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Joining new Windows SBS 2008 Domain

Posted on 2010-08-22
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Hi I have two server upgrades coming up and was wondering the best way to move user profiles to the new domain. In the past I have usually joined the new domain than copied the local profiles by either using the Copy To function under the User Profiles tab in System Properties. Alternatly I have also manually copied the profile from the users Docs and Settings folder. However, I am wondering in SBS 2008 if there is a new improved way of doing. I find I often loose some settings in Word and Outlook when doing it the old way.Also, one of the upgrades will be going from a workgroup. In addition, they will both be completely new servers. Any suggestions?
Thanks.
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Question by:linknetworks
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Lee W, MVP earned 300 total points
ID: 33496592
Sounds like you've never used SBS.

I strongly recommend you study up on the product and do some test installs - SBS is NOT simply Exchange and Server 2008 bundled - it's an optimized and integrated package that includes features NOT AVAILABLE in standard server.  Included in these features is a method for joining the domain that involves using a web site hosted by the SBS server that also migrates selected profiles for you.  This feature, in my experience does not work with existing domains, but for the workgroup setting, this works quite well.

For the existing domain, you still need to join the computers to the domain using the web site, but you may need to use a third party tool to effectively migrate the profiles.  Forensit offers a free tool I used on my own account the other day and worked great.  http://www.forensit.com/Profwiz/index.htm

SBS is very stable and easily supported when you know what you're doing, you understand how the product was intended to be used, and when it's setup properly... when you do things because you THINK you know best, you mess things up and create problems that wouldn't exist if you didn't use SBS (I was one of those arrogant admins who thought SBS was just a bundle and didn't do my first install properly).
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by:linknetworks
ID: 33496655
This is about my 6th sbs 2008 install. As I said, in the past I  have allways copied the local workstation profiles manually using the two methods described in the initial question. Just wondering if there is another way. I am not talking about roaming profiles and have no profile info on the server. Just the local workstation profile settings I am interested in copying over to the new workstation profile created when joining the new domain.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33496672
Have you been installing them correctly?  If you have, I'm very surprised you don't know that the connectcomputer web page will migrate the profile.
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by:linknetworks
ID: 33496972
From what I understood this would not work when migrating from the old domain. Perhaps I was wrong. Can you direct me to some further info on migrating the local profile settings when going from one domain to another? Are all settings migrated including outlook and word specific settings such as signatures, templates, autotext, etc.?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33497066
As I stated "but for the workgroup setting, this works quite well.", you would use this when migrating from the workgroup.  

For the domain, I stated:
"For the existing domain, you still need to join the computers to the domain using the web site, but you may need to use a third party tool to effectively migrate the profiles.  Forensit offers a free tool I used on my own account the other day and worked great.  http://www.forensit.com/Profwiz/index.htm"
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by:linknetworks
ID: 33497251
In regards to the workgroup settings be transferred, Are all settings migrated including outlook and word specific settings such as signatures, templates, autotext, etc.?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33497256
Yes, the PROFILE is migrated.
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by:linknetworks
ID: 33497284
I have used the files and settings transfer wizard from ms before and it does not transfer everything, so I am sure you can understand my reluctance in using another built in ms product. Can you direct me to any information addressing what is transferred specifically or Is this something you have actually done and can attest to it's accuracy in transferring settings?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33497296
Of course I've done it.  I know I have very limited experience in SBS compared to TechSoEasy...  For the last 6 years I've been a consultant installing SBS in small businesses.  You may have installed it a few times, but it's clear you don't know the product.  For the benefit of your clients, I strongly recommend you learn the product appropriately.  If nothing else, use your test domain (you do have one right?  Virtualization makes this easy in conjunction with the Microsoft Action Pack and Technet subscription options).
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by:linknetworks
ID: 33497320
Thanks for your help leew. No need to denigrate me. You have know idea what I know or don't know. I will wait for someone else to assist with this one. I hope you don't treat your clients with such arrogance.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33497375
My apologies if you are offended.  Forgive the frustration at having to repeat myself.  My answers are perfectly valid and accurate.  Based on your postings in this question.  I tried looking at your profile, but there is nothing in it.  You can review my skills and experience in my profile - so I will try not to take further offense at the insulting tone of your second to last comment which provoked me as well as the last one.  
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by:aoakeley
aoakeley earned 200 total points
ID: 33511291
Ignoring the to and fro...... I have reviewed the previous posts and comment as per below:

Using the connect wizard in SBS2008 will allow you to move the computers from one domain to the new domain. It will give you the options to migrate LOCAL profiles on the workstation to profiles on the new domain, but it is my understanding that it will not migrate DOMAIN profiles on the local machine. For that you should use something like leew suggested (http://www.forensit.com/Profwiz/index.htm).

In your migration from workgroup you will 100% migrate the profile from the local profile. if you use the SBS http://connect utility. leew is 100% correct here.

I would ask however: If your client already has a domain, why you are putting them through the pain of a new domain when both the MS Migration method and the Swing Method allow for very clean migrations? I guess this is your decision and you have your reasons. no need to really reply, just food for thought.

Now depending on how you migrate the users to the new domain...... if you use the method from http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2009/05/01/sbs-2003-to-sbs-2008-migration-to-a-different-domain-name.aspx and preserve the user SID then the users on the new domain will have the same SID as the old domain, and things will be a little easier. You will then have to tweak the registry as per http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;324734 to fix the profile.

References (not particularly good ones... but any better than nothing) for migrating domain profiles:
Changing to new domain: http://www.eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet/35663227/windows-2003-domain-migration-to-sbs2008.aspx

Old Domain profiles do not show in Connect wizard: http://www.vistax64.com/sbs-server/254437-sbs2008-re-connect-computers-domain-after-fresh-server-install.html

Read down in the comments connect wizard will not import domain profile: http://sbs.seandaniel.com/2008/10/connecting-computers-to-sbs-network.html

A solution to migrating old domain profiles: http://www.minasi.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=28766

So unless anyone else has anything to say on the subject (Or can speak from personal experience)
a) you can use the SBS Connect wizard to migrate an old domain
b) it will not migrate domain profiles
c) consider doing a proper migration, then you do not have to worry about any of this!
d) the http://connect wizard will migrate local profile settings perfectly

Anyway thats my 10c worth (2c worth info, 8c dribble).




 

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