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Tips and tricks on using the User State Migration Tool

Why you need to be careful with /c

Why you need to be careful with /c

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Scanstate and Loadstate both allow the /c switch to be used to skip non-fatal errors.  However, due to the impact that using it can have on a migration, great caution must be used when deploying Scanstate and Loadstate with /c.  To get started, here is what the help content has to say:

When specified, ScanState will continue to run even if there are nonfatal errors. Without the /c option, ScanState exits on the first error. When you specify this option, any files or settings that cause an error and are ignored will be logged in the progress log. For example, if there is a large file that will not fit in the store, ScanState will log an error and will continue with the migration. In addition, if a file is open or in use by an application, USMT may not be able to migrate the file and will log an error. (emphasis mine) Link 

When specified, LoadState will continue to run even if there are nonfatal errors. Without the /c option, LoadState exits on the first error. When you specify this option, any files or settings that cause an error and are ignored will be logged in the progress log. For example, if a file is open or if there is a large file that will not fit on the destination computer, LoadState will log an error and will continue with the migration. (emphasis mine) Link 

So, what can we take away from this?  Bottom line, when specifying /c on the command line you are telling Scanstate and Loadstate that it is ok for them continue even when they can't migrate any number of files or registry keys.  Also, this behavior is not configurable in any way.  That is to say that both executables will continue no matter the importance or quantity of the data left behind.

However, this is not to say that /c should't be used.  Each time a file is skipped with /c a note is made in the log indicating so.  This enables scenarios in which these files are gathered separately, if important, either manually or with a script.  We have talked to folks who have done both.  The important thing here is to understand exactly what /c does and ensure that it fits into the scenario in which you use USMT.

Comments
  • We DO use /C

    Mainly because there's non fatal errors on appr. 15% of all exports, but most of them are exactly that; Non Fatal.

    What we do instead, is scan the log afterwards, before the automatic reinstallation. The machines with errors are then NOT reinstalled until we have checked the logs.

    Doing it the other way would be an enourmes extra workload, since we would have to rescedule 15% of our exports, and maby even several times, just because of a tedious non significant error. We have 12.000 PC's

    At the end we redo under 2% of the exports.

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