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joem
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I am going to start adding users and computers to my server. I have a couple of local user accounts that have quite an elaborate configuration. Such as Outlook, Desktop, and other configured programs. When I join these computers to the domain and use the domain user accounts am I going to have to configure the domain user by importing their pst file, email, desktop, etc so it is just like their local account, or is there some way to import the profile of the local elaborate user account? The users will come unglued if they see their domain user account the first time they log on. Therefore I have a dilemma here. Do I not join the users to the domain and just use the server to backup there computers and use the shared resources? Or do I connect the clients without joining them to the domain? Like I said a true dilemma for me. Any suggestions would be appreciated. The last domain controller I installed from scratch was Windows 2000 Server and I am sort of out of touch.

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Everything will be seamless if you redirect the User's Data to the server, if not, I'd leave the clients unjoined and just utilize the backup feature.

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If you use the domain user accounts to log on then as far the machine is concerned, this is a brand new user, all of their desktops, My documents, outlook settings, pst files (oh how much do I hate pst files?) will be gone, so yes you will need to transfer all of these across.

 

Now when you add a PC to the domain, at some point in the installation, it asks about transferring data. Unfortunately I don't really use this feature as I tend to take the opportunity to set their profiles up cleanly rather than using a wizard which is likely to import all sorts of rubbish as well.

 

If this is real problem then you can use the files and settings transfer wizard (or whatever they call it now) in Windows 7 to transfer the profile settings across, but be warned it is a very time consuming process and I always have this nagging doubt that it has moved everything properly.

 

It's not a very difficult process but it is very annoyingly repetitive and boring.

 

John

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I'm going to disagree about the transfer wizard (btw, it's called Windows Easy Transfer now). I agree the File and Settings Transfer Wizard that came with Windows XP was significantly lacking, but Windows Easy Transfer with Windows 7 is a vast improvement.

 

I also don't think it is particularly time consuming. It does depend on how much data you have, but for most people I think it can be done in less than 30 min. I have used it quite successfully, particularly for moving non-domain account data and settings to domain-based accounts.

 

The one area that can be a pain is if there are programs that were installed for a specific user. They will have to be re-installed.

 

I can relate one story I found pretty amazing. I transferred my wife's account from an old computer to a new one. She had Office installed on her old one. I transferred her data and settings to her new computer before installing Office on it (I simply forgot to install it). However, I installed Office afterward and, amazingly, it picked up all her Office-related settings, including her Outlook account, which picked up right where it left off.

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I used Windows Easy Transfer to manually migrate my profiles to domain accounts. Not only was it plainless, (other than the wait time)... it transferred all my files to the folder redirection paths. :) I've been using and recommending Easy Transfer for a while, because it does work VERY well. Much better than SBS2011E or WS2012E's profile transfer wizard.

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Thanks for the replies. So let's see if I have this straight. If I use the Windows Easy Transfer all will look the same to the users. The Outlook email will be setup and configured, desktop icons, etc. It will be a ubiquitous and seamless experience for the user with exception of a new user name to log on to the domain with. Correct?

Do configure the Folder Redirection after or before the Windows Easy Transfer? I presume after, but sometimes my thinking is a little off kilter.

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I've never used the ET to move workgroup accounts to a domain, so i cannot comment on that but Drashna says its works, so we have to take his experience into account.

 

I'd say to do the folder redirection last, or at least it seems the logical order to me.

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I believe it worked for outlook just fine, It's been a while since I moved over. But IIRC, it did work just fine.

 

As for workgroup to domain, worked just fine. The wizard lets you specify which accounts to map the "old accounts" to, so you'll want to log in at least once. Did it with 3 users on one computer, and then then on my laptop. Copied to the FolderRedirection share just fine too.

 

And I'd recommend setting up folder redirection first. Namely, so it copies it to the share immediately, and so it doesn't have to slowly move all the content anyways (especially on a SSD)

 

I don't believe my HTPC has been converted over yet... so if you really want, I could see about trying it on that and filming it :)

Edited by Drashna (WGS)
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