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In linux, it's easy to store user folders on a networked drive - just mount it on /home - but I can't seem to find any resources for this in XP Pro. Note that I don't need to move the whole C:\Documents and Settings folder - I understand that there are a couple profiles that need to be located on the local drive. I just want to be able to store user profiles (i.e., what would normally be the folder C:\Documents and Settings\SomeUser and all of its subfolders) on some networked drive, so that backups can be done from a central place, and if necessary, a user can switch computers and get the same profile, and that an individual computer can be wiped, and replaced with a clean image, and the user's profile will be intact.

I am pretty proficient with XP Pro, but not an IT professional - what is the magic to do this?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I believe what your describing is Folder Redirection in a non-domain environment, which is not supported.

But something like it can apparently be done.

Your best bet is to setup a domain controller, and create a Folder Redirection policy.

Perhaps first see if this accepts network paths: How to Change the Default Location of the My Documents Folder.

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"Folder Redirection" and "Roaming Profile" - those are the key terms I wasn't finding. It looks like you can even create roaming profiles using samba on a linux box acting as a domain controller (which is nice, because I don't have a spare windows box lying around)! – Nate Apr 27 '11 at 16:51

You can accomplish this using SAMBA and LDAP on Linux server also. In this configuration the LDAP server takes the place of the AD server in MS. So, technically it's still adding a central profile resource similarly to AD.

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