Users moving to new Workstations with Windows 7

Craig Paulsen
Craig Paulsen used Ask the Experts™
Hi Experts,

Require some advise on what the best practice is for the following scenario,

I have a client who has recently purchased 7 new Dell SFF machine, new machines windows 7 32bit with office 2010, we now need to replace users old machines with these new ones, pretty simple, but our client is very demanding, she doesn't want any data lost during this process, they have itunes library's which needs to be transfered and heaps or applications which stores data in various locations on the system drive,
She is wanting to know whether we cannot just copy thier profiles (which is a mixture of windows XP and Vista) to the new windows 7 PC? Or take a snapshot of what's on thier existing machine and apply it to the new workstation, personally I don't want to do either of this, as giving them the new fresh machine give them the opportunity of fresh start and removes unnessary clutter being copied/moved to the new machine, I just need to word it properly when we advise her, what the best way to go about this?

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Top Expert 2011

By all means the users data needs to come across, you can export the itunes library then re-import.  The applications will need to be re-installed; make sure they are Windows 7 compatible.
all user data can be copied. But in a mixed environment it is hard to take a snapshot. You will need to re install all required applications first then copy the app data across.

How many Machines do you have to do?
If it is only one then do it manually. if it is a considerable amount and all machines are the same and requires the same Apps then i Would create a model pc with all the requred apps drivers etc. and take an image ie. ghost. Ghost the new pc over and then copy app data across as needed. In a nut shell there is no automated way to do what your clients wants. I would be pushing for your client to start saving the app data to central location ie c:/data for all Apps and not to save the file in the app default location which in most cases is something stupid like c:/program files/ "app" that way in the future it becomes very easy to migrate to new machines. drop into place and copy over c:/data and job done
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You could:

1. Save users settings on each PC with Windows Easy Transfer.
2. Create an image of each system that can then be accessed to transfer only wanted files & folders to the new system, plus will be there as a keep-safe in case any "forgotten about" files or folders need to be accessed at a later date!
3. Also consider backing up web passwords with WebBrowserPassView (chances are they'll be forgotten if saved in the web browser).
also would recommend saving product keys with Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder

You may also try to install some programs in XP compatibility mode if needed.  

Top Expert 2016
Safe but very timeconsuming

1. download and install the mdt2010 onto a technician computer
2.  image all of the hard drives (mdt capture)
3.  do a hard link migration to windows 7 on the older machines
4.  reimage the hard drives
5. restore the image on the new machines
6. fix startup issues

you may want to do an evalutation of these machines first using the mapi toolkit

mdt2010 will want to download Windows AIK, also download mapi toolkit
you will need to go to the new manufacturers website and get all the drivers.

easier method: just use USMT4.0 to upgrade a machine and see if it works after reinstalling the older software (software inventory and souce files needed)
Craig PaulsenSenior Systems Engineer


thanks guys, enough ideas to go on here.

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