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In Win7 is there a way to easily copy a set of user accounts from one system to the other?

I am having 15 laptops and I need to set up >50 users and gropus on each of them all having different privileges. For each laptop its the exact same set of users / groups.

How can I do this without manually setting up 50 users / groups on every laptop?


Is there a way to setup user / groups by using some sort of windows script?

  • 2
    50 accounts × 15 computers? Sounds like it's time for Active Directory... – user1686 Apr 21 '14 at 16:02
  • You don't. Even if you do. Each User on each installation won't be exactly the same. This is where a active domain servercomes in. You cannot have the same user on multiple computers without a active domain server. – Ramhound Apr 21 '14 at 16:03
  • Unfortunately I am restricted to Windows 7 Professional. – fizzpin Apr 21 '14 at 16:04
  • @Ramhound The users must not need to be exactly the same - I just need the same set of accounts on each machine so that they can also exist on their own (if considering only a subset of laptops out of the 50) – fizzpin Apr 21 '14 at 16:06
  • @lastprime - What you want is unrealstic. You need a active domain server due to the number of users you have. – Ramhound Apr 21 '14 at 16:17
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Use the net user command. Run it in a script. The basic syntax is:

net user USERNAME PASSWORD. So, for my user, I'd use net user canadianluke 123456.

For groups, you can use the net localgroup function. The below command adds canadianluke, username2, et al to the Administrators group:

net localgroup Administrators canadianluke username2 username3 ... usernamex

For changing permissions to folders, use the icacls command. You can use the /save and /restore functions to save the ACL list, but be VERY careful transferring this to another system that isn't on AD. For example:

icacls c:\privatefolder\* /save PrivateFolder.acl /T (for saving the ACLs), then
icacls c:\privatefolder\* /restore PrivateFolder.acl

  • Also, may <insert your deity here> have mercy on your soul for not having a domain with this many users... Ever try Samba? – Canadian Luke Apr 21 '14 at 16:48
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Two ways to accomplish what you want to do.

1. Make an Image

If the laptops are the same model, uou can set up the first laptop how you would like it and use a tool like Clonezilla to pull an image from that drive. You can then use the tool do copy the image to all the other hard drives.

Licensing can be a problem at this point, and you might have to manually type in the license for each computer depending on how the OEM has their licensing set up.

You will also have to manually rename each computer, since the image will be identical for each machine.

2. Use a Domain

This is exactly why domains exist, to keep track of users/permissions across a net work. For this you'll want a Windows Server to act as the Domain Controller, and you'll need some knowledge of Active Directory, DNS, and quite a few other applications.

  • you got a point. Thanks, but anyhow I am running out of time, so setting up an Active Directory is not an option for me. – fizzpin Apr 21 '14 at 16:28

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