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Should I leave WHS 2011 for 2012 R2?


Don W
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re: the wizard - I don't have time to mess with that and see little reason to bother :)

I am told win7 users get a much better experience in that regard

 

I don't get this at all. The Wizard is how BMRs are done. You boot up from the Recovery disc and do the Restore.

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I had my win8.1 client join the domain but because 2012r2 essentials discriminates against that os by not migrating my settings to the domain account, I am still logging in under my old local account

FWIW I've had good luck so far with Profile Wizard from ForensIT. Only problems I've noticed to date relate to Scheduled Tasks specific to a user (which I've now started backing up before migrating, just in case) and things applied by local policy (eg. I had a login script on my Windows 7 gaming rig and a block on anyone else shutting down my day-to-day workhorse Windows 8.1 box). Other than that everything else seems to be as expected after the ForensIT tool has strutted its stuff. Goes without saying that YMMV, obviously.
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I presume not, but I would imagine you could uninstall the Connector and reinstall it without Skip Domain Join and then use the ForensIT tool. If this tool works as well as Steve indicates, it may be the final piece that convinces me to move onward.

 

And, it ties in nicely with another project I have on the go. I'm now looking into the idea of giving up on WHS-style backup and restore and going with a more standalone approach, such as Acronis.

 

In the past I shied away from standalone backup systems because of the extra space they take up on my server and in my NearLine and OffSite backups. With 1 and 2 TB drives it's a concern. However, with 4TB and larger drives now becoming commonplace, it seems to me that the extra space is not the concern it used to be.

 

And, of course, there is the advantage that I don't have to worry about losing a bunch of backups because of Backup Database corruption. I haven't really had trouble with Backup Database corruption, but it would be one less thing to worry about.

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This thread got me thinking agina about using Windows Deployment Services.  For me, I'd just create a boot image for the six machines I have and PXE boot for a reinstall.

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I've used it at the Enterprise level so why not at home?  The only requirement is the server be a Domain member and there are enough options to stop it form joining a Domain.....but right now I have bigger fish to fry.

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I'm investigating the idea of moving away from Windows as my server altogether. At the moment, XPenology is looking good. I don't like the idea that XPenology isn't an official Synology product. I would love to buy a Synology hardware box, but the CPUs are all so anemic I just can't do it. I would buy DSM but it's not sold as a standalone product.

 

I'm going to look at QNAP too. I'm just afraid their CPUs will be too weak-assed as well. I wish some of these NAS makers would put at least an i3 into their boxes, or make it so you can upgrade the CPU and RAM yourself.

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Which version of User Profile Wizard are you using

Personal works just fine for me, and since this is for my household setup then that version does everything I required (no need for a push migration when all of the computers are within feet of the server!?). The one feature that I might have found useful was the profile folder rename, but that would only be applicable to machine administrator accounts (which I've replaced with a single AD account) so I can live with that.

 

The strategy I've developed (having joined three PCs thus far and learned some lessons from doing the first one) is to log on to the machine using a local admin account (create one, or activate the built-in account temporarily), run the connector, let it strut its stuff, select the option to set things up for all users and select all those domain users that are going to be using a machine. At this point I add my new domain user that is going to be a local admin (not a domain admin) and give them administrator rights on the next panel. That is the account then I log on with once the initial set up is complete and again when the join has finished. Using it I run the profile migration wizard once for each user that already has a profile on the box, entering their name, removing the default user tick, and then selecting their existing local machine profile and selecting the delete account option. This leaves things nice and tidy once the migration is complete, but you may choose to be paranoid and just disable the account instead. If you do this for each user on the machine before they ever log on to the domain then you don't get orphaned profile folders left lying around, other than possibly for the new domain level local admin account if you choose to merge it with an existing local machine admin account.

 

Once all of the profiles have migrated I then disable the local admin account again (or you can enforce that through group policy, which might be a better option) and the process is complete (absent needing to recreate any scheduled tasks that are no longer accessible - which is the only area of weakness I've found).

  

If you "Skipped Join the Domain", that product wouldn't be helpful, right?

Correct. It allows you to map an existing local user and their profile to a domain user, thus keeping all of their settings, installed programs, etc. If you haven't joined the domain then you are going to continue logging in with the local user so there is nothing to be done.

 

there is the advantage that I don't have to worry about losing a bunch of backups because of Backup Database corruption

Is that a common problem then?? One of the reasons for going with the Thecus WSS box, rather than (say) a Synology running Linux or a proprietary OS, was the desire to let Windows manage all of the back ups (and thus ensure that it happens for all PCs in the house). Up to now I've used Paragon's products for disk imaging, and had the occasional issue reading a particular backup (because I do a test restore after every backup) but I've also been doing day-to-day file level copy to provide ready restores of recently updated files. When I looked at the Client Computer Backups directory it was obvious that I wasn't going to be doing any file level restores if things went awry.
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