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Fast & Free: Desktop Data Migration Using USMT. Brad Engle Janet Keener. Year 1 – 487 units. Imaged at the desktop with DVDs, vendor-supplied migration utility. No consistency. Captured music brought from home. Learned a lesson from that. Years 2-5.

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year 1 487 units
Year 1 – 487 units
  • Imaged at the desktop with DVDs, vendor-supplied migration utility. No consistency. Captured music brought from home. Learned a lesson from that.
years 2 5
Years 2-5
  • Imaged at the factory now. Still using vendor-supplied migration utility, still no consistency.
year 6
Year 6
  • Still imaging at factory, but they have a new utility. Slow, inconsistent, cumbersome, no real-time, on-the-fly edits to the script.
year 7
Year 7
  • Things changed…
year 71
Year 7
  • Factory imaging, but vendor has NO utility that would migrate from XP to Windows 7.
Year 1 - 487 units Year 5 - 511

Year 2 - 415 units Year 6 - 445

Year 3 - 317 units Year 7 - 351

Year 4 - 142 units Year 8 - 128

Year 9 - ~470 units

what changed janet says
What changed?Janet says:
  • Where did the idea come from?
    • Necessity – no cost-effective 3rd party utility
    • Current vendor had no solution
brads says
Brads says:
  • Boss said, “Figure it out! You have 2 weeks.”
  • Primary idea came from TechNet, using “Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7”
how we began
How we began
  • Research, research, research
  • Reviewed Altiris, Norton Ghost Console, some freeware applications. NONE were cost-effective, all were complex or lacked features
  • USMT kept appearing in white papers
Primary idea came from TechNet
  • v 4.0 Included for free with The Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7 (We had been using it since it came out but was not aware of this feature)
  • Was a straight forward, easily modified solution that was controlled by a few xml files
the files
The Files
  • Config.xml
  • MigApp.xml
  • MigUser.xml
  • MigDocs.xml
  • Custom.xml
  • Created by running scanstate.exe /genconfigon the source PC
  • Used to control what system settings are copied from the old computer to the new computer
  • Must ensure that all apps are installed so genconfig can create a complete inventory
config xml







With all the No, then why have the file?
  • Only place to have error control, hardlink control, and profile control
error control
Error Control
  • USMT will fail on:
    • locked or corrupt files
    • locked or corrupt registry keys
  • Can be overridden by specifying win32 error codes in the section
* [*] C:\Users\* *] * [*]

Hardlink control - used for keeping a profile on the local hard drive when an in-place refresh or upgrade is performed
  • Profile control - when unpacking the profile you can change permissions, change domains, etc.
miguser.xml - define folders, files and file types to migrate. Essentially the “profile” copy
  • By default it will copy everything in the user’s profile as well as files with a specified extension
Extensions copied by default:

.qdf, .qsd, .qel, .qph, .doc*, .dot*, .rtf, .mcw, .wps, .scd, .wri, .wpd, .xl*, .csv, .iqy, .dqy, .oqy, .rqy, .wk*, .wq1, .slk, .dif, .ppt*, .pps*, .pot*, .sh3, .ch3, .pre, .ppa, .txt, .pst, .one*, .vl*, .vsd, .mpp, .or6, .accdb, .mdb, .pub


User Data

component type="Documents" context="User">





%CSIDL_DESKTOP% [desktop.ini]


MigDocs.xml – Very similar to the miguser.xml. Only real difference is it migrates shared files
  • Important – Do NOT use the MigDocs.xml and the MigUser.xml at the same time
custom xml
  • Allows any files not covered in the other xml files to be copied
  • Can copy registry keys, files, settings
  • Can use Mutual Exclude commands
    • Mutual Excludes transcend all xml files and cannot be negated. This is the only value that has this power
custom xml1

EXCLUDES Code sample:


custom xml2
custom. xml


pattern type="File">c:\*[*]

  • Scanstate is the command line that actually launches USMT to do the migration.
scanstate switches
Scanstate Switches
  • Some helpful switches:
    • /ui: user to be migrated. I wrote it to supply the primary user. You can specify all users, currently logged in, etc. Very powerful
    • /ue: excludes specified users
    • /efs: decrypts files & moves them to TARGET system
scanstate switches1
Scanstate Switches
  • /localonly: DO NOT go scan all those huge network drives!
  • /config: specifies that you have a configuration file to use.
  • /i: an include statement that says you have additional XML files to control the behavior of the migration.
  • /o: overwrites any existing data on the target drive.
  • set /p name= Machine name?
  • set /p user= Username?
  • del /q/f c:\oitdriver
  • scanstate \\etsu%name%\c$\migration\mystore /vsc /ue:*\*/ui:etsu\%user% /efs:decryptcopy /localonly /config:config.xml /i:miguser.xml /i:custom.xml /v:13 /l:scan.log /o /listfiles:c:\temp\copylist.txt
  • In our experiences, we’ve seen about a 2:1 compression ratio. If the utility packaged 4 GB, it would transfer about 2 GB. That’s what Microsoft says, too.
unpack the mig file
Unpack the .mig file
  • On TARGET machine, just run usmt.mig file created by the process.
  • The Easy Transfer Wizard included in Windows 7 begins, and the data is unpackaged to the appropriate location on the new drive.
  • Example – 1.7 GB packaged up. .88GB transferred in about 4 minutes. Easy Transfer complete unpacking in about 3 minutes. FAST!
  • Even if the user’s account has never logged into the TARGET system, this utility will generate the profile and place the files appropriately. 
  • If you get an error 36, running the mig.bat file, the profile on the SOURCE system is corrupt. 
next we hope to
Next, we hope to…
  • Explore the restorestate command & options, and how that can be integrated into drive imaging/re-imaging.
  • Research Error code 36 and ways to overcome that (temp profile being migrated)
questions comments


[email protected]\oit\userservices\fcf2011.pptx