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Workgroup profiles to a new domain

By bmassey ·
Greetings all. I have a bit of a conundrum on my hands here and am trying to figure out the fastest way to implement a solution. Our company recently "split" from the main division and we are working on our own. I have inherited the job as IT manager now and have found that all the computers here are not domain based...they are one huge "workgroup" on a public IP scheme. Hooray. Now, I have talked the owner of my company to get a new server with Windows 2003 on it, which we did. The trouble I'm running into is getting the old profiles from the workgroup to be able to be used in the domain. I have tried copying the profiles to the server and setting up roaming profiles, but alas, that doesn't work. Is there any other way to do this than to copy and import the profiles to the local machines and save all the vital information on the profiles?


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by bytesolutions In reply to Workgroup profiles to a n ...


From my understanding you are trying to take a peer to peer local machine profile and add it into a Windows 2003 Server domain?

I do not think that it is possible, and each user on the new domain will have a roaming profile created accordingly. Remember although these OS's look alike there are many differences between them, and the securities will be violated.

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by sbrown95 In reply to Workgroup profiles to a n ...

I have recently been in the middle of this pickle. I just copied the local profiles to the server and applied the proper settings. No problems what so ever. Maybe you're missing a step. I know that we all sometimes just need a fresh mind to look at the problem. What type of error occurs when you try this?

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by bmassey In reply to Workgroup profiles to a n ...

Well, I have done that...I copied the profiles to the new server to the appropriate folders, and set the roaming profile path to point to the correct folders and I keep getting errors that say that the server copy of the profile cannot be located, and then it loads the local profile, of course. I'm curious if it's a SID issue or something more than that.

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by curlergirl In reply to Workgroup profiles to a n ...

Roaming profiles can be tricky, particularly because of permissions issues. Usually when you see the behavior you are seeing - that the user's profile is not correctly downloaded and a temporary local profile is created instead - it is because the user does not have Full Control permission to the roaming profile folder and all of the files in it. The ONLY 100% problem-free way to create a roaming profile that works is:

1. Go to the user's local workstation and log on as Administrator (should be a Domain Admin-level account that also have local admin rights).
2. Right-click My Computer, click Properties, click Advanced tab, click Settings button under User Profiles.
3. Highlight the user's name on the list and click "Copy to".
4. In the "Copy profile to" folder, click browse and select the user's roaming profile folder. You may get a message that the folder already contains files and they will be deleted. Click OK (as long as you're sure the profile you are copying from the local workstation is the one you want to use).
5. Click the Change button under "permitted to use" and select the user's Domain logon ID.
6. Click OK.

This will copy the most recent local profile to the user's roaming profile folder and will ALSO set all the permissions on the roaming profile folder and files so that the user has Full Control. Believe me, I have tried setting NTFS permissions for roaming profiles directly on the server, and frequently it just doesn't work - particularly with profiles that have been in use for some time. Some little file buried somewhere in a folder doesn't get the correct permissions and then the entire roaming profile won't download.

Hope this helps!

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by maagero In reply to Workgroup profiles to a n ...

Hi 'bmassey', I also have one 'big' workgroup. When I created the 'joe smith' domain user on WinServer2003 and join 'joe smith' workgroup PC to the domain, a separate 'domain' profile is created on the user's PC. I am looking for an efficient conversion from workgroup to domain profile, because copying each users files over will result in a lot of work. I'm still on the hunt for a solution, if you come up with something I'd appreciate some help. I'll do the same for you. -Ron Maagero

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by maagero In reply to

I did find a solution that works, but it is a manual registry entry change type of thing. If you have 1,000's of PCs, it won't be fun. I tried it on my PC [workgroup to domain] and it worked.

Here's the link:

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by maagero In reply to Workgroup profiles to a n ...

Brian, I said wen I find the answer I would post it. Go to ["moveuser" is the MSFT utility for doing a profile move].
I also found out another way. Once a new profile is created in the destination domain or workgroup. Shutdown the workstation, shutdown [not log out] to release user.dat. Log on as administrator and go into the c:\document and settings\[username] folder of "original" profile to be moved or copied to the "new" profile and paste the old profile items [the items below [username] folder]. The only errors you will receive will concern applications that existed in original profile, but do not exist in the new profile. For instance, I ran across a Crystal Reports 10 message conccerning a DLL that Excel 2003 was looking for when I transferred a profile to a new PC. I installed Crystal Reports on the new PC and all worked fine. So people, don't search for "migrate user from workgroup to domain", searc for "moveuser" and the answer will be found. Oy! What a time I had with this one.

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