Published: June 30, 2006 | Updated: November 30, 2006
Figure 1 provides an overview of the USMT process. The graphic includes an Envisioning Phase—the part of a project during which initial thinking and planning about a project occur. That phase ends with the scope of the project defined. This guide does not include information about the project Envisioning Phase, because this preliminary planning will have already taken place. This guide begins with the Planning Phase.
Figure 1. Overview of the user state migration process
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A distinction exists between the USMT execution during deployment and the development of the control files used during the deployment. Two example scenarios of how the User State Migration feature team might use the USMT during the deployment process follow.
A technician runs a deployment wizard on a user’s desktop computer scheduled for migration. This wizard collects information about the user and the user’s computer. The wizard then runs the USMT (Scanstate.exe) to copy the user’s documents and settings from the computer to a temporary user state store file. The deployment process installs a new Windows Vista operating system image on the hardware, and then calls the USMT (Loadstate.exe) to copy the user’s documents and settings from the server onto the new computer.
A software distribution tool uses Scanstate.exe to run a fully unattended sequence of programs to save user state for multiple user profiles, and then installs a new operating system image, installs application packages, and finally uses Loadstate.exe to restore user state, making the computer ready for the user. See the USMT 3.0 Help file for a complete feature description.
The main body of this guide does not detail the execution of USMT previously described. It does address why and how to alter the control files that direct the behavior of the USMT during the execution. Read the appendices of this document for detailed information on creating control files and running the USMT.
Figure 2 illustrates the high-level tasks that occur during the development of the USMT control files.
Figure 2. Overview of tasks for creating control files
User state migration development begins with identifying and arranging, in order of importance, the applications in use throughout the organization. Because the Application Compatibility feature team conducts the application inventory, the User State Migration feature team does not have to conduct its own inventory. Team members can use the results of the Application Compatibility feature team’s inventory, instead.
Working with the Application Compatibility feature team, the Application Management feature team, the User Experience Role Cluster, and the Release Management Role Cluster, the User State Migration feature team lists the applications that require application data migration, settings migration, or both. The list ranks applications by their importance to the success of the project and by migration difficulty. Highly difficult migrations will appear in the risk management plan to ensure that contingencies are developed in case migration is unsuccessful.
Because it is unlikely that the USMT developers will have in-depth knowledge of each application, it is important to identify someone in the organization who is an SME for each application. The SME assists the User State Migration feature team in identifying the documents and settings to be migrated as well as constraints an application might have, such as hard-coded locations.
Note The Application Management feature team that is responsible for packaging each application for a hands-free installation also requires access to the application SMEs. This access ensures that the packaging team packages applications in a way that is consistent with the planned use of the application within the organization.
After the User State Migration feature team establishes priorities, the team members work with the application SMEs to research individual applications to determine the specific documents and settings to be migrated. This work takes place in the lab. In cases where previous versions of the USMT have been used, the User State Migration feature team also explores any potential conversions of control files from the previous USMT versions.
Next, the User State Migration feature team builds the control files that determine which documents and settings the USMT migrates. In cases where previous versions of the USMT have been used, the team also converts custom .inf files from previous versions of the USMT to the new Extensible Markup Language (XML) format.
After the User State Migration feature team has verified control files, the team can give the files to the Test feature team for validation and in turn to the Release Management Role Cluster for inclusion on the deployment servers. After the deployment servers have been upgraded and the rest of the project team is ready, the USMT files can be tested as part of the pilot deployment project.