Need help with moving Microsoft Windows Server 2000 User Profiles to New domain on server 2003

Posted on 2007-11-19
Last Modified: 2013-12-05
I have a company that has several users all connected to a Domain Controller on a windows 2000 machine. The active directory naming convention needs to change, hence we will be creating a new Active Directory domain all together on a new server we have added in and is currently being used only as a file server.

I am wondering what is the easiest way to migrate all the user's profiles ( their settings, such as bookmarks, outlook file paths, rules, windows xp settings and so forth) Is there any tool that can easily do this?
Question by:nichiaiinc
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Assisted Solution

Jay_Jay70 earned 50 total points
ID: 20311294
you could look at doing it in bulk with USMT

However, its going to be a lot easier to do it the way i am planning next week - create a new local user on the machine, copy the profile from the domain user to the local user (unnder system properties - advanced - user profiles - copy to) then join the machine to the new domain, log on with a new user, then copy the profile from the local user to the domain user

Wallah done and done

Author Comment

ID: 20312272
yeah, actually I should rephrase the sentence. I don't actually want to copy the profiles per say? Actually what do they actually contain, or is it merely because files have permissions based on these users and the user profile has a unique ID and it must be preserved.

Basically I was thinking of just making new user accounts on the new domains, but I would like to be able to copy that users windows XP settings, my documents files and such to their new profile. Its to my understanding that when you join the new domain, even though the username is the same its different. So when joining the new domain with the new user, it will make a new profile on the XP client machine. How can I then copy over all the data and registry settings and such to the newly made username on the new AD?

Thank you

Assisted Solution

mdunnahoo earned 50 total points
ID: 20313323
What I have done in the past with migrations that do not have a large number of profiles is to join the xp machine to the new domain, logon as the user you want to migrate.  After the local is created, reboot the machine and login as administrator, make sure you have enable view hidden files, then go to c:\documents and settings\ and go into the old profile folder, select all and copy into the new user profile folder.  This has worked well for me in the past.  It can be time consuming if there are a lot of users.  I have not had very good luck with the migration tool.

LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 20316791
exaclty as i mentioned above :) your clarification simply reinforces what i was getting you to do :)

Author Comment

ID: 20327501
I have a question Jay Jay. how about in regards to registry entries and such. For example, Outlook 2003 stores the email account and its password setting in the registry versus in the outlook file in the documents and settings folder.

So hence, by just copyign this folder you will have to reenter the users email address and password. This is usually a pain, as the user usually doesnt have a clue what his password and sometimes, email address is. And Im wondering if this data is in teh registry, what other settings are set in the registry, for example desktop background image, or settings of the quick launch tool bar on the bottom of the screen. Im not sure, but guessing there is other stuff that wont get transferred over. Is there anything I can do to make sure this gets copied as well?

Also, if i make a new domain and a new user with the SAME username as the one before. When i create this user on the client PC, will it give him a new folder completely for the new domain or overwrite the existing folder. Basically, I need to know if I should move the users folder contents prior to joining the new domain, in order to not overwrite the data.

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Expert Comment

ID: 20331069
Even if you copy the whole profile you will usually lose Outlook passwords (in my experience). You can download a tool called "mailpv" from ( and run it while you still have access to their old profile and logon, which will tell you the account info and passwords. You can run this from a command line to save the output to a text file.

There are several other useful tools on that website that gather similar information for different programs, I've written a batch file that I run on each PC before migrating to a new domain:

mkdir %USERNAME%
dialupass /stext %USERNAME%\dial.txt
iepv /stext %USERNAME%\ie.txt
mailpv /stext %USERNAME%\email.txt
mspass /stext %USERNAME%\im.txt
netpass /stext %USERNAME%\netshare.txt
nk2view /stext %USERNAME%\email-autocomplete.txt
net use > %USERNAME%\shares.txt
set > %USERNAME%\environment.txt

Download the following tools from and save the exe file in the same directory as the batch file:
dialupass - saves dialup and vpn details
iepv - saves internet explorer passwords
mailpv - outlook and outlook express passwords
mspass - saves messenger passwords
netpass - saves passwords for network drives, etc

The other commands record network drive mappings (net use) and environment variables (set). These have been handy to me in the past when doing migrations so I included them in the script.

I usually run this from a file share on the old server, and then copy the directory to the new server when it has data from all the PCs.


Accepted Solution

djMundy earned 400 total points
ID: 20331091
Even if you have the same user name and password, you will get a new profile. If your logon name was "username" on "OLDDOMAIN" and your profile was "C:\Documents and Settings\userename" - assuming that your new domain was called NEWDOMAIN - when you log in with username it would create a new profile called "C:\Documents and Settings\username.NEWDOMAIN"

Sometimes it's confusing which profile was the old one - especially if there are already a few copies of the profile before you migrated, which is why I usually check (with the set command included in my last post with the batch script) what the old profile was. This way I know which files to copy into the new profile. Look for the USERPROFILE line when you run "set", or in environment.txt from my script.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 31410498
Great answers guys! Thank you very much. Jay Jay and mdunnohuh gave me some good ideas and solved my question. DjMundy took it the extra mile with a huge added resource for me and I appreciate the time and sharing of your tools. Which is why I awarded the largest sum of points to Mundy, THanks again everyone
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 20332017
sorry for being late - but yes, you will lose a few things but not a lot....and you wont overwrite the existing profile either way

Author Comment

ID: 20332043
Thank you Jay Jay!

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