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.
17 comments on «User Profile Wizard (by ForensIT) Review»
Great! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you good to know
Great article. Thanks Bob.
Just wondering, does Profile Wizard migrate the following:
1. Local printers
2. Printers shared out to other users
3. Mapped drives
4. Folders shared out to other users
Again, awesome article. Thanks!
I believe it does all of the above but perhaps excluding Mapped Drives. To be honest mapped drives and shared printers should be handled by Group Policy anyway
Will the User Profile Wizard allow me to change the format of the user name? I want to move to FirstName[dot]LastName.
Yes certainly, you can change name completely. Bear in mind it effectively reassign a users profile on a machine to a new active directory account.
what if the accounts are already created on the new AD. does it try to recreate them or do they use the finished accounts?
Hope this is not too stale a thread. When you used the free tool, did the user’s Outlook profile come over and thus, no need to recreate and re-download email from O365 or an on-premises exchange mail server? I’m in need of migrating machines/users to a new domain controller and just do not have the bandwidth to re-setup everyone’s Outlook Profile to the cloud. Just curious if you had similar situation and what happened.
Yes, Outlook profiles came over when I’ve done this previously and it was, in fact, a big reason for doing it!
I believe the email password will need to be re-entered on first run.
And that was with the freebie package? That’s a nice deal. Thanks for info.
Yep I believe so – its been a while!
I’m wondering. Will it create a new user folder like user_name.domain_name or keep an old user folder? If it will keep the old folder name, can I make it create new one? Thanks
Hi, it uses the same folder and updates all the permissions and the guid for the new domain. I’m not sure if there is an option to have it create a new folder instead, although this would obviously require more disk space to copy everything from the original profile.
in my case I’ve got SBS2011 (with bundled AD, DNS, DHCP, file/print services only active; Exchange role has been disabled while ago when moved them over to O365) and have also new Server (W2012R2 Essentials) in the same subnet & Domain.
This W2012R2 is now going to be single DC; DNS, DHCP etc in this Domain, SBS2011 be then taken offline after moving across user profiles.
So for this scenario – any specific ‘prerequisites’ that you can suggest.
To be honest in my experience, Profile Wizard doesn’t care about the network or server configuration provided it can reach a domain controller. All its really doing is rebadging all of the files and configs within a profile folder structure with a new Active Directory GUID, etc. As ever, advice given without warranty so I’d recommend do a test on one user (as its easy enough to manually fix one users profile if it goes South).
Hope this helps
thanks Bob for your response. I’ll give it a go.
just a follow up on my above request – I’ve attempted profile migration on a ‘test’ w/station by
* first making it part of current Domain: xyz.local
* existing user ‘eddie’ profile contents quite easily accessible/redirected in existing Domain environment
* then created user ‘eddie’ on new Server – xyz.lan (both new and old Servers in same internal subnet)
* logging locally as ‘Administrator’ on test w/s
* gave local static DNS on test w/s pointing to new Server (that has functional folder redirection GP in place)
* I then run ‘Profwiz’ utility that runs without any issues (profile ‘eddie’ selection, disjoin/rejoin Domain; credentials handshake etc. all works ok)
* on reboot, I login as ‘eddie’ on new local Domain with no profile/redirected folders content
* it also gives ‘corrupted recycle bin redirected folders….’. that led me to this link:
* still no joy – am at my wits end 🙁
* any ideas what m i doing wrong?