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The NTUSER.dat file is found in each persons User folder. It is a protected system file, so you must enable viewing of these file types. Navigate to the Users \ Username folder, then select Organize - Folders and search options - View tab - Untick Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) - Select Yes to the warning message.
You will now see their NTUSER.dat file, along with several other files.
The users file is created when you first create the users account and it is partly made up from the Default NTUSER.dat file. So what we can do is modify the Default NTUSER.dat file which will then be used for every account that is used on the PC. The main reason I use this is for Folder redirections so that's what I will be showing here.
The NTUSER.dat file is a copy of the registry setting for a person, so we need to open regedit and import the Default NTUSER.dat file for us to make our changes.
OK, here is the warning. Messing with the registry can prevent your PC from working correctly or even from booting, your doing this at your own risk !!
Click Start and then in the search box type Regedit then press Enter
If UAC prompts, click Yes
Click on HKEY_USERS and then select File - Load Hive
Navigate to C:\Users\Default folder and select NTUSER.DAT then click Open.
Give the file a name and click OK
Expand the HKEY_USER registry and you will see your hive.
Now for the folder redirection, navigate to HKEY_USERS\My_Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
Here you may wish to edit folder locations like The My Music, My Pictures and My Video to a network location. Edit the registry by double clicking the Name and entering the new location. I have made a few example changes below.
To unload the My_Default (NTUSER.DAT) file, click on My_Default in the registry, select File and unload Hive.
Click Yes to unload the hive
This change only works for accounts created after this change, so the change should be made before any deployments, or any local accounts are created.
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