Windows User Profile Data Transfer
Windows User Profile Data Transfer

Windows User Profile Data Transfer typically break down into three scenarios that occur when data needs to be migrated.

  1. The computer has failed and you need to use something like Paragon Backup and Recovery for recovering your data onto an external hard drive or network drive. In layman’s terms, your computer won’t boot and you need a technician to recover the data on the drive.
  2. The computer needs a refresh for whatever reason.
  3. The user profile has now joined a domain and thus, a new Active Directory user profile will be generated when signed into their new domain. Basically, the profile you created when you got the computer should be disabled and your new domain profile takes its place. However, all your data from your old profile will be gone unless you migrate it to the new profile.

We will illustrate how to perform the third talking point today.


Data transfer from an old profile to new profile

One option for transferring dat between profiles is to join the domain first, then log in to the old local profile and give the domain user full control of the local user profile under c:\users\user_name.

However, there is a better option. Our recommendation is…

Give the old user account file permission to the new user folder. Then, you can return to the old profile and copy and paste to the new profile and the pertinent data. See the images below.

Windows data transfer

Windows Data Transfer

Hit ‘ok’ and click continue for any errors that pop up. Then, log out and enter into the user’s new domain profile to make sure that all changes have taken effect.

Windows Login Screen

  • Select “other user” and click “sign in options” if email address or phone number are in the user field.
  • Select local or domain account password

*Make sure you sign into the domain account and/or disable the local accounts that you don’t use to avoid confusion.

Windows data transfer

Windows “Sign On” to the Domain

File Explore

  • Select the old user profile and copy pertinent data. (Usually this is data from the desktop, documents, and pictures).
Windows Data Transfer

You don’t currrently have permissions. Click continue… It should let you proceed after 30 seconds.

This will take several minutes to load, but you can copy (not move or cut) desktop to the new profile once you create a folder called “old desktop”.  Copy documents to documents and pictures to pictures, but be advised that it won’t be backed up and data should be placed in their mapped drives.

What are mapped drives? It depends on the drive. Below we will list a few generic drives or shares to spot on a network:

  • Personal drive or Home drive (sometimes mapped as the letter h:\) The Personal drive or home drive is for work in progress or personal data.
  • Other communal shares (sometimes mapped as the letter p:\ for public) for anything that needs to be shared with the organization.

Also, keep in mind other odd but critical data such as Quickbooks Files, Favorites, Outlook PST, or any other database files. These files may vary and can be decided on a case-by-case basis. Quickbooks may reside in an Admin or HR-mapped drive, while archived Outlook PST data from years past may also reside in the H drive. Just make sure to do your due diligence.

Our important reminder to you: In executing the Windows user profile data transfer, you should absolutely remember to disable the local account unless the user personally bought the computer and wishes to have the local account remain on the computer – it becomes a huge vulnerability if left enabled.

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