User Profile Wizard FAQs

What does User Profile Wizard do?
User Profile Wizard is a workstation migration tool that will join your machine to a domain, and share your original user profile with your new domain logon so that you can carry on using all your existing data, and keep the same settings that you’ve always had. By using the User Profile Wizard command line interface and the User Profile Wizard Deployment Kit you can build a scalable, enterprise solution to migrate tens of thousands of workstations.

What's a profile?
A profile is where Windows keeps all your personal data and settings. Your profile is where your "My Documents", "My Pictures" and "My Music" files are stored, and where your Internet favorites and cookies are kept. Windows keeps track of your personal settings in your profile, like your desktop wallpaper and the lists of documents you've recently opened. Most of the changes you make to personalize your applications are also kept in your profile, as well as files like dictionaries and playlists.

Why share profiles when migrating to a Windows domain?
As far as Windows is concerned, when you logon to your machine using your domain logon you are a completely different person. Because Windows thinks you're a different person, it sets up a new profile for you and you lose all your personal settings. Not only that, unless your new domain account has Administrator rights on your machine, you lose access to all your data as well. What the User Profile Wizard allows you to do is share your original profile with your new domain logon so that you can carry on using your old settings. This is a major benefit to your users. Installing a Windows Domain infrastructure is a major undertaking but, believe it or not, your end users won't be as excited about it as you: all they want to do is get on with their jobs. Using the User Profile Wizard will significantly reduce disruption to your business.

Why not make everyone an Administrator?
Running as an Administrator would give you access to your old documents, but you would still lose your personalized settings. More importantly, always using your machine with an Administrator account is a bad idea. Making everyone in your organization an Administrator is a seriously bad idea. There are major security risks with this sort of setup. For example, any executable file sent in an email, or any component installed from a web page has complete access to your machine and the data on it. Not only that, but making everyone an administrator is a really good way of pushing up your IT support costs.

Why not just copy the data from the old profile?
Well, you could. But that is going to be a time consuming, labor intensive, not say costly operation. What data do you copy? Even if you copy all your files, what about the configuration information that Windows stores in the registry? Using the User Profile Wizard is just much easier and much less disruptive.

Will I have to visit every machine on my network to run the Wizard?
Absolutely not. The User Profile Wizard has two distinct modes of operation. You can run the Wizard in graphical mode like all the other Wizards you're familiar with in Windows, but you can also run the User Profile Wizard from a command line. This means that the User Profile Wizard can be run from a VB or Java Script, or from a batch file. The User Profile Wizard Deployment Kit can generate a VBScript based on your specific migration requirements. Running the User Profile Wizard from a command line is only possible if you have the Corporate Edition of the User Profile Wizard

What version of Windows does the User Profile Wizard run on?
The User Profile Wizard runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

What's the difference between the Corporate Edition and the Personal Edition?
Please see our User Profile Wizard Feature Comparison

What's the difference between User Profile Wizard and User Profile Manager?
User Profile Wizard is primarily a migration tool: it allows an existing profile to be used by a different user account. However, if a profile needs to be used regularly by more than one user account, we would recommend that you consider our User Profile Manager product.

And the User Profile Wizard is FREE?
The User Profile Wizard is free for personal use, subject to the terms of the End User Agreement. To request an evaluation copy of the Corporate Edition, and for pricing information, corporate customers and organizations should contact Your organization will pay no more than $2 per seat for the Corporate Edition.

What if I have a problem?
Please see our Support page.

What are the security implications of running the User Profile Wizard?
By running the Wizard you are giving someone access to someone else's data and settings. This means that they will be able to read the person's documents, look at the person's Internet favorites and history, see their lists of recent files, etc. If two (or more) people are sharing a profile then they will all see the same data when they log on. Note that this only applies to data local to the machine: data on other machines, like servers, will still not be accessible. However, with the exception of updating group memberships when joining a domain, this is as much (or as little) as the User Profile Wizard does: it does not change any other security settings.

Can I use the User Profile Wizard with Fast User Switching?
You can still use the User Profile Wizard to share a profile. However, Windows cannot load the same profile for two users at the same time. This means that if you attempt to switch to a user account that shares a profile with an account that is already logged on, you will get an error. In this situation Windows will create a temporary profile for the account.

Can I use the User Profile Wizard with Roaming Profiles?
The Corporate Edition of User Profile Wizard allows you to share the local copy of a roaming profile between accounts, or migrate the profile to a new domain account. The free version of User Profile Wizard does not support roaming profiles.

I've run the Wizard to join a domain and now I'm getting "Access denied" when I try to open some of my folders.
The wizard does not "reflow" rights on profile folders, nor does it scan your machine for explicitly defined permissions on files or folders. This means that any specific user rights assignments that you have made will remain in place. Remember, if you're logging onto a machine with a domain account you're a different person as far as Windows is concerned, and if your domain account hasn't been given any rights to a particular folder, running the User Profile Wizard won't change anything

What about my encrypted data?
The user account that has been given access to a profile will not be able to read any files or folders encrypted by the original owner of that profile. If you're migrating to a Windows domain and you want your new domain account to access your encrypted data, you will need to decrypt your data using your old account, and then encrypt it again when you logon with your new account.

What about group membership?
When migrating to a domain, the User Profile Wizard automatically adds the account that will share the profile to the same groups as the local account whose profile you want share. This is to help in the migration to the domain. So for example, if your local machine account is a member of the "Power Users" group, the User Profile Wizard will add your domain account to the "Power Users" group. If you are sharing profiles between local accounts, group membership is not effected.

What's the Command Line mode for?
User Profile Wizard Corporate Edition has a powerful command line interface which, together with the User Profile Wizard Deployment Kit, will enable you to automate an enterprise-wide migration of your workstations to a new domain.

How do I use the Command Line?
Please refer to the User Profile Wizard User Guide for details on using the Command Line interface.