/8 systems) ;
  • the contents of your Desktop (see below), including any "wallpaper" picture that you may have set.

When you log in at a University PC, wherever it may be, your Roaming Profile is copied to that PC as part of the login process; the PC can then use your settings. 
When you log off, your Profile is copied back to the server so that all your settings and any changes are preserved.

Thus your own Windows environment "follows" you around campus - hence the name "Roaming Profile". Naturally this is extremely useful for students (who almost never use the same PC twice), and for staff, who will find their own settings applied at whichever PC they may need to use.

Your Roaming Profile is extremely useful: but careless use can cause problems: see Avoiding Trouble, below.

Quotas (How much space?)

The Profile quota is fixed for all users at 75MB.

If your Profile grows too large it becomes a problem instead of being an advantage: if it exceeds the quota, you will not be able to login successfully, and your Profile will usually need to be deleted. There is a risk you will lose all of your settings.

Avoiding trouble

  • Do not (do not!) save documents on your "Desktop" (i.e. the screen of your PC). 
    This is a common way for Windows users to store files; whilst it's OK on your own home PC, you should use your Home Folder (Drive H) on University PCs (programs like Word will always create a new document in the Home Folder in any case). 
  • Never use the Desktop to store files: files on the Desktop are put into your Profile; if they cause the Profile quota to be exceeded you will lose the document.
  • Some programs store a huge amount of settings, endangering your profile quota. You can specify 'Profile exclusions' for such applications. See the support section Profile Over Quota.
  • Your profile will load only if the PC is plugged into an Ethernet connection. Note that the profile will not load using WIFI (such as laptops or tablet PCs).

Remote access

Use of the Roaming Profile is tied to University PCs, and so remote access isn't an issue.

However note that the Remote Application Service (RAS) creates a separate profile for you (which is called a "trofile" – the CMDInfo utility tells you where your trofile is stored).

Backups and data retention

  • Although we makes backups of the Windows Profiles Servers every week, these are for use only by IT Service staff in case of a need for Disaster Recovery: they are not available for the restoration of individual files or folders. System backups are retained for three months, after which they are deleted.

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