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Domain Migration NT4 to Server2003

By iain.wright ·
TechRepublic Readers,

I would like to start off by thanking you in advance for taking the time to read this and comment.

I recently started working at a new company as IT Staff. My previous employer was very thorough in training me. They were extreamly strict on the specifics, and had SOPS set up for about every task i did (from setting up servers to installing a printer and naming it).

At this new job, it is the opposite, the network is held together by bits of string. One of these pieces of string is a NT4 Domain controller, on an ancient system. I have purchased a new dell poweredge server and set it up as the new domain controller. I have setup Scripts and GPO's for grouped users (by department) to manage drive mapping, system settings, printers, etc.

It is all going very well except for one thing.

PROFILES!

Basically, i know the basic procedure for copying a user profile:
- Logon as new user
- Logoff, login as admin
- Copy all old user files except for the 3 hidden files in old user root dir: NTUSER.DAT, ntuser.dat.log, and ntuser.ini
- Paste in new users directory

This seems to save most settings. But i do have some concerns before i move everyone over.

Is there any way to copy these specific user settings:
- Windows Taskbar Quicklaunch buttons
- Other windows toolbars

Some more questions & concerns:
- Will Office Products autosave to the new profiles directory or to the old profile?
- Are there any other things i should be concerned with? I really want the move to go as smooth as possible, and these users are not very comfortable with change.

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Easy...

by NOW LEFT TR In reply to Domain Migration NT4 to S ...

Copy everything from a users profile (including your three hidden files) to a netowrk share on the new server. In AD point the users profile at the UNC for each users profile folder.

(do one user for a quick test- test user)

2003 uses Intellimirror replication where NT4 did not.

On logon the process checks the client PC for a profile. If it exists it compares the timestamps for the profile files - server version (you put there / workstation ones). Newer files win and are merged to the profile folder on the workstation.

If it does not exist the profile from the server is copied to the workstation, the profile you copied there.

Done.

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Roaming Profiles...hmm...

by iain.wright In reply to Easy...

I was interested in this, but like i said i do have 50 users here. Would this be Ok as far as network load and resources on the server itself? The goal of the migration was to improve logon times and functionality as far as GPO's and also implement a solid network inventory. I am only concerned with the network load, otherwise it seems like a great solution. Thanks for the (only) reply sir.

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Further

by NOW LEFT TR In reply to Roaming Profiles...hmm...

Set the profile limit in the GPO to an acceptable size, say 10Mb. It is not much...

How fast are the network links?

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50 Users - no problem

by curlergirl In reply to Roaming Profiles...hmm...

You won't have any problems with 50 users using roaming profiles, unless you have the profiles on a really slow server. Since it seems you have basically brand new hardware/software, you should have no problem. Windows 2003 uses the Intellimirror technology, only copying the newer files, so once the initial profile is created on both the server and workstation, it takes very little bandwidth to update from day to day.

You do, however, want to do a few extra things in your GPO's - under the User Configuration/Administrative Templates/System/User Profiles section in each GPO, you can set a limit for the profile size, and you can also exclude certain folders from the roaming profile. By default, the History, Local Settings, Temp, and Temporary Internet Files folders are excluded from the user's roaming profile, but there may be others you wouldn't want to include. For example, I generally exclude the entire My Documents folder, which includes My Pictures, My Music, etc. These folders can grow very large for those users who like to put pictures of their grandchildren, pets, etc., on their desktop wallpaper, or copy their favorite CDs onto their workstation to listen to while they (supposedly) work.

Hope this helps!

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