After you have installed Microsoft Server 2003 on your machine the next thing that must be configured are the user profiles. There are various types of profiles available in Microsoft server 2003, so that you can choose the best possible configuration according to your needs.

A profile is essentially a set of settings that are defined for a particular user. Like the allocated space, privacy privileges, colors, installed applications, items on desktop etc.

Now there are three different types of profiles available in Microsoft Server 2003

  1. Terminal Server Specific Profile
  2. Mandatory Roaming Profile
  3. Server 2003 local profile

Each of these profiles come with some predefined settings and can help you in getting started with Windows Server 2003.

Terminal server Specific Profile:

This is a default profile and is used to provide a session that is different for the user’s local desktop. It provides the user with a terminal desktop environment. The important aspects of Terminal server specific profile is allocate different desktop sessions to different people depending on the level of security. It is mostly preferred in big organizations where workers and managers both access to the same machine.

Steps to Install:

  1. Open the active directory of users and computers.
  2. Select the user and do a right click. Select the properties option that is located at the end of the drop down menu.
  3. Click on Terminal Services Profile
  4. Select enable.

Roaming Mandatory User Profiles

This profile allows the users to switch between two different computers and still maintain the same settings. This profile cannot be altered by the users and is only provided by the administrator. Since these profiles cannot be altered by the users hence the size of each of the accounts is manageable. Also the desktop of all the users can be changed using only one profile.

Roaming mandatory user profiles are beneficial when there are a large number of terminal server users and have limited need to access the accounts. One important thing that needs to be kept in mind is that all the computers must have similar configurations all the account will not function properly.

Steps for selecting this profile are similar to the above mentioned profile.

Roaming Local Profile

Roaming local profile allows the users to access their desktop from any part of the world. As a result they can work from any corner. Their desktops are preserved and hence provide additional flexibility to the users. Its major drawback is that the memory usage of all the accounts cannot be monitored properly and hence the disk size becomes very large to manage.

Selecting the user profiles is a personnel choice and must be selected according to the usage of the organizations. Also these privileges can be changed any time hence there is utmost flexibility to manage different users in a network.