Prepare your Source Server for Windows SBS 2011 migration

Published: January 28, 2011

Updated: May 5, 2011

Applies To: Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard

Complete the following preliminary steps to ensure that the settings and data on your Source Server migrate successfully to the Destination Server.

  1. Back up your Source Server

  2. Install the most recent service packs and updates

  3. Verify the network configuration

  4. Evaluate the health of the Source Server

  5. Optimize Exchange Server 2010 mailbox sizes

  6. Run the Migration Preparation Tool

  7. Plan to migrate line-of-business applications

Back up your Source Server

Back up your Source Server before you begin the migration process. Making a backup helps protect your data from accidental loss if an unrecoverable error occurs during migration.

To back up the Source Server

  1. Perform a full backup of the Source Server.

  2. Verify that the backup ran successfully. To test the integrity of the backup, select random files from your backup, restore them to an alternate location, and then confirm that the restored files are the same as the original files.

Install the most recent service packs and updates

You must install the latest service packs on the Source Server prior to migration. If service packs are missing, the Migration Preparation Tool will report the problem and ask you to install the necessary updates before proceeding.

Verify the network configuration

To prepare for migration, a router must be installed on your network as the gateway to the Internet. The router should have DHCP disabled and must provide a firewall service, or you must add a firewall device to help protect your LAN from unauthorized access.

Figure 1  Local area network with broadband connection

If your router supports the UPnP framework, the following happens:

  • The installation wizard automatically configures the Internet connection on Windows SBS 2011 Standard.

  • The installation wizard configures port-forwarding exceptions on the router.

  • After Windows SBS 2011 Standard is installed, the Windows SBS 2011 Standard Console collects and displays information about your router on the Networking tab under Internet Connection.

Evaluate the health of the Source Server

It is important to evaluate the health of your Source Server before you begin the migration. Use the following procedures to ensure that the updates are current, to generate a system health report, and to run the Windows Server Solutions BPA.

Download and install critical and security updates

Installing critical and security updates on the Source Server helps ensure that your migration will be successful and helps protect your network during the migration process.

To synchronize the server with the latest updates

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, then click Windows Update.

  2. At the bottom right side of the dialog box, where you see the text “You receive updates: Managed by your administrator” click the link “Check online for updates from Microsoft Update”.

  3. If updates are found, click the “Install updates” button.


Alternately, you can update the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server to review, approve and install the available updates.

Check the System Health reports for critical errors

You can generate System Health Reports from the Windows SBS 2011 Standard Console.

To generate a system health report

  1. Open the Windows SBS Console.

  2. On the navigation bar, click the Reports tab.

  3. In the Tasks pane, click Generate report.

Use the Windows Server Solutions BPA to evaluate the health of the Source Server

You can run the Windows Server Solutions BPA to verify that there are no issues on your server, network, or domain before you start the migration process. The BPA collects configuration information from the following sources:

  • Active Directory Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

  • The registry

  • The Internet Information Services (IIS) metabase

The Windows Server Solutions BPA checks the following components:

  • Exchange Server

  • Update Services

  • Network configuration

  • Windows SharePoint® Services

  • SQL Server™

To use the Windows Server Solutions BPA to analyze your Source Server

  1. Download and install the Windows Server Solutions BPA, see Microsoft Windows Server Solutions Best Practices Analyzer at the Microsoft Download Center.

  2. Click Start, point to All Programs, and then click Windows Server Solutions Best Practices Analyzer Tool.


Check for updates before you scan the server.

  1. In the navigation pane, click Start a scan.

  2. In the details pane, type the scan label, and then click Start scanning. The scan label is the name of the scan report, for example “BPA Scan 8Jan2011.”

  3. After the scan finishes, click View a report of this Best Practices scan.

After the BPA collects and analyzes the information, it presents a list of issues that are sorted by severity. The BPA describes each issue that it encountered, and it suggests solutions. Three report types are available:

Report Type Description

List Reports

Displays reports in a one-dimensional list.

Tree Reports

Displays reports in a hierarchical list.

Other Reports

Displays reports such as a Run-Time Log.

To view the description and the solutions for an issue, click the issue in the report. Not all of the issues that are reported by the BPA affect migration, but you should solve as many of the issues as possible to ensure that the migration is successful.

Optimize Exchange Server 2010 mailbox sizes

Migrating large mailboxes from Exchange Server can take a long time. To save time, reduce the size of the mailboxes before the migration. Send an email message to users with the following instructions about how to empty the Deleted Items folder and archive older mail.

To empty the Deleted Items folder

  1. In Microsoft Outlook®, click Tools in the toolbar, and then click Empty "Deleted Items" Folder.

  2. Click Yes in the warning dialog box.

To archive older mail in Microsoft Outlook

  1. In Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007, click File, and then click Archive. In Outlook 2010, click File, click Cleanup tools, and then click Archive…

  2. In the Archive dialog box, click the down arrow next to Archive items older than and select a date in the calendar that appears.


You must tell the users what date to select

  1. If you want to make sure that all the older mail is included, select the Include items with "Do not AutoArchive" checked check box.

  2. Click Archive all folders according to the AutoArchive settings at the top of the dialog box.

  3. Click OK.

    In Windows XP, the older mail is moved to the archive.pst file in the following folder: C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.

    In the Windows Vista® or Windows 7 operating systems, the older mail is moved to the archive.pst file in the following folder: C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook.

For additional information about optimizing Exchange Server, see the Microsoft Exchange Analyzers website.

Run the Migration Preparation Tool

For computers running Windows SBS 2011 Standard or Windows Server 2008 R2, the Migration Preparation Tool does not automatically make changes to the Source Server.


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.


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.

To verify that you have the appropriate permissions to run the tool on Windows SBS 2011 Standard

  1. On the Source Server, click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.

  2. In the left pane, click to expand the Domain, click MyBusiness, click Users, and then click SBSUsers.

  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.

You can use the latest version of the Windows Update Agent to ensure that the server update process works properly. You must first install Microsoft PowerShell 2.0 and Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0 before installing Windows Update Agent.

To install Windows Update Agent

  1. Install Windows PowerShell 2.0. See Windows Management Framework (Windows PowerShell 2.0, WinRM 2.0, and BITS 4.0).

  2. Install Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer. See Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0.

  3. Obtain and install the latest version of Windows Update Agent. See How to obtain the latest version of the Windows Update Agent to help manage updates on a computer.

To run the Migration Preparation Tool

  1. Insert Windows SBS 2011 Standard DVD1 in the DVD drive on the Source Server.

  2. When the Windows SBS 2011 Standard 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.
We recommend that you always choose to install the most recent update.

  1. 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.

  2. In the Migration Preparation Tool, click I have a backup and am ready to proceed, and then click Next.


If you receive an error message that is related to a hotfix installation, see “Method 2: Rename the Catroot2 Folder” in the article You cannot install some updates or programs.

  1. The Migration Preparation Tool prepares the source domain for migration by extending the Active Directory schema. After the task is completed, click Next to continue.

  2. After the source domain is prepared, the Migration Preparation Tool scans the Source Server to identify potential issues. There are two types of issues that can be identified by the Migration Preparation Tool:

    • Errors: Issues found on the Source Server that might block the migration from proceeding or cause the migration to fail. You must fix the issues by following the steps provided by the description, and then click Scan Again to start the scan.

    • Warnings: Issues found on the Source Server that might cause functional problems during migration. We highly recommend that you follow the steps that are provided in the description to fix the issue before proceeding.

    After all the issues are fixed or acknowledged, click Next.

  3. 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 2011 Standard migration.

  1. Click Finish.

  2. When the Migration Preparation Tool finishes, you must restart the Source Server before you begin the migration process.


You must complete a successful run of the Migration Preparation Tool on the Source Server within two weeks of installing Windows SBS 2011 Standard on the Destination Server. Otherwise, installation of Windows SBS 2011 Standard on the Destination Server will be blocked, and you will have to run the Migration Preparation Tool on the Source Server again.

Plan to migrate line-of-business applications

A line-of-business (LOB) application is a critical computer application that is vital to running a business. These include accounting, supply-chain management, and resource-planning applications.

When you plan to migrate your LOB applications, consult with the LOB application providers to determine the appropriate method for migrating each application. You also must locate the media that is used to reinstall the LOB applications on the Destination Server.


If you have a customized system health or alert add-in that you developed with the Windows SBS 2011 Standard SDK, and you want to continue use it on the Destination Server, update and deploy it to the Destination Server.

You can fill in the following table as you collect LOB application information. A good way to start collecting this information is to run Windows Control Panel, click Add/Remove Programs and look in the “Program Files (x86)” and the “Program Files” folders.

Application or general data folder name Path to data Notes