Keep existing user profile whilst moving to new SBS 2008 install

Posted on 2010-08-26
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We have 55 users on SBS 2003 domain.  I am planning to move to SBS 2008 and have decided to do a completely new install on fresh hardware, rather than any form of migration.  So a completely new AD.  I will then create new users to match the existing users.  The only critical time path activity would then be the extraction of the Exchange mailboxes and loading these back into the brand new Exchange Db.

In SBS 2003 when one created a user, one could use the connectcomputer tool/wizard to create the domain profile and (importantly) tie up to the existing profile on the PC.

I presume this wizard is also in SBS 2008.  Could one use it to effectively flip an existing SBS2003 domain profile into the new SBS2008 domain?

The big problem I have is to move the users from the old domain to the new as 50% plus are on laptops and in remote offices so use cached / offline Outlook profiles and offline folders to sync files etc for out of office working.

Or has someone got a better way to do this?

Question by:GerryKeen
  • 2
LVL 95

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
Comment Utility
I'd suggest doing the migration ... but if you insist on going clean, then I would suggest you check out's User Profile Migration Tool.  The SBS WIzard, if memory serves, does not work with domain accounts, only local accounts

Author Comment

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Thanks leew.  to be honest I shot my bolt by posting the question before reading previous posts and having now done that can see that everyone points to migration as the best way to do it.

Thing is, this domain is a migration of a migration etc, all the way back to SBS 4.0 in the late '90s (when it seemed that Cris Hanna was the only other person on the original SBS forum).  I have this gut feeling that the current set up has thus dragged all the behind the scenes rubbish through from the early days and I want a sparkly new clean set-up.

If you are right about the SBS wizard, I will drop the new install idea as without it, a new install with so many remote PCs would be a logistical nightmare (although I will check out's tool).

Can anyone confirm if the the SBS wizard would work or not?

Assisted Solution

BLangers earned 250 total points
Comment Utility
The connectcomputer wizard will work, but you have to take into account serious potential problems with transfering user profiles. The problem lies with the security settings on the profiles if you go from one domain to another non-trusted domain, which would be the case for you in case of a clean install.
The only way we've been able to make this work is copying the cached domain profile to a new local user on each computer, and then have that local copy as the base for a new user with the connectcomputer wizard. This will be at least as big a nightmare as recreating them since your users are working remotely if I understand correctly and the profile would have to be copied back and forth at least once...
I have to concur a migration is your way to go. Unless you currently havre serious issues with your AD database, there will be no problems to be expected. The 2003-to-2008 migration path is something we've done numerous times and there are very little issues to be expected.

Author Closing Comment

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Going to call it a score draw.  Thanks both - migration it is.  cheers.

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