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Migrating shares and folders from 2008 to 2012R2

Posted on 2014-10-02
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Last Modified: 2014-10-02
Hi Everyone,

I'm having stability issues with my Windows Storage Server 2008 box that has 4212 shares on it. This is a physical box that I want to migrate over to a 2012R2 clean VM. I was wondering:

-Is there a way to bring over the share properties as well as the folder permissions? Would the new server need to be joined to the domain before this is done?

-If I join the new server to the domain, then migrate the files, decommission the old server, will I be able to rename the new server to what the old server's name was? I know I can put in a DNS alias but would prefer not to.

-Any other things I should know?


Thanks everyone!!
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Question by:WindhamSD
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Joshua Grantom earned 250 total points
ID: 40357165
You can use robocopy (included in newer operating systems) to copy all of the NTFS permissions over but share permissions will not be copied.

Generic Info about Robocopy
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc733145.aspx

Here is a good article about mirroring security permissions and verifying
http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2008/07/31/robocopy-mir-switch-mirroring-file-permissions.aspx

You can also rename the server to the same as the old server as long as you have deleted the old computer object after decommissioning the old server.

To prevent difficulties in the future, I would suggest using NTFS permissions to control sharing access. To do this, you set sharing for the parent folder of your shares to Everyone Full Control and then use NTFS permissions to control access with security groups. This will prevent issues in the future when you want to move files again.
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by:choward16980
choward16980 earned 250 total points
ID: 40357234
Once you've copied NTFS permissions as Joshua stated, you can export the LANMANSERVER registry key which contains all the shares, as long as the drive letters for the paths remain the same.  IE, if SHARE1 was shared at d:\share1, make sure when you move the files to your 2012R2 box, you keep the drive the D drive.

This is for 2008 and 2003, but I've been told it works no problem with 2012.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/125996

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

To save only the existing share names and their permissions on Windows follow these steps.

Note This procedure applies only to NetBIOS shares and not to Macintosh volumes.
On the existing Windows installation that contains the share names and permissions that you want to save, start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
From the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE subtree, go to the following key:
SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares
Save or export the registry key.
For Windows NT and Windows 2000, click Save Key on the Registry menu.
For Windows Server 2003, click Export on the File menu.
Type a new file name (a file extension is not necessary), and then save the file to a floppy disk.
Reinstall Windows.
Run Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
From the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE subtree, go to the following key:
SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares
Restore or import the registry key.
For Windows NT and Windows 2000, click Restore on the Registry menu.
For Windows Server 2003, click Import on the File menu.
Type the path and file name of the file that you saved in steps 3 and 4.

Caution This step overrides the shares that already exist on the Windows computer with the share names and permissions that exist in the file you are restoring. You are warned about this before you restore the key.
Restart the server.


When that's finished and your server reboots, as Joshua stated, make sure to decomission the old server and rename this server to the old servers name.  You will have restored your entire 2008 share structure to a 2012R2 box seamlessly.
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by:WindhamSD
ID: 40357613
That's awesome info. I'm in the middle of building up my 2012 VM right now. In the past I've had issues with Robocopy stopping on any error it could find. I think Xcopy does the same thing, but would you still recommend robocopy?
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Expert Comment

by:Joshua Grantom
ID: 40357624
I would still use robocopy because it has more options. To get past the errors you can limit the amount of retries, exclude system files, and etc... here are some other suggestions as well.


robocopy "c:\my source directory" "\\Server\my target directory" /MIR /XF *.bak *.tmp /XA:ST /W:5 /R:5

/MIR MIRrors a directory
/XF *.bak or *.tmp Excludes files, in this case anything that has the extensions .bak or .tmp
/XA:ST Exclude files with either System or Temporary attributes
/W:5 Wait 5 seconds between retries (default is 30 seconds)
/R:5 Attempt up to 5 retries on a failed copy (default is normally a million)
Quoted from
http://devtidbits.com/2008/01/17/robocopy-basics/
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Author Comment

by:WindhamSD
ID: 40357629
That sounds great Josh and I thank you very much. I should be running this from the source server, is that correct?
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Expert Comment

by:Joshua Grantom
ID: 40357638
I would run on whichever server has more resources available to perform the task which will probably be the target server. As long as the account you are running it from has full read permissions to the source share
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Author Comment

by:WindhamSD
ID: 40357645
Thank You!
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