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Matt McSpirit on Virtualisation, Management and Core Infrastructure

Migrating a user's profile to Windows Small Business Server 2003

Migrating a user's profile to Windows Small Business Server 2003

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Simon contacted me earlier this week with regards to a problem he encountered with migrating user profiles over to a Small Business Server 2003 Domain.  The particular problem was around joining a Vista Business PC to an SBS domain - sounds straightforward on the surface, however, the Vista PC had some private user settings, which prevented migration:

"The following user settings are private:

- UserName

Client Setup cannot migrate private settings. On computers running Windows XP Professional, you can make these settings public and migrate them as follows:

Log on using the username and password of the user whose settings you want to migrate. In the Documents and Settings folder, right-click the user's folder, click Sharing and Security, and clear the Make this folder private check box. Repeat this procedure for all subfolders that have this check box selected, and then click OK.

Click Start, click Run, and run the Small Business Server Network Configuration Wizard again by typing: http://servername/connectcomputer.

For computers running Windows 2000 Professional, or if the above steps do not resolve the issue, see for more information."

If you've encountered this error, and aren't sure where to look, you can view these 2 pieces of information, which helped to solve the problem:

Although the articles are aimed at XP and Windows 2000, you can still use the information to solve the problem.  Thanks to Simon for giving me the info!

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  • Right. That's a known problem with managing user accounts on Windows Small Business Server 2003 SP 1 and R2 and occurs when profile folder's ACL has been cleaned out from other user's SIDs to prohibit their access to the folder and make the profile folder of that user private. It requires providing Full access and taking the ownership over this folder and all its subfolders prior to migrating the folder. I recommend automating this procedure a little if you are migrating several user profiles by using subinacl tool with /setowner switch passed to it or using xcacls tool from Windows Server 2000 Resource kit, or use xacls VBScript instead . Recently I came across a shiny migration tool from Scriptlogic - Secure Copy . As it as standalone application it's far richer in ita capabilities than those little command line tools I mentioned above. All the troubles connected with the need to remember switches when using command line tools aside, I would note that what I really love about Secure Copy is its ability to copy files and folders as-is with all the security settings kept intact even when I don't have administrative privileges to access them. A huge timesaver! That used to be one of my biggest headaches when I was using my batch files to copy the data from server to server. Another thing that I like there is that this tool can recreate on the destination server all the time stamp settings for files and folders taken from the source. That's helps in dealing with user documents stored within profile folders. Much easier than using an intermediate DB for timestamp to recreate them in an additional stamp using attribute management tools.

  • Robert - this is great information, thank you, I really appreciate it :-)

  • Greath post.

    I was looking for a solution for this issue and found it using the first workaround you mention.


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