How to Migrate User State and Data from XP to Windows 7 - Automatically

Helge Klein's picture

Life could be so easy for technicians tasked with rolling out Windows 7. Build an automatic installation system, flip the switch, done. That is, if the users did not have PCs before. If they did, which they very probably had, there is a thing called "user state" to consider. It is safe to assume that these guys actually used the devices issued to them, building up a huge pile of stuff they would hate to lose. On this big pile we find configuration settings (in the profile), but also data files, many of them even related to work. Shocking - you told your users not to store files locally, but they still did. Now what are you going to do in a migration? Throw it all away? Probably not.

Adding Client Data Migration Support to Profile Migrator

What you need is a tool that collects user state and useful data from the XP machine, morphs it in such a way as to be compatible with Windows 7, and injects the transformed personality into a fresh installation of Windows 7. Profile Migrator already does the morphing part very well. What it currently cannot do is retrieving data from the old client and putting it back on the new machine (we are working on that!). That need not keep you from using Profile Migrator's exceptional morphing capabilities in your client migration, though.

We have published a script in the Profile Migrator forum that fills the blank. LocalProfileMigration.cmd is intended to run on the source and target computers where is saves respectively restores local data to/from a local or remote migration store. Once the source computer's data has been collected, Profile Migrator can migrate the profile, placing the resulting V2 profile next to its V1 "father". From there it is then picked up and restored along with the user's data files to the Windows 7 machine. The whole process is inherently automatable - in fact we developed this solution for a company specializing in software distribution and desktop management. The use the fully-featured command line version of Profile Migrator to control the actual profile migration from their solution.

High-Fidelity Office Upgrade

With this add-on there is nothing that should keep you from evaluating Profile Migrator for your client or server migration project. On the contrary: to my knowledge no other tool migrates Microsoft Office configurations from 2003 to 2007 or 2010 with such high fidelity. And it is getting better all the time: expect the public beta of the new version 1.1 shortly here. In addition to numerous bug fixes, Profile Migrator 1.1 has the ability to execute pre- and post-migration scripts on each profile, further enhancing the flexibility of the solution.

Live Demo? Come to Synergy Berlin!


Often a five minute product demo is more convincing than several pages worth of features and praise. If you are attending Citrix Synergy Berlin next week, come to our booth. We are more than happy to show you the product.

In any case, check out the white paper we released recently:

Whitepaper: Profile migration for a system upgrade to Citrix XenApp 6