Migration plan for XP to windows 7.

Raymo12 used Ask the Experts™

I'm currently trying to piece together a migration plan for a medium sized office to replace 75 XP machines with windows 7 machines.

We already have new machines with windows 7 Pro 32 bit installed and ready. We have lists of the software installed on user machines and plan to take a small set of users to test with first.

If someone has done this type of migration and has a plan they can share that would be great. I am not sure what path would be easiest. I thought about Windows AIK and upgrade adviser but we also wanted to minimize intrusion on the current users work. I do have lists of what is installed on each machine and I was planning to use windows easy transfer to a network share for their settings.

Thanks in advance for your help
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Thanks acl-puzz, but since I am not installing windows 7 on the old pc would the USMT be too much overhead?


It seems the USMT is used when you want to install windows 7. I have a new pc for them with windows 7 already installed I just want a good plan to move off their data and such.

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Thanks acl-puzz that was what I mentioned in my initial question. I think maybe my question was not clear. I was looking for step by step guide for the process from someone that has gone through this like:

1. Inventory all software on xp machine ( use script or tool)
2. Verify compatibility (use ...)
3. back up user data using easy transfer wizard.

For inventory use MAPT and ACT - both free from Microsoft.
MAPT has to be launched from Windows 7 machine with office installed and ACT relies on agents. Both are perfectly documented and will verify compatibility issues.

Then look at MDT2010. It's also free from MS and it can prepare image of your Win7 machine. Then you have to run a script at your XP and everything will be done automatically. Inside there is USMT but it is so nicely automated than it works better than easy transfer. Just copies profiles to server, installs W7 and copies data back.
Remember there's no direct upgrade from XP to Windows 7. You have to save your data, install from scratch and then reapply all settings. MDT2010 is no different but can do all this automatically for you.
Rich RumbleSecurity Samurai
Top Expert 2006
We take the user data out of the machines and on to servers, their My Doc's and even Desktop are synced with the server, no matter what machine they logon to they have their data. Installed programs is a different story however, and we run a tight ship and users are not allowed to run as administrators and do not have the right to install software (for the most part), this has the awesome by product of preventing most virus and malware infections.
Not everyone can use Roaming profiles, and even less are willing to take away admin, but it might be something to consider especially with an opportunity to use the transition to make changes that could help you with further migrations and other issue that occur.
I've not used it, but I've heard it's good, wet7xp.exe
Even after you inventory all software on a machine, you'll still have to reinstall it from scratch, and figure out how to transfer the data they may use if not kept in My Doc's or Desktop. Again it might be time to get your PC's standardized, and or tell users they are on their own for non-supported company software. Remember your business is liable if your users are installing pirated or warez software they do not have a proper license for, disgruntled employees often report companies bsa.org for such violations, the BSA even has "rewards" for violation reporters.
If you don't already, it might be a good time to have some company policies drawn up, the Sans institute has some fine ones you can easily modify: http://www.sans.org/security-resources/policies/#template
I'm sure windows 8 is just around the corner... 2012 or so.


Thanks all,

This helps a lot. In my case we already have the windows 7 machines with the OS installed and activated. I was able to gather all machines and software installed via vb script that worked nicely. We will build up a machine to a base image then use that as the template for all the other machines, I suppose we will use the easy transfer to a local nework location as most users don't have too much junk on their machines.

I will share my project plan when completed if others might find it useful.

yes we"ll love to know about it

I'm doing the same thing currently, I'd like to see your plan if you're still willing to share it.


Sure. I'll post what I have later today


OK so my company is roughly 75 workstations and 15 laptops. The plan was first to use some in house tools and scripts to gather a list of all software installed on each machine. We identified installed software by department. We then used the windows 7 application compatibility list to locate potential software issues.

From here we developed the base plan and the attached spreadsheet (more so for management to track progress).

We decided on Symantec Ghost solution suite to create images by department, and win XP easy transfer wizard to gather profile info from XP and migrate to windows 7. Although easy transfer gathered mail profiles and other settings we still used the check sheet to capture PST file locations and other items.

Base images were created for each department and a pilot group was selected for roll out. Prior to pilot roll out a few lunch and learn sessions were set to familiarize staff with windows 7 features. After pilot deployment more detailed how to documentation was posted on our Intranet site.

From here we gathered feedback from the pilot group and made any necessary changes to images or software, then once all was good performed deployment to 10 users per week.

This turned out to be less automated than I had wanted but with base images by department and the face to face using easy transfer wizard it was quite successful.

Hope this helps

Thank you!

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