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How do I keep a users existing profile when I move their PC from a SBS 2003 server to a 2012 R2 Essentials Server?

Posted on 2014-04-22
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Last Modified: 2014-05-06
I have an SBS 2003 server that I am going to replace with a 2012 R2 Essentials server.

When I remove a client PC from the SBS server and add it to the 2012 server I loose the clients desktop, favorites, etc. The desktop is actually still on the client PC of course because I can restore it back to the SBS server and their desktop is still their.

During the process of connecting the PC to the 2012 server it ask if I want to migrate the user data, but I am logged on as a local administrator so the only option I have is for the administrator account. Logging on as a local administrator is the only option I have after removing the PC from the old domain.

How can I get the client's desktop, favorites, etc. back after I connect the PC to the 2012 server?

All client PC's are Windows 7 Pro.
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Question by:jet0654
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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Use the USMT or ADMT (user state migration tools or Active Directory Managment Tools.  The users will get a NEW SID ...

Why can you not first add the new server to the domain, wait for things to replicate and then remove the older server after seizing the roles?
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by:jet0654
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Thanks David.

I did not know I could add the new server to the existing domain.

Can you provide some additional information on that process?
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by:jet0654
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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
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If not doing a migration install, there is a great little free tool called Profwiz which will allow you to maintain the users' profiles.  The following article explains its use:
http://blog.lan-tech.ca/2011/05/19/sbs-and-profwiz/
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by:jet0654
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Thanks Rob,

This sounds exactly like what I need.

I have briefly read through the user guide and need one point of clarification.

With Server 2012 R2 Essentials you use 'http://servername/connect' to join a pc to the new domain.

Does Profwiz replace the need to use the 'http://servername/connect'?

Does Profwiz connect the computer to the new domain the same way only maintain the user profile?
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by:Rob Williams
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Profwiz can join the domain but you still need to run the /connect wizard as it installs the connection client that manages features like the PC backup.

Having said that doing a migration by installing Essentials in migration mode is pretty straight forward, unlike migrating SBS to SBS.
Essentials build doc:
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/13620.windows-server-2012-essentials-build-document.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj730348.aspx
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by:jet0654
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Thanks,
I am going to test Profwiz in my test lab to see how it works.

I am not sure I want to do the migration.  I want to keep the option to back out of the conversion if I run into a problem.

I have the new server setup and started the conversion but ran into the problem of not being able to keep the user's profile on the new server.
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by:Rob Williams
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Profwiz basically changes all of the permissions so it is compatible with the new server.  Great little tool.

The SBS and I suspect Essentials connect tools work very well but they will not import a domain profile.  i.e. if the PC has ever been joined to a domain the profile import feature doesn't work.  It only works with workgroup computers or new computers joining the new domain.  That is when Profwiz becomes very valuable.

I am afraid I have not kept up with Essentials migrations but http://www.swingmigration.com specializes in migration kits fro migrating from SBS.  Their method use an additional temporary domain controller such that you can do your migration in stages and can always revert back to the original server.  They also provide support with your migration kit.  As mentioned I am not sure what they offer for Essentials but you may want to have a look.
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by:jet0654
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Rob,
What I was doing on my first attempt to move PC's from the SBS domain to the Essentials domain was as follows:

I created a restore point on the client PC.

Then I removed it from the domain to a workgroup.

Then I ran the server/connect and connected the client PC to the new Essentials server.

This worked great except no user profile was moved with the conversion.

I understand that this is the scenario that Profwiz would work and move the user profile.

One more dumb question - do you run Profwiz before moving the client PC to the Essentials server or after you have moved it to the new server with the server/connect?
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by:Rob Williams
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To be honest I have not used it with Essentials but personally I would use profwiz first and join the domain, then run the wizard.  You may get a message about not being able to join the domain, but it should work and install the connection client.
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by:jet0654
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Thanks!

I have 2 servers set up in a test environment.  So I will test using Profwiz to move client PC's between them.

I will let you know the results.
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by:jet0654
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RobWill,
I was finally able to find time to test Profwiz tool.  It took me awhile to figure out how to make it work, but was finally able to migrate the user profiles.

What worked for me was to remove the PC from the old domain and add it to the new domain with 'server/connect'.  Then run Profwiz to migrate the user profile.

One of my problems was knowing which profile to migrate, but I think I finally have that figured out.

It seems to be working in my lab environment so I am going to attempt another live migration soon.
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by:Rob Williams
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Best way to find which profile is to log onto the machine with the users account and from a command prompt run
set userprofile
It will return something like:
USERPROFILE=C:\Users\Rob.LAN-TECH

The profile often doesn't match the user name or there can be multiples if joined and disjoined from the domain

Glad to hear you got it working.
Thanks jet0654.
--Rob
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