7 Replies Latest reply on May 21, 2020 11:46 PM by ijdemes

    What replaces NTuser.dat in DEM?

    RexP0wer Lurker

      HI all, we're starting out with DEM (5 days ago) in our Horizon View (7.10) Linked-Clone, Floating Assignment Pool. Right now most of our users are still using roaming profiles with it's accompanying NTuser.dat file.  We've got a small test pool where we've installed DEM.  So far it's working as advertised regarding Office 365 and LocalAppData settings.  But I can't for the life of me figure out how to get the same functionality of roaming profile\NTuser.dat.  I tried creating an NTuser.dat app in DEM to pair down and import\export a modified ntuser.dat but the logs show that this is failing and all the reading I've done indicates I shouldn't be doing this. I understand that as I create more and more application templates in DEM these will help replace the ntuser.dat, but how do I get there in a timely fashion.  Also we've got over 1500 users, so I've got to have a way of streamlining and automating this.  Can anyone help me?

       

      Thanks,

      DEM Newbie

        • 1. Re: What replaces NTuser.dat in DEM?
          ijdemes Expert
          vExpert

          Hello RexP0wer,

           

          Not sure if I understand your question, but maybe we can start from the beginning.

           

          I assume you have your DEM infra/config in place (config share, profiles share, user gpo, DEM console, etc.) and all works. If not, please let me know.

           

          Regarding "the same functionality of roaming profile/NTuser.dat", not sure what you mean with that. But the whole concept of DEM regarding profile management is to not have a roaming profile (which may result in profile bloat, having to reset/delete complete profiles, slow logon/logoff, etc.). Instead you use an optimized local or mandatory profile (preferably use VMware OSOT) and save/restore only those settings you need, which prevents having the issues described for a roaming profile. This may either be specific registry settings (which are part of ntuser.dat or ntuser.man) or files/folders that are part of your user profile (%userprofile%).

           

          By creating config files in DEM, you can specify those specific settings to be saved/restored. Simply go to the Personalization tab in the DEM Management Console and click Create Config File and follow the steps in the wizard.

           

          Use the Section and/or Folder Token buttons to add sections and or profile locations and specify what must be saved/restored and click Save Config File. Want to apply this only in certain conditions? Go to the Conditions tab and specify a condition you want to use. See an example for VLC Media Player below.

           

           

          !! Do not specify the ntuser.dat or ntuser.man file for saving registry settings. It doesn't makes sense and will result in failures and unusual/strange behaviour !!

           

          If you are having trouble sorting out the specific settings you need to save/restore for an application, there are a few good options that may help. These also help speeding up the process of migrating to DEM.

           

          1. DEM Application Profiler --> Introduction to VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Application Profiler
          2. Use the VMware Marketplace --> Download Configuration Templates & https://www.ivandemes.com/vmware-uem-9-5-introduces-the-vmware-marketplace-for-templates/
          3. Search for existing config files (templates) delivered by the community --> https://www.ivandemes.com/uemtemplates/alluemtemplates.php

           

          I hope this helps you getting started and answers your questions.

           

          If you have any issues, a FlexEngine.log in debug mode (Working with VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Logs) provides a lot of useful information that helps the community members helping you solving most issues.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: What replaces NTuser.dat in DEM?
            RexP0wer Lurker

            Thanks Ivan.  Each day I'm starting to understand more.  I figured out, shortly after my post, that I could not use the ntuser.dat at all in DEM. I also know how to use ntuser.man but we don't want to use mandatory profiles.  I am familiar as well with VMware's OSOT.  But when you and others say use a local profile, it seems you don't mean the equivalent of a local profile living on the linked-clone floating assignment View desktop (Or do you, by enhancing the Default User local profile?).

             

            When users log on with their roaming profile, the roaming profile folder structure and the ntuser.dat are used to build that profile and that profile is not treated as new by the OS.  However, if I log in with my current DEM configuration (still a work in progress) (no ntuser.dat or ntuser.man), then, after the welcome message, I see "Preparing Windows" and my profile on the View desktop is treated as a newly created profile, so, for example, OneDriveSetup.exe runs each time (I know there's a post in this forum about that issue) with DEM but not with roaming profiles.

             

            Is there a way around the "new profile" issue? Or is that part of DEM and as long as you build your DEM configuration correctly, it shouldn't really matter.

             

            Thanks

             

            Mike

            • 3. Re: What replaces NTuser.dat in DEM?
              ijdemes Expert
              vExpert

              Yes indeed, I mean an optimized local default profile in the master image. It is perfectly possible to use an optimized local profile. I use OSOT to optimize the local default profile in the "master image". Each user logon will use this default local profile. You can use them in both non-persistent and persistent environments. If your machines don't fully reset after logoff, but you want to have the local profile removed after logoff, you can use the DEM Advanced ADMX setting "Remove local profile at logoff" --> https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2145286

               

              Clean start with DEM --> Don't forget to disable roaming profiles for the users logging on to the desktops that use DEM and must not use the roaming profile--> Techland: How to: Disable Roaming Profiles

               

              Migration from roaming profile --> It is possible to leave roaming profiles enabled (side by side with DEM) when you want to migrate to DEM. This way the roaming profile is used and settings may be written to both DEM profile archives (ZIP) and the roaming profile. After a while you can disable roaming profiles.

               

              By default I also enable the "Display highly detailed status messages" GPO setting --> https://www.thewindowsclub.com/enable-verbose-status-message-windows/ . This doesn't necessarily speed up the logon process, but gives you and the user additional info while logging on and in my experience seems faster for the user, instead of just showing "Preparing Windows".

               

              I also remove all run and run once stuff on both machine and user level. Instead, I choose what needs to run for the user during/after logon by using DEM.

               

              Same goes for Active Setup keys. I normally just remove them, unless really required for something. In that case I choose to add the Active Setup config file template in DEM to save the changes made by Active Setup. This prevents Active Setup from being executed every time a user logs on.

               

              Regarding OneDrive, here's an article that may help you --> VDI Onedrive Windows 10 - Virtualblog.nl

               

              What version of Windows are you using?

               

              I hope this helps you a bit further. Let me know if you have any other questions.

              2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: What replaces NTuser.dat in DEM?
                RexP0wer Lurker

                Wow, that really does help, Ivan.  All of VMware's guides tout local profiles, but none explicitly mention the default user profile.

                 

                I keep thinking of questions, so here's another.  One of the pluses of our roaming profiles, was that if a user made a change or customization that wrote to their HKCU, this would get saved in their NTuser.dat, and said setting would persist across View desktops.  It seems counter productive to save all the user's HKCU (or even HKCU\Software) in DEM, so short of figuring out all the various registry locations (like HKCU\Software\ODBC\ODBC.INI) that I'll need to explicitly import\export in DEM, is there some other method for DEM to grab these sorts of user customizations?

                 

                getting closer,

                Mike

                • 5. Re: What replaces NTuser.dat in DEM?
                  ijdemes Expert
                  vExpert

                  Hi Mike,

                   

                  Good to hear.

                   

                  About getting all the right settings. This is where the links from the previous post come in handy.

                   

                  1. DEM Application Profiler --> Introduction to VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Application Profiler
                  2. Use the VMware Marketplace --> Download Configuration Templates & https://www.ivandemes.com/vmware-uem-9-5-introduces-the-vmware-marketplace-for-templates/
                  3. Search for existing config files (templates) delivered by the community --> https://www.ivandemes.com/uemtemplates/alluemtemplates.php

                   

                  If there is no existing template (config file) available from the VMware Marketplace or uemtemplates.com, I really recommend using the DEM Application Profiler. Using this is really simple. Just launch an application with Application Profiler (recommended: and change some settings) to make sure you touch those files/folders and reg keys that need to be saved for the application. The Application Profiler captures those things and you can simply create a new config file.

                   

                  Like you mentioned yourself, it doesn't make sense to capture the complete HKCU or HKCU\Software reg keys and/or %appdata%. Your are sort of back to roaming profiles then. You will lose the benefits of using DEM in that case.

                   

                  How many applications do you have?

                  • 6. Re: What replaces NTuser.dat in DEM?
                    RexP0wer Lurker

                    Thanks Ivan. I have been using Application Profiler and some of the other links you've provided (last week a VMware engineer pointed me to https://www.ivandemes.com/uemtemplates/alluemtemplates.php ) .

                    I guess I was hoping for the migration from roaming profiles to DEM to be less labor intensive for me. We've got 1500 users who've got all sorts of wild customizations in their Ntuser.dat and their %appdata% directories and to date (the last 4 years I've been working at this place) I haven't had to worry about that. Now the bill is coming due.  Thanks for all your help and patience, I think it's on me now.

                     

                    Mike

                    • 7. Re: What replaces NTuser.dat in DEM?
                      ijdemes Expert
                      vExpert

                      Hi Mike,

                       

                      No problem. And if you have any other questions regarding DEM, please let us know on this forum, which is actively monitored.