[Samba] incompatibility between roaming profiles and winxp clients that didn't create them

David Hostetler hoss at negativesum.net
Thu Feb 22 02:46:20 GMT 2007

[samba v3.0.24, gentoo w/ kernel 2.6.15]

I'm hoping someone has some insight into the following problem that I've 
recently encountered:

Basically, winxp seems to be creating roaming profiles that are 
incompatible with another winxp client. I've got two sets of winxp 
clients, which I'll call 'new' and 'old'. Profiles created (and 
perfectly usable) by the old clients don't work on the new clients, and 
profiles created (and usable) by the new clients won't work on the old 
clients. The catch is that as far as I can tell, I've configured the old 
clients and the new clients in exactly the same way. It may be that I've 
neglected to do something on the new clients that I did on the old. I 
didn't religiously document the process of configuring them, but I only 
remember doing the 'signorseal' registry tweak and the gpedit.msc tweak 
(see below for details).

More detail:

I've had a samba/ldap PDC running successfully for quite some time now 
(6+ months). Users can login to the domain, profiles are loaded and 
saved correctly to the PDC server, home drives are mapped correctly, the 
logon.bat is executed. Everything working great. But I just setup two 
new winxp machines (sp2, fully updated, etc..) and while I can login as 
any of the domain users, neither machine successfully loads the user's 
roaming profile. But it doesn't complain about anything either! The 
weird thing is that some desktop configuration stuff just plain doesn't 
work. For instance, any attempt to enable the quicklaunch menu on the 
taskbar is ignored (quicklaunch is enabled in the roaming profile). 
Ditto for enabling 'auto-hide' for the task bar. Also, I can change 
theme attributes for the desktop (colors, etc..) and they'll act like 
they've changed, but won't persist across a login/logout -- and yet 
there are no complaints about the profile when I log out, implying that 
winxp was able to save them to the PDC server just fine.

I've applied the 'signorseal' registry hack to all winxp clients. I've 
also used gpedit.msc to enable 'Do not check for user ownership of 
Roaming Profile Folders'. So as far as I know, I've established the same 
config on all of my winxp clients. But the new ones are misbehaving. Or, 
rather, it's more accurate to say that the new ones and the old ones 
aren't playing nice together, when it comes to creating/saving/loading 
the roaming profiles.

I created a brand new user (on the linux side via smbldap-useradd), and 
logged in as that user on the new winxp clients. A new roaming profile 
is created and works perfectly. That same (new) user does not have its 
profile loaded correctly on an existing (old) winxp client. No 
complaints from winxp, mind you, it just doesn't provide a fully 
functional desktop after login. It took a really long time to login the 
first time with the new user on an old client, but the login happens 
very quickly on subsequent tries. Logoff is quick, with no error 
messages about anything. This is precisely the same behavior I see when 
logging in as an 'old' user on a 'new' client.

Needless to say, I'm using the same samba PDC for the whole thing. It's 
samba v3.0.24.

Here's the profiles section from my smb.conf:

path = /var/lib/samba/profiles
browseable = no
writeable = yes
create mask = 0600
directory mask = 0700
profile acls = yes
csc policy = disable
hide files = /desktop.ini/ntuser.ini/NTUSER.*/

(note: I've been informed that the 'signorseal' registry tweak is no 
longer necessary, so I'm about to remove that and test things, but I 
don't expect it to have any effect, since none of the winxp clients are 
complaining about establishing a connection with the PDC server.)

I've browsed through the list archives and obviously there are a ton of 
roaming profiled related posts, but I haven't seen anything yet that 
seems to describe this particular problem.  My apologies if there's a 
thread that deals with this - just point me at it if that's the case.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!


David Hostetler

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