Consider that you have a USB thumb drive inserted into a machine, then you logon.  What interesting effects can happen if you “tweak” the storage of USERPROFILE?  Could you logon faster?  Possibly, but this post is about far more interesting topics, you can disappear!

I am Joe Nord … I was never here.

Kudo’s to Bruno Roy for coming up with some compelling ideas.  We prototyped it in about 15 minutes using Windows 7 64-bit.  Works good.

For starters, you need a USB Thumb drive.  Mine is formatted NTFS and “everyone” has full access to the root of the thumb drive, (OI)(CI)(F) inheritable. 

Here’s the rough steps:

Create a subdirectory on the USB volume, to match the username.  call it “Bruno”.

Create a new user with matching name, standard user

Switch user, logon as the new user, then logoff

Copy everything from the user directory to the USB directory of the same name.

Delete and remove the user directory from local hard disk

mklink /d \users\username f:\username (assuming USB drive is F)

Switch user, logon as the newly created user.

Your user profile is now on the USB volume.

Browse any website you want…

When done, logoff, take the USB stick with you and … you were never here.

This could be tweaked quite a bit to pre-set the default user contents and add logon/logoff service to purge everything.  With a little work, could be pretty cool.  We’re already looking further; could use Citrix Profile Manager, use the USB stick as the central store and set flags to delete profiles on logoff. 

This requires more thought and has some limitations like needing to prune the NTFS change journal, but in concept it’s pretty clean.

Joe Nord