I recently switch one of our computers to a new domain internally and really didn’t want to lose all the settings and data stored in my user profile nor to manually move them all (which invariably causes more problems than it solves).
I decided to give a tool recommended by one of our techs – User Profile Wizard (by ForensIT) – a go.
So before I even ran the wizard there were a couple of things that immediately get a thumbs up from me:
While there is a paid version capable of powerful mass-rollouts (and obviously with support provided) there is also a free version for us infrequent users and those trying it for the first time – nice!
You can install the wizard on to your machine but given that you’re unlikely to use it very often (perhaps a couple of times in the life of a PC with any luck), its an unnecessary pain. Thankfully, ForensIT had the uncommon sense to make the software a self-contained EXE – also nice!
Transfer a Profile To A Different Domain
One thing I was concerned about initially when running the wizard is that it might copy my current profile to a new one – my C drive is an SSD drive with limited space and my profile is huge.
I’m happy report however that it does not, it simply re-purposes your current profile for the new network domain.
- DO NOT join your computer to the new domain before you run the wizard
- DO have the login details for your account on the new domain
- DO have an administrator login for the new domain
- DO have the the NEW domain controller set as the DNS server for your computer (or whichever DNS server is authoritative for the NEW domain) so that all DNS requests go to it first.
To migrate your user profile to a new domain, perform the following steps:
- Network Configuration
Your computer needs to be able to find the new domain controller – make sure that your machine is on the correct subnet and more importantly, is using a local DNS server that ‘knows’ the location of the domain controller (often the domain controller itself).
Create a local administrator account on the PC you want to migrate, reboot and login as that account (or at least login as any user other than the one you want to migrate), the idea is that you are ensuring the profile isn’t used in anyway during the transfer.
The ForensIT User Profile Wizard from here: www.forensit.com/downloads.html to an easily accessible resource such as a USB drive (if your going to be doing it on lots of machines).
Unzip the download – the file is a standalone EXE within the ZIP file.
- Run Profwiz.exe
The program will need to be run with administrative privileges.
- Select User Profile
You will be presented with a list of the user profiles on the computer.
Select the profile you want to transfer to the domain and click next.
- User Account Information
Domain or Local Computer Name
Enter the name of the domain name you wish to join the computer to – you may need enter the full domain (for example office.acme.com).
Enter the Account Name
The username of the account on the domain you wish to transfer the select profile to.
- Your profile will begin transferring and in fairly short order you will be asked to reboot your machine, login with the new account, ensuring the new domain is selected at the login screen
- All Done!
Something as complex as transferring a profile with all files, folder and program configurations intact is not a trivial task and invariably there will be some issues, here’s the ones I encountered:
My Dropbox when completely ballistic after the migration and first login, re-indexing every file (I have several hundred thousand files) and re-uploading about 3,000 of them (despite it being sync’d before the migration). It *did* however remember my selective sync settings (so it doesn’t suddenly start downloading things I didn’t want on my machine) which is a plus but its something to watch out for if you are on a slow connection.
Our remote access client of choice is currently LogMeIn (although not for much longer due to their draconian pricing changes and lack of innovation), although the LogMeIn remote access client (called ‘LogMeIn’) worked fine, the LogMeIn Ignition tool (renamed ‘LogMeIn Client’ in a show of epic stupidity) refuses to login.
I have uninstalled it, rebooted and reinstalled but am still just stuck with a ‘Please Wait’ message after login:
I was only able to get ‘LogMeIn Client’ (the program formerly known as Ignition) working by uninstalling LogMeIn, deleting all the LogMeIn folders I could find and then deleting all the LogMeIn references I could find in my registry too.
Similar to LogMeIn, my Chrome sync settings wouldn’t work properly until I disassociated my account completely, restarted Chrome and then re-linked it. Not a big deal but just one more thing to watch out for.