Saturday, 11 June 2016

USMT - Offline Migration


          This will be a new topic in which I will not talk about powershell. This time I’m going to talk about USMT.
What’s USMT?
USMT (User State Migration Tool) is a tool that enables you to gather user’s data from a computer and migrate them to a new fresh computer equipped with windows 7 or higher version.

There exist two kind of migration possible:
 - Offline Migration
 - Online Migration


By online, we understand that we are connected to internet or that a network access is required. And inversely, by offline, we understand that we are not connected to any network.

In the USMT context, those words have completely different meanings:

Online: The operating System which contains data to migrate and the Operating system used for the Scanstate is the same. The operation is performed on the current OS and targets all data contained in that OS.
OS used for Scanstate
OS containing data to Migrate
Same OS architecture
Offline: This time, the migration implies two operating system. The Operating system on which, we are going to perform the Scanstate (generally a Windows PE) and an Offline operating system which contains the data to migrate.
OS used for Scanstate
OS containing data to Migrate (Offline OS)
WinPE
(state: running OS)
OS installed on the destination computer
(state: OS not running)

There’s an interesting Common Migration Scenarios written by Greg Lindsay here that I advise you to read if you are not familiar with the subject.

And now, as if it wasn’t already complicated, there exists two architecture of USMT.
USMT architecture x64
USMT architecture x86

And as you guessed, it can be a burden in the process if you do not choose the correct one.
In this post, I’ll talk more specifically about offline migration. As I mentioned before, this operation needs two OS (The WinPE and the offline OS).

USMT architecture and winPE architecture must be the same. This means that you need to use UMST x86 with winPE x86 and accordingly USMT x64 with WinPE x64.

If you want to migrate data from x86 to x86 or x64 to x64, it’s not really a big deal. It’s rather migrating from 32-bit to 64-Bit who’s troublesome. Note that you cannot migrate a 64-bit operating system to a 32-bit.

But to avoid any conflicts, you need to set an environment variable called MIG_OFFLINE_PLATFORM_ARCH

Ho to set its value?

I tried to list all possible cases for offline migration. You just have to select which one you’re seeking and see if it’s supported or not.

USMT
architecture
WinPE architecture
Offline OS architecture
Dest. OS architecture
MIG_OFFLINE_
PLATFORM_ARCH
value
Operation
supported
x86
x86
x86
x86
x86
YES
x86
x86
x86
x64
x86
YES
x86
x86
X64
x86

NO
x86
x86
x64
x64
x64
YES
x86
x64



NO
X64
x86



NO
X64
x64
x86
x86
x86
YES
X64
x64
x86
x64
x86
YES
X64
x64
X64
x86

NO
X64
x64
x64
x64
x64
YES

Set MIG_OFFLINE_PLATFORM_ARCH= <Put offline architecture here>

However, if you are using or want to use xml config files you need to take care of some points in your xml files.

First point:

Make sure that you don’t forget Global Env parameters:
It’s about Global Environment for x64 and x86, don’t forget to check these lines: 


And check if these tags are present in your application component:

People tend to forget to set the second one when they are customizing their files that’s why. This will matter when you migrate from 32-bit to 64-bit. You may not see any difference for your migration but believe me, better keep things as it is. You are not always sure if your application isn’t going to set something in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node registry key.



Imagine that you deleted all your boss’s mail archives after the migration and knowing that there's no turning back. I may say: “Dude! You’re screwed”. Though it’s not only about Outlook files …
Second point
You should disable Microsoft-Windows-COM-ComPlus-Setup migration. They explained It here.
How to check it?
·         Go to Administrative tools > component services (or Start, Run, type DCOMcnfg)
·         Go to Component services > Computers > My computer > COM+ applications

You need to create a configuration file and disable its migration in a config.xml file


If you migrate it, you will not have the usual thing in component services window. Normally, you should have something like:


Here are some errors that you may run into with USMT:

USMT and WinPE: Common Issues

Error: “The subsystem needed to support the image type is not present”

Return Code 29: “A minimum of 250 MB of free space is required for temporary files”

Return Code 36: “Use /offline to run gather on this platform”

Scanstate /UI /UE rules with user names are ignored

Everything is explained clearly at  Ask the Directory Services Team Post if you ever encounter one of those issues. 

That ends this little topic, thanks for reading.
If you have any suggestions or something to add, feel free to contact me.


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