Best way to migrate profiles from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012 (both Remote Desktop Servers)?

alex_smith
alex_smith used Ask the Experts™
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Currently I have a Windows Server 2008R2 (Standard) Remote Desktop Server with about 50 users. I've just finished setting up a Windows Server 2012R2 (Standard) Remote Desktop Server and I'm trying to figure out the best way to copy all the user profiles across (i.e. C:\Users)?

Or is it better to login to as each user to create new profiles & then robocopy their desktop, document, etc. folders??

I assume simply copying the entire C:\Users directory is a bad idea as it's connected with the Windows Registry and the machines are running.

They are both on the same domain & subnet, and I have domain & local administrator access. They are also both on the same 2012R2 Hyper V server so copying files between them should be quick.
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If just interested in just the files (and not email settings etc)  then I would redirect their desktop, documents, pictures, favorites, music, etc to a network location. You can do this by way of GPO also. Then the files would be accessible from any machine on the domain.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion but I also need the settings (& many of the users are using thinclients so wouldn't benefit).
If you need the settings then it's probably best to use roaming profiles. That would ensure the registry settings follow the user. If it's an active directory domain, then it's fairly easy to convert the profiles to roaming.

http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/435685-moving-existing-users-from-local-profiles-to-roaming-redirection
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Author

Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion but as they only need to access the profiles/files when they are logged onto the Remote Desktop Server via a RDP client, it's not worth making them into roaming profiles.
If that's the case, then might I suggest this:

Www.forensit.com

Look at their free products. I've used them for years with amazing results. It should do what you need.

Author

Commented:
Thanks, I'll check it out!

Author

Commented:
Do you think Windows Server Migration Tools (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj134202.aspx) would be better?
Are we talking about a lot of profiles?

Author

Commented:
About 50-70...
Not sure how you're going to use that tool to migrate locally stored profile content into a terminal server.

I'd probably approach it this way:

1. Ensure all user data is stored on the network. You can do this by way of folder redirection or by having your users move important data to mapped drives on the network.

2.  Standardize the applications being used. If you migrate a users profile from their existing machine to the terminal server and there are differing software packages (such as different versions of ms office for example) you may end up with shortcuts to things that are broken.

3.  Through AD, you can select multiple accounts and change their profile paths to be a network location. The next time the user logs into their station and then logs off, it should trigger a copy operation of their profile onto the profile path. If you use the %username% variable in the profile path, you should end up with unique network locations for each of these accounts. Hopefully you follow what I mean here.

4.  When they login to the terminal servers, it should load their profile off the network share previously designated in step 3. If access to their many files already Point to mapped drives as outlined in step 1, then this should be a fairly quick and painless step.

This is probably one of the quickest way that I can think of resulting in very little cleanup after migration.

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