Domain Profile Migration Fun!

One thing i love about doing SBS installs is that unless its a 100% new network (new PCs, printers, the lot!) i that always learn something

The install i’ve been doing this week i originally planned to swing migrate, but after further investigation (like a really poorly named domain name for starters!) i decided a fresh install was the best bet

This meant that i’d have to migrate the domain profiles from the old domain to the new one

So the method i followed was

Create a new local user (e.g UserMigrate)

Login and logout as UserMigrate to create a “blank” profile

Login as a user that has local administrator rights (and is not the user you want to migrate!)

Using the User Profile dialog on the System settings in control panel copy the old profile to the UserMigrate profile. You can also do this by hand via the “Documents and Settings” folder

Remove the computer from the domain into a workgroup

Use the SBS ConnectComputer wizard to join the domain and select the UserMigrate user when asked which profile settings to migrate

This worked pretty well on the whole until i hit one PC where it just wouldn’t happen. It refused to overwrite the NTUSER files in the profile as it was “in use”. This puzzled me as i definately wasn’t logged in as that user!

So i fired up Process Explorer and it revealed that NETLOGON.EXE had a file handle on NTUSER.DAT

I had a quick look around the user settings and i discovered that this particular user was a local administrator. I’d been assured no-one was. I didn’t check as the SBS ConnectComputer wizard would have made them local admin which i would have changed afterwards

So i removed the user from the local admin group and rebooted the machine. I tried just logging off but it was having none of it!

I know Craig’s Profile Tool could possibly have done some of the heavy lifting here but i haven’t played with it enough and i make a point of not trying not new things on client’s networks where possible though it was useful at retreiving details from another PC that had 25 “account unknown” profiles

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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1 thought on “Domain Profile Migration Fun!

  • To exclude “account unknown” in future I would use secure copy. It’s one of the tools that can sucessfully migrate local groups whyle copying files. If a local group has permissions on a file in a source server secure copy creates the local group on the destination server and modifies the permissions list on the destination file to reflect the newly created local group.

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