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Transfer of a profile from one domain to another on the same computer

I will be disjoining computer X, running Windows XP, from domain A and joining it to domain B. User U1 is on domain A and user U2 is on domain B. Domain A is based on WIndows SBS 2003 and domain B is based on Windows SBS 2008.
 
I want to preserve user U1's profile on computer X such that user U2 will have the same desktop shortcuts, the same set of installed applications and the same Outlook profile.

I have found a procedure at http://www.eggheadcafe.com/conversation.aspx?messageid=31860374&threadid=31860286 that involves minimal effort to carry out the intended task.

I have tested the above procedure using test accounts and found it to work for the above-stated purposes but the coverage of the test account was limited; for instance, it was only a few MB large and the source profile was not much more than what a new Windows XP installation would create for a new user.

I would like to hear comments about any limitations of this method and any caveats that the web page indicated does not draw attention to.

Cheers all and thank you in advance.
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lightseekertoo
Asked:
lightseekertoo
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2 Solutions
 
mvgeertruyenCommented:
You could also use either the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard or the UserState Migration Tool from Microsoft. These are intended for just this sort of thing.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457090.aspx
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lightseekertooAuthor Commented:
I agree but these tools involve material data transfer. That is, they copy data from one profile to another. With profile sizes running into GB, the cost in terms of time (if not space) is high. Do you agree?

While I would feel more comfortable using these tools because they have been sanctioned by Microsoft, the method suggested in http://www.eggheadcafe.com/conversation.aspx?messageid=31860374&threadid=31860286 seems to involve no overhead. In fact, it seems too good to be true, which led me to post this question.
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mvgeertruyenCommented:
They do... One thing you could do is to use a tool for 'cloning' the registry part of the profile and move the actual data. Personally I tend to be careful with profiles; there are a lot of references in them and when you miss something Windows will quite happily present you with a nice new one (causing even more work). You used to be able to copy one profile to another but I don't think that works for roaming profiles (in the advanced tab of the computer properties). Looking forward to other suggestions to your question...
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zreismanCommented:
Get the local path of the users current profile.   Open up the users account in AD of the recipient domain and specify that path for Profile.
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zreismanCommented:
Also...the procedure to copy a users profile without the NTUSER.dat errors and tmp file problems is to copy only the following folders.

Documents and Settings\user\Application Data   (Hidden)
Documents and Settings\user\My Documents
Documents and Settings\user\Desktop
Documents and Settings\user\Favorites
Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data (Hidden)

Log in once with the users account then log out and back in as Administrator.   Copy those folders from the older profile to the new (should be  %USERNAME%.NEWDOMAIN)

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lightseekertooAuthor Commented:
Hello zreisman, thank-you for your comments. I am posting my feedback below.

1. "Get the local path of the users current profile.   Open up the users account in AD of the recipient domain and specify that path for Profile."
Isn't this setting used for roaming profiles? I don't want to use roaming profiles.

2. Regarding your second post, is there any reason why you prefer a folder copy to the File and settings transfer wizard?

3. Have you any comment about the limitations of the method indicated in  http://www.eggheadcafe.com/conversation.aspx?messageid=31860374&threadid=31860286 ?

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lightseekertooAuthor Commented:
I did not use the procedure found at  http://www.eggheadcafe.com/conversation.aspx?messageid=31860374&threadid=31860286 because I did not get any feedback regarding its validity and because I am wary of the possibility of thrashing users' profiles as a result of undocumented hacks.

I ended up using the File and Settings Transfer Wizard (Windows Easy Transfer in the Vista case) to back up the profiles to a folder on the local hard disk drive and then restored from this folder to the new profile once it had been created.

The wizard does not handle .ost files well. On opening Outlook in the destination profile, it behaved as if it had been run for the first time, creating a new profile. I was thankful that I was able to initiate the Exchange mail account with the previous .ost file, safely moved into the default location under the destination profile. Generally speaking, apart from this case, the F&ST wizard works well.

There were no direct answers to my question but I am dividing the points between mvgeertruyen and zreisman. I am assigning a majority of points to mvgeertruyen  for engaging in discussion when requested.

I am ass
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zreismanCommented:
I prefer the folder copy because it's a lot faster.   F&ST Wiz is pretty slow.  The folder copy is quick, or install if you do a cut and paste.   I've never had a profile get messed up in this fashion and I have copied many.
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zreismanCommented:
*install = instant
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