Getting started with the User State Migration Tool (USMT)

This article outlines the general process that you should follow to migrate files and settings.

Step 1: Plan your migration

  1. Plan Your Migration. Depending on whether your migration scenario is refreshing or replacing computers, you can choose an online migration or an offline migration using Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) or the files in the Windows.old directory. For more information, see Common Migration Scenarios.

  2. Determine What to Migrate. Data you might consider migrating includes end-user information, applications settings, operating-system settings, files, folders, and registry keys.

  3. Determine where to store data. Depending on the size of your migration store, you can store the data remotely, locally in a hard-link migration store or on a local external storage device, or directly on the destination computer. For more information, see Choose a Migration Store Type.

  4. Use the /GenMigXML command-line option to determine which files will be included in your migration, and to determine whether any modifications are necessary. For more information, see ScanState Syntax

  5. Modify copies of the Migration.xml and MigDocs.xml files and create custom .xml files, if it's required. To modify the migration behavior, such as migrating the Documents folder but not the Music folder, you can create a custom .xml file or modify the rules in the existing migration .xml files. The document finder, or MigXmlHelper.GenerateDocPatterns helper function, can be used to automatically find user documents on a computer without creating extensive custom migration .xml files.

    Important

    We recommend that you always make and modify copies of the .xml files included in User State Migration Tool (USMT) 10.0. Never modify the original .xml files.

    You can use the MigXML.xsd file to help you write and validate the .xml files. For more information about how to modify these files, see USMT XML Reference.

  6. Create a Config.xml File if you want to exclude any components from the migration. To create this file, use the ScanState Syntax option together with the other .xml files when you use the ScanState.exe command. For example, the following command creates a Config.xml file by using the MigDocs.xml and MigApp.xml files:

    ScanState.exe /genconfig:Config.xml /i:MigDocs.xml /i:MigApp.xml /v:13 /l:ScanState.log
    
  7. Review the migration state of the components listed in the Config.xml file, and specify migrate=no for any components that you don't want to migrate.

Step 2: Collect files and settings from the source computer

  1. Back up the source computer.

  2. Close all applications. If some applications are running when you run the ScanState.exe command, USMT might not migrate all of the specified data. For example, if Microsoft Office Outlook is open, USMT might not migrate PST files.

    Note

    USMT will fail if it cannot migrate a file or setting unless you specify the /C option. When you specify the /C option, USMT will ignore the errors, and log an error every time that it encounters a file that is being used that USMT did not migrate. You can use the <ErrorControl> section in the Config.xml file to specify which errors should be ignored, and which should cause the migration to fail.

  3. Run the ScanState.exe command on the source computer to collect files and settings. You should specify all of the .xml files that you want the ScanState.exe command to use. For example,

       ScanState.exe \\server\migration\mystore /config:Config.xml /i:MigDocs.xml /i:MigApp.xml /v:13 /l:ScanState.log
    

    Note

    If the source computer is running Windows 7, or Windows 8, you must run the ScanState.exe command in Administrator mode. To run in Administrator mode, right-click Command Prompt, and then select Run As Administrator. For more information about the how the ScanState.exe command processes and stores the data, see How USMT Works.

  4. Run the UsmtUtils.exe command with the /Verify option to ensure that the store you created isn't corrupted.

Step 3: Prepare the destination computer and restore files and settings

  1. Install the operating system on the destination computer.

  2. Install all applications that were on the source computer. Although it isn't always required, we recommend installing all applications on the destination computer before you restore the user state. This makes sure that migrated settings are preserved.

    Note

    The application version that is installed on the destination computer should be the same version as the one on the source computer. USMT does not support migrating the settings for an older version of an application to a newer version. The exception to this is Microsoft Office, which USMT can migrate from an older version to a newer version.

  3. Close all applications. If some applications are running when you run the LoadState.exe command, USMT might not migrate all of the specified data. For example, if Microsoft Office Outlook is open, USMT might not migrate PST files.

    Note

    Use /C to continue your migration if errors are encountered, and use the <ErrorControl> section in the Config.xml file to specify which errors should be ignored, and which errors should cause the migration to fail.

  4. Run the LoadState.exe command on the destination computer. Specify the same set of .xml files that you specified when you used the ScanState.exe command. However, you don't have to specify the Config.xml file, unless you want to exclude some of the files and settings that you migrated to the store. For example, you might want to migrate the My Documents folder to the store, but not to the destination computer. To do this, modify the Config.xml file and specify the updated file by using the LoadState.exe command. Then, the LoadState.exe command will migrate only the files and settings that you want to migrate. For more information about how the LoadState.exe command processes and migrates data, see How USMT Works.

    For example, the following command migrates the files and settings:

    LoadState.exe  \\server\migration\mystore /config:Config.xml /i:MigDocs.xml /i:MigApp.xml /v:13 /l:LoadState.log
    

    Note

    Run the LoadState.exe command in administrator mode. To do this, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run As Administrator.

  5. Sign out after you run the LoadState.exe command. Some settings, such as fonts, wallpaper, and screen saver settings, won't take effect until the next time that the user logs on.