Roaming user profiles on Windows 8-based or Windows Server 2012-based computers are incompatible with roaming user profiles in other versions of Windows.
Profiles are compatible only between the following client and server operating system pairs:
- Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2
- Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
- Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
- Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008
Note In this article, when the client operating system is referenced, the same issue applies to its corollary server operating system.
For example, if you try to deploy Windows 8 in an environment that uses roaming, mandatory, super-mandatory, or domain default profiles in Windows 7, you experience the following:
- After you use a user account that has an existing Windows 7 profile to log on to a Windows 8-based computer for the first time, the components from Windows 8 read and modify the profile state.
- Certain Windows 8.1 features may not work as expected because the expected profile state is not present.
- When you try to use the same user account to log on to a Windows 7-based computer, the user profile modification that was performed in Windows 8 may not work as expected in Windows 7.
The issues occur because the profile will contain values that are used differently between the versions of Windows. The user profile will be missing default profile configuration information that is expected by the operating system, and could contain unexpected values that are set by a different operating system version. Therefore, the operating system will not behave as expected. Additionally, profile corruption may occur.