User Profile Move for XP or 2K

The following two procedures allow you to move local user profiles from one domain to another on the same machine. For example, lets say you are running Win2k or WinXP on your workstation which is attached to an old NT (or win2k or 03) domain. The new domain is created and you need to migrate your machine to the new domain but want to keep all of your favorites, email and desktop settings intact.

The process that Microsoft suggests you use is terribly cumbersome and quite honestly, a nuisance. I attempted to use Microsoft’s prescribed method but found that when a user had more than 1GB of data on their desktop, it would crash during the transfer process. While the first process listed here can be attributed to some process found on the internet (I don’t remember who or where), the second process is a simple reghack, which is more expedient once you learn it. This entire process (either one listed here) will take only five minutes to complete, a far cry from using the Microsoft ‘files and transfer settings wizard’

Process:

Assumption:

  1. The operating system is Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP
  2. The user’s previous domain account is a member of the Local Administrators or Power Users Groups
  3. You know the directory name of the users current profile

Process #1:

  1. Join the computer to the newdomain.com domain
    1. Logon as local admin
    2. Join the computer to the newdomain.com domain
    3. Reboot
  2. Pre-create a new profile
    1. Logon as local admin
    2. Rename users current profile from username to username.newdomain.com
    3. Logoff
  3. Create a new profile
    1. Logon with users new account
    2. Allow time for the profile to be created
    3. Logoff
  4. Copy old profile to new profile
    1. Logon as local admin
    2. Delete profile username
    3. Rename profile username.newdomain.com to username
    4. Go to the security tab of the directory username

                     i.      Add the newdomain.com user with full access

                     ii.      Delete the old domain account (S-1-1-…)

  1. Add the users newdomain.com account to the Local Administrators or Power Users groups.
  2. Logoff

Process #2:

  1. Join the computer to the newdomain.com domain
    1. Logon as local admin
    2. Join the computer to the newdomain.com domain
    3. Reboot
  2. Create a new profile
    1. Logon with users new account
    2. Allow time for the profile to be created

                  c.   Logoff

  1. Copy old profile to new profile
    1. Logon as local admin
    2. Go to the security tab of the directory username

                      i.      Add the newdomain.com user with full access

                      ii.      Delete the old domain account (S-1-1-…)

  1.  
    1. Open REGEDIT and go to the following key:

HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsNTCurrentVersionProfileList

d.   Begin opening any of the S-1-5-21…profiles and look at the ProfileImagePath string values until you find the one that says %systemdrive%Documents and Settingsusername.newdomain
e.   Rename username.newdomain to just username

f.    Continue to open the S-1-5-21…profiles until you find the one that says %systemdrive%Documents and Settingsusername

g.   Export this registry key to a safe place and then delete it from the registry

h.   Close the registry

i.    Right-click on the My Computer icon and select “Manage” from the context menu.

j.    Under Local Users and Groups select Groups and then Power Users or Administrators. Add the user to the appropriate group.

k.   Reboot the machine and logon to the newdomain domain.

Conclusion:
            When the user logs on, they should have a replica of their old profile.  Note that the users Exchange account will have to be changed to reflect the domain account. Ensure that all programs will work under the user’s new domain account, especially those that are tied to a database backend.
  

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