Historically, people like to set up their PC to suit their own preferences. That is what put the P in PC. Without the Personal, it would just be Computer. The preferences for a user are stored in what is called a Profile.
Profiles for a user are stored in a folder. These profiles can be stored on a server, and be loaded wherever a user sits down and logs onto the network from any machine. These are known as roaming profiles. A company may require standardization of PCs. These are profiles that are stored on a server and are called mandatory profiles.
In all events, a local PC stores at least a copy of the profile at the local PC (the actual machine) in a folder just for that user. When a user makes changes, such as installing a program, its availability is registered with their profile.
When running on a network, there are a number of transport protocols that are available with NT. Each choice has its own advantages and disadvantages. Today, the defacto standard is TCP/IP. That does not mean there are not other transport protocols in wide use from networks previously setup. Other popular choices include IPX (known as NWLink in NT) and NetBEUI. More details on networking appear in the chapter we mysteriously called, networking.
There is a key difference between having Windows 9x users log into a network and a NT computer logging into an NT server. The Windows 9x users simply use their name and password for access. NT clients (users) use their name and password, and in addition, a second (somewhat hidden) account verifies the request for login.
All NT systems have a special key called a Security Identifier or SID. For added security, when one NT system wants to talk to another NT system, the SIDs must be registered. On login, the SIDs are compared in addition to the user name and password.
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