Run the Migration Preparation Tool for Windows SBS 2008 migration

Updated: October 15, 2009

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

The Migration Preparation Tool prepares the Source Server for the migration process by performing the following tasks:


These tasks apply only if you are migrating to Windows SBS 2008 from Windows SBS 2003.

  • Runs Adprep.exe, which extends the AD DS schema and updates permissions as necessary to prepare a forest and domain for a domain controller that runs Windows SBS 2008. The AD DS schema in Windows SBS 2008 is not the same as the AD DS schema in Windows SBS 2003 or in Windows Server 2003. To successfully complete the migration process, you must update the AD DS schema on the Source Server if it is running Windows SBS 2003 or Windows Server 2003.


You should back up your Source Server before you run the Migration Preparation Tool. All changes that the Migration Preparation Tool makes to the schema are irreversible. If you experience issues during the migration, the only way to return the Source Server to the state before you ran the Migration Preparation Tool is to restore the system backup.

  • Installs an update that extends the time limit for finishing the migration. Normally, only one server running Windows SBS 2008 or Windows SBS 2003 is allowed to be a domain controller on your network, but there is a limited exception for a migration. The update extends the time limit for the exception to 21 days.


This task might not succeed if the source server is running Windows SBS 2003 with Service Pack 1. Be sure to install Service Pack 2 for Windows SBS 2003 on the source server before you run the Migration Preparation Tool.

  • Prepares the server to migrate from Exchange Server 2003. For the migration to succeed, Exchange Server must be in native mode, not mixed mode. For more information about converting from mixed mode to native mode, see “How to convert from mixed mode to native mode in Exchange” at the Microsoft Web Site (


To run the Migration Preparation Tool, you must be a member of the Enterprise Admins group, the Schema Admins group, and the Domain Admins group.

Step 1: Verify that you have the appropriate permissions to run the tool on Windows SBS 2003

  1. On the Source Server, click Start, and then click Server Management.

  2. In the navigation pane, click Users.

  3. Right-click the administrator account that you are using for the migration, and then click Properties.

  4. Click the Member Of tab, and then verify that Enterprise Admins, Schema Admins, and Domain Admins are listed in the Member of text box.

  5. If the groups are not listed, click Add, and then add each group that is not listed.


You must log off and log back on the server for the changes to take effect.


  • To run the migration tools, Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or later must be installed on the Source Server. To download and install .NET Framework 2.0, see the Microsoft Web site (

  • To ensure that the server update process works properly, go to to automatically install the latest version of the Windows Update Agent. For more information, see “How to obtain the latest version of the Windows Update Agent to help manage updates on a computer” in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (

  • Step 2: Prepare the Source Server for migration

    1. Insert Windows SBS 2008 DVD1 in the DVD drive on the Source Server.

    2. When the Windows SBS 2008 installation wizard starts, click Tools, and then double-click SourceTool.


  • If the Migration Preparation Tool is already installed on the server, run the tool from the Start menu.

  • To ensure that you are prepared for the best possible migration experience, Microsoft recommends that you always choose to install the most recent update.

  • The wizard installs the Migration Preparation Tool on the Source Server. When the installation is complete, the Migration Preparation Tool runs automatically and installs the latest updates.
    1. In the Source Server Migration Tool, click I have a backup and am ready to proceed, and then click Next.


    If you receive an error message relating to hotfix installation, follow the instructions in “Method 3: Rename the Catroot2 Folder” in the article “You cannot install some updates or programs” in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (

    1. If you have not created a migration answer file, click Create an Answer File and follow the instructions that appear.


    For more information about creating a migration answer file, see Create a migration answer file for Windows SBS 2008 migration.

    1. Click Finish.

    2. When the Migration Preparation Tool finishes, you must restart the Source Server before you begin migrating to Windows SBS 2008.


    If you try to repair the Migration Preparation Tool installation by double-clicking the file sourcetool.msi on the DVD, a dialog box may appear that says, “Please insert the disk.” To work around this issue, either copy sourcetool.msi to your local hard disk drive and then run the file from there, or uninstall and then reinstall the Migration Preparation Tool.