In this article, we’ll learn how perform enterprise-wide migration to Windows 10, and keep it as automated as possible. The focus of this how-to is to migrate user profiles and applications to Windows 10 automatically, preserving user personalization, custom applications, profile settings and, of course, files.
This can be achieved for migration from one computer to another with Windows 10, for in-place upgrade to Windows 10, cross-domain migration and other scenarios. Of course, migration from Windows 7, 8 or 10 to new Windows 10 systems is fully supported, as well as 32bit to 64bit migration.
Just want to find out how to automate the migration, and don’t need a general tutorial?
Click here to skip to the part with the actual migration process.
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After choosing your desired Windows 10 branch and edition, and picking your OS deployment strategy, the next task to tackle is the actual process of migrating your users from their existing systems – to Windows 10.
A major part of that is developing a process to migrate the contents of the user’s system to the new OS. At a bare minimum, this includes the user’s profile, settings, accounts, passwords, PSTs, personalization. In environments that allow them, users would also need their personal data and custom applications.
Of course, if the users do not have too much personalization and do not use custom application, the migration becomes an easy task, and can be implemented by simple approaches such as roaming profiles.
This tutorial focuses on migrating personalized users profiles, and even custom applications, to new Windows 10 systems.
The first step in a migration is to take inventory of what you have: hardware, OS versions, standard applications, custom applications, user personalization. Typical concerns at this stage are:
Once you’ve mapped out the existing environment and potential challenges, the next step is to decide what you want to migrate – and what will be standardized. Typical approaches are:
There are two primary ways you can perform the migration: either directly from one computer to another (over the network), or indirectly, using shared network storage, NAS or even a USB drive. Below is the process description for each option.
Before you start the transfer
Assuming the machines are in a domain, make sure to add the target to the domain first. Then, login as same domain user on both computers. It doesn’t matter which user (all other profiles are transferred as well), just that it is the same on both. For example, you can login as the actual end user, or just as your administrator user.
If you are transferring over the network, consider disabling the firewall on the old machine, or at least adding Zinstall to its whitelist.
Option 1: Direct migration to Windows 10 over the network
Option 2: Indirect migration, via intermediate storage
Once the migration is complete, do a quick verification of user’s most common applications and files. You don’t have to verify the actual files (Zinstall migration is complete), however you may sometimes need to make small adjustments in client application configs – for example, if something has the old computer’s name hardcoded, or if you’ve moved your user into a new domain site.
Transition to a new OS may require some adjustment from the users. They will be facing a new interface, different ways to get things done, different placements of system menus and their icons.
With that, assuming you have their profiles properly migrated, retaining the familiar wallpaper, icons on the desktop, personalization will greatly help the user “feel at home” and reduce support calls and general dissatisfaction.
In businesses where personal data and applications are commonplace, migrating those will also be a significant boost in user acceptance.
The migration process described above can be automated by running Zinstall Migration Kit Pro from command line, logon script or management frameworks such as SCCM.
For example, you can script a department-wide creation of containers, saving them to network storage, and then deployment of those containers onto new Windows 10 machines.
This can be scheduled for off hours, night, weekends etc. to reduce impact on users (although the user can work on the machine while the migration is in progress).
See “Command line execution” in the user guide for more information.
Windows 10 migration may look like a daunting task, but it seems to be an easier challenge than migrating from XP to Windows 7. With proper planning and right tools for the job, even a large-scale migration can be done on time, on budget and with satisfied end users.
We hope that this tutorial have helped you along that path!
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