Migrating User State Data

■ Evaluating Migration Technologies 224

■ Using Windows Easy Transfer 226

■ Planning User State Migration Using USMT 230

■ Installing USMT 237

■ Understanding USMT Components 238

■ Developing Migration Files 240

■ Using USMT in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 242

■ Additional Resources 246

Operating system deployment always involves user state migration—the process of migrating users' documents and settings from one operating system to another. Even when you don't migrate user state during deployment, users will spend countless hours trying to restore their preferences (such as desktop backgrounds, screensavers, and themes). Because this manual process reduces user productivity and usually increases support calls, organizations often choose to migrate some portion of user state to new operating systems as they are deployed.

User satisfaction is another reason to elevate the importance of user state migration in your project. Users are simply more satisfied and feel less overwhelmed when they sit down in front of a new operating system and they don't have to recover their preferences. The fact is that unsatisfied users can lead to poor post-implementation reviews and can have negative consequences for future deployment projects . For example, user dissatisfaction with previous projects can stall a deployment project that you know will benefit the company in the long term . Keep the users happy.

This chapter helps you decide which user state migration tools best suit your environment. It then explores the User State Migration Tool (USMT) 4. 0, including customizing and automating the user state migration process . You'll learn how to identify user state data, how to plan the user state migration project, and how to execute the user state migration using tools such as Windows scripting and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 (MDT 2010).

Evaluating Migration Technologies

Whether you decide to migrate user state individually, as part of a high-volume deployment project, or not at all, you should evaluate the available options to ensure that you make the best choices for your environment. The size and scope of the migration project factor into your choice, as will the type and amount of user state data you choose to migrate .

The following sections describe the different options that Microsoft provides. Several third-party products are also available for migrating user state . If you're using MDT 2010 as your deployment framework, Microsoft recommends that you use USMT to migrate user state to Windows 7. USMT handles most common scenarios out of the box, and exceptional cases are easy to configure. Additionally, MDT 2010 already includes the pre-deployment and post-deployment logic for saving and restoring user state.

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