June 2003 Reader Challenge

Solve this month's Windows Client problem, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to [email protected] by June 26, 2003. You must include your full name, street mailing address, and phone number (all required for shipping your prize).

I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents (my software doesn't respond to a request for a receipt). Look for the solutions to this month's problem on June 26, 2003.

The Problem:
Sometimes Amy logs on to her local computer, which is running Windows XP, instead of logging on to the company domain. She logs on locally when she wants to work on private, sensitive documents that she stores locally. As a member of the IT staff, Amy works at computers all over the building, so when she logs on to the domain, her roaming profile loads. Here are two questions that Amy can answer because of the way she works. Can you answer them?

Question 1: Sometimes Amy doesn't remember whether she logged on to the domain or to the local computer. This problem can be annoying because a local logon means she spends time staring at an hourglass or clicking OK in an error message dialog box if she wants to work on a document she saved on a server when she was logged on to the domain. What command-line tool quickly displays information that specifies whether a user is logged on locally or to a domain?

Question 2: One of Amy's administrative jobs is creating new users both for local computers and for the domain. One nifty practice is to work at a user's computer and copy an existing user's profile to create a new user who requires the same settings as the existing user. All Amy has to do is select a user profile from the list in the System Properties dialog box, click the Copy To button, and enter a new username. If you try this, you might find that the Copy To button isn't available (i.e., it's shaded), even if you're logged on with administrative permissions. What's the problem?


Question 1: The correct answer is the Set command.

Question 2: The problem is that, with the method described in the question, Amy would be trying to copy the profile of the current logged-on user, which can't be done. The correct method is to create another user with administrative permissions, log on as that user, then copy the original user's profile to a new user. In fact, if you often create new users, you should create "fake user" profiles to use as templates when you copy existing users.

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