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Migrating profiles between servers

I've been talking with someone today and was told the following.

We might be delaying purchasing new PCs and Server because of the effort involved.  All the user profiles need to be created by manually by a specialist on the new server by the IT company.

I find that hard to believe.

Question - Is there software built into Microsoft Windows server that can be used to export/import the user profiles to assist in replacing an old server with a new one ?

(If there is then what is it called?)
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AndyAinscow
Asked:
AndyAinscow
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AndyAinscowAuthor Commented:
ps.  I think it refers not just to user/group logins but also things like outlook (and possibly other software that users cooperate through)
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Olaf De CeusterCommented:
What's so special about the profiles?
Just transfer the data only? New profiles are created automatically.
A bit confused about the question.
You can easily export profiles from a workgroup  to a domain, however from Domain to domain you should use third party software to make it easier.
Hope that helps,
Olaf
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AndyAinscowAuthor Commented:
Apparently the last time they got a new server the bill to set it up, with user profiles - paths, logins, access rights, outlook etc was more than the hardware cost.  That was with about 10 users.
It is domain server.

I'm not a server specialist, this just struck me as being rather more complex than it should be.  I'm thinking for a large organisation this could take months to do everything by hand.
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Olaf De CeusterCommented:
And it Should cost more, hardware prices are rock bottom...
Amount of data is what makes it a longer process. Surely its not the IT consultants fault if that takes heaps of time.
As for setting up a new standard domain, Internet and 10 Users/ profiles : Allow for 6 hours:
Data and other server programs(Email, Sharepoint , SQL, other LOB): allow as much time as required.
You can ask for an all-inclusive price too.
Hope that helps,
Olaf
Spending good money with a good IT consultant you trust is money well spend. People saying I can do it cheaper will cost you money on the long run! There is usually a reason they are cheap.
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AndyAinscowAuthor Commented:
I'm not saying it is a fault of anyone.  

I'm just surprised there isn't a built in tool in the op system.  On the old system: Export user profiles to eg. CD.  New server boot, CD into drive: Import user profiles.  Data is a separate matter but setting up user paths, rights etc would then be trivial.

Does a larger organisation (eg 1000 users) actually have to create every single user account (paths, access rights....) by hand for the new server?
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Olaf De CeusterCommented:
No, you use AD Groups and templates and Group Policy for the roll out. (and other automations)
Not really worth setting up for 10 users due to the amount of testing required.
And in enterprise IT  world the  labour component  is defenitely more expensive than hardware.
Olaf
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AndyAinscowAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  Interesting.
Maybe if Microsoft is listening there could well be interest in providing a tool to assist for small organisations.
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Olaf De CeusterCommented:
There was a product fitting the bill perfectly : Small Business Server and Migration: You could automatically take all the Workgroup profiles to the domain at a Small Business value for money price.
There is still a SBS Essentials that could be helpfull if you don't mind strangers looking after your number one communication tools : email and collaboration (Cloud versions only)
Thanks
Olaf
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