Monday, February 21, 2011

Local Profile Migration with USMT

I recently had to migrate about 20 domain accounts from a small, dying, badly designed Windows 2000 domain controller to a newly named and properly configured Windows 2008 R2 domain.  The domain names had to be different between the two systems, and all the users were using local Windows profiles on XP or Windows 7.  The customer didn't want to implement roaming profiles or folder redirection due to concerns about the extra burden on the network.  This meant I had to migrate the local user profiles from one domain to another.

I tried using several different tools, including: Microsoft's Active Directory Migration Tool version 3.2 (which is probably best for Server 2003 -> Server 2008 and above migrations in larger enterprises, where both AD servers are functioning normally and the old one still is online), evaluated the built in Easy Transfer or the Files and Settings Transfer Wizards, and ended up with the User State Migration Tool (USMT).

USMT can basically copy the files from one profile to another, to a local disk or to a network share.  This had to be done in order to change the association of the profile, unfortunately, from the old domain to the new one.

Here are some useful download links:
I will post a follow up with more instructions on how I applied these tools soon, and the issues/workarounds I encountered.  I highly encourage testing the USMT tools, as my migrations have worked but things didn't exactly go flawlessly (the most problems revolved around Outlook settings).

I don't know how the heck a large organization would use any of these tools to successfully migrate like I did without some degree of manual intervention.  What a headache!

Also, quick tip - for small Active Directory domains that might grow up into larger ones some day, the best internal Active Directory domain naming scheme is an unused corporate public domain or subdomain that you own and will keep for a very long time.  For example, I might own mycompany.com and mycompany.net.  Therefore, you might use corp.mycompany.com for your internal domain name, or mycompany.net if you are not using it for anything else.  I DO NOT recommend using anything else, including .lan or .local.

19 comments:

  1. I don't see where you posted a follow up on the USMT tool as indicated in the Feb 21, 2011 post.

    Were you able to/How did you resolve the Outlook Address Book issues?

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