How can I back up and restore user profiles when deploying a new OS via the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?

A. You can integrate User State Migration Tool (USMT) with the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack to facilitate the backup of user profiles on a machine before you replace its existing OS with a new disk image. You can then restore the profiles after the upgrade.

To back up the user profiles, you first need to download USMT 2.6 (this version supports backup of all user profiles on the OS, not just the currently logged-on profile), which is available here. Run the installation program, which by default installs USMT in the C:\usmt folder. Next, create a share of the C:\usmt\bin folder and name it USMT. The share requires only read permissions.

Now you need to modify the OS program that you created for your OS image package so that it uses USMT to back up the user profiles and restore them after you deploy the new OS. To do so, perform these steps:

  1. Start the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) SMS Administrator Console snap-in (Start, Programs, Systems Management Server, SMS Administrator Console.)
  2. Expand Image Packages, expand OS Package, and select Programs.
  3. Right-click OS Program and select Properties.
  4. Click the Advanced tab.
  5. From the Phase drop-down menu select State Capture, then click Add.
  6. Under Options, select Capture User State and click OK.
  7. Enter the source folder for the USMT files (i.e., the share you created earlier that points to C:\usmt\bin), as the figure shows. By default, the files migism.inf and usmtdef.inf are included among the configuration files. Click Add and select migsys.inf (to retain the user settings), miguser.inf (to retain user files such as the contents of My Documents and My Pictures), and sysfiles.inf (to stop the scanning of core OS files). Finally, in the "Specify additional command line options" field, add "/all" to capture all profiles on the machine (without this switch the USMT execution will fail on Windows 2000 clients). Click OK.
  8. From the Phase drop-down menu, select State Restore, and click Add.
  9. From the options, select Restore User State and click OK.
  10. You shouldn't need to modify the settings on the User State Restore page. Just confirm that the Source Folder points to the correct location and click OK, as the figure shows.
  11. Click OK to accept the program changes and close the dialog box.
  12. You'll be reminded to update the distribution points, which you do by right-clicking the Distribution Points branch and selecting Update Distribution Points via the All Tasks context-menu item.

When existing clients receive the new OS, they store the data in C:\minint\smsosd\statestore\usmt2.unc. When the new OS is deployed to disk and the machine starts locally, the system restores this user-state backup data so that existing files, desktop background, sounds, and other user settings are maintained.

TAGS: Windows 8
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