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  • Blog Post: USMT and Invalid User Mapping

    Hi folks, Ned here again. Today I discuss an insidious issue you can see with USMT when you have previously migrated computers between forests with ADMT . This scenario is rare enough that I didn't bother with a KB article - not to mention it's easier to explain with pictures and "wit". If...
  • Blog Post: Controlling USMT Desktop Shell Icon Behavior from XP (and how to create registry values out of thin air)

    People of Earth! It is I, Ned - your benevolent alien dictator - back again to talk to you about USMT. A few customers have asked me how to prevent XP Classic Start Menu desktop icons from migrating to Windows 7. Since these aren’t true shortcuts, you have to do some gyrations to block these...
  • Blog Post: USMT and U: Migrating only fresh domain profiles

    Hi folks, Ned here again. Frequently someone asks me how to make USMT 4.0 migrate only recently used domain user profiles. This might sound like a simple request for a USMT veteran, but there are some subtleties caused by processing rules and behaviors. Today I go through how this works, talk about pitfalls...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Tuesday To You Edition

    Hi folks, Ned here again. It’s a long weekend here in the United States, so today I talk to you tell myself about a domain join issue one can only see in Win7/R2 or later, what USMT hard link migrations really do, how to poke LDAP in legacy PowerShell, time zone migration, and an emerging issue...
  • Blog Post: USMT pauses at "starting the migration process" for many minutes then works

    Hi folks, Ned here again. Occasionally, someone pings me to explain why USMT 4.0 scanstate is running slowly. My first demand is to see the scanstate.log file, having provided the argument /v:5 . That log shows the command-line, the XML files selected, and what "slow" really means. In this particular...
  • Blog Post: USMT and Converting Registry Data Types

    Heya folks, Ned here again. Microsoft is legendary for its backwards compatibility. No other operating system family can claim to support as much older software and settings as Windows - heck, companies like Apple seem to proudly cut "legacy" support after a few years and spin it like it's a positive...
  • Blog Post: Monthly Mail Sack: Yes, I Finally Admit It Edition

    Heya folks, Ned here again. Rather than continue the lie that this series comes out every Friday like it once did, I am taking the corporate approach and rebranding the mail sack. Maybe we’ll have the occasional Collector’s Edition versions. This week month, I answer your questions on: The semi-myth...
  • Blog Post: Does USMT Migrate <This Goo>?

    Hi folks, Ned here again. Below are the two most common USMT questions I get asked these days: USMT is not migrating setting X for application Y. Is USMT broken or is this expected behavior? I am in the planning phase and have not yet tried, but will USMT migrate setting X for application Y? There are...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Goat Riding Bambino Edition

    Hi folks, Ned here again. I’m trying to get back into the swing of having a mail sack every week but they can be pretty time consuming to write (hey, all this wit comes at a price!) so I am experimenting with making them a little shorter. This week we talk AD PowerShell secrets, USMT and Profile scalability...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: LeBron is not Jordan Edition

    Hi folks, Ned here again. Today we discuss trusts rules around domain names, attribute uniqueness, the fattest domains we’ve ever seen, USMT data-only migrations, kicking FRS while it’s down, and a few amusing side topics. Scottie, don’t be that way. Go Mavs. Creating trusts...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Unintended Hilarity Edition

    Hiya folks, Ned here again with another week’s questions, comments, and oddities. This time we’re talking: GPMC inconsistent permissions error ADMT multiple servers DFSR staging calculation performance USMT and MAX_PATH DFSR port 5722 on members Common AD support topics...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Mothers day pfffft… when is son’s day?

    Hi folks, Ned here again. It’s been a little while since the last sack, but I have a good excuse: I just finished writing a poop ton of Windows Server 2012 depth training that our support folks around the world will use to make your lives easier (someday). If I ever open MS Word again it will be...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: I Don’t Like the Taste of Pants Edition

    Hi all, Ned here again. After a few months of talking about Windows Server 2012 to other ‘softies from around the globe, I’m back with the sack. It was great fun – and not over yet, it turns out – but I am finally home for a bit. The only way you don’t know that the next...
  • Blog Post: New USMT 5.0 Features for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

    Hi all, Ned here again. Frequent readers know that I’ve written many times about the User State Migration Tool; it’s surprising to some, but the Directory Services team owns supporting this tool within Microsoft in the United States (our European colleagues wisely made sure the Deployment...
  • Blog Post: Blocking Wallpaper Migration with USMT (or: you are a jerk)

    Hi folks, Ned here again. Do you hate your users? Do you revel in removing the slightest joy they have in their day? Do you wish to crush their hope and dreams, to the point of removing the small shreds of humanity they see while walled into their bleak veal pens? If so, this post is for you. Today I...
  • Blog Post: LINKS! USMT 4 forgot my LINKS!!

    Gary here, and in this post I am going to talk about USMT and the Links folder not migrating from Vista or Windows 7. This folder is new starting with Vista so it would not be an issue coming from XP to the higher versions of Windows. In case you are wondering what the Links folder is, it is the Favorite...
  • Blog Post: Monthly Mail Sack: I Hope Your Data Plan is Paid Up Edition

    Hi all, Ned here again with that thing we call love. Blog! I mean blog. I have a ton to talk about now that I have moved to the monthly format, and I recommend you switch to WIFI if you’re on your phone. This round I answer your questions on: Reattaching DCs in Windows Server 2012 DFSR...
  • Blog Post: USMT 4.0 and Custom Exclusion Troubleshooting

    Ned here again. Because Windows XP cannot be in-place upgraded to Windows 7 and because XP has ruled supreme for longer than most IT staffers’ careers, everyone who managed to avoid USMT are now coming out of the woodwork. Perhaps the most asked question is “I am trying to block X from being...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Best Post This Year Edition

    Hi folks, Ned here and welcoming you to 2012 with a new Friday Mail Sack. Catching up from our holiday hiatus, today we talk about: Disabling Administrative Shares Making Get-ADDomainController useful’er Kerberos group bloat USMT moving profiles back from other disks The DFSR...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Wahoo Edition

    Hi folks, Ned here again. This week we talk GUI metadata cleanup, your useless manager (attributes), USMT abandonment and weight issues, the meaning of the DFSR nothing state, and the usual “other stuff.” Metadata cleanup when moving DCs The Manager and ManagedBy attributes Overriding...
  • Blog Post: Don’t mess about with USMT’s included manifests!

    Ned here. Today I talk about the importance of the included USMT component manifests and how things can get gross when they are not available to Scanstate and Loadstate. Here’s you You are using USMT 4.0 to migrate from XP to Windows 7. You run scanstate on XP and it appears to work...
  • Blog Post: Murphy Loves Migrations: USMT and the Case of the Missing Folders

    Hi folks, Ned here again. You may have heard of a corollary to Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong, will - and at the worst possible moment " Whether it comes to carrying the on-call phone, installing a service pack, or running a huge client migration, Murphy is there to kick you right...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Charlotte Edition

    Hiya folks, Ned back with a palette-cleansing Mail Sack after this monstrosity . This week we talk about: To customize AD schema or not DC and root hints USMT and the case of the missing apps DFSR and %SYSTEMROOT% More fun with DC Same As Parent domain zone records Speeding up DFSN...
  • Blog Post: Understanding USMT Printer Migration (or the lack thereof)

    Hi there folks, Ned here again. I've touched on USMT and printers before but it was a quick answer to a specific question in a Friday Mail Sack . Today I explain in detail how USMT migrates network-mapped printers and why it migrates nothing else. If you didn't understand this before, don’t worry… it...
  • Blog Post: USMT Custom XML the Free and Easy Way

    Ned here again. XML is used to configure all aspects of USMT 4.0 migration and is especially important when customizing. Unfortunately most IT staffers are not familiar with XML – why should they be? It’s barely used within Windows and is mainly an applications-specific file store. Maybe...