Streamlined Installation and File Migration

Windows 7 improves the installation experience with a faster and more consistent setup, powerful installation task sequencing tools, and faster transfer of users’ files and settings. Windows 7 gives IT professionals more tools to reduce or eliminate the deployment impact to users.

For example, the User State Migration Tool (USMT) has new features to improve performance for Windows 7. USMT is a command-line tool that IT professionals use to migrate users’ files and settings, including application and operating-system settings, from one Windows installation to another. For example, USMT adds the Hard-link Migration feature, which migrates files and settings without physically moving those files on the disk when refreshing the computer with a clean installation. This feature significantly improves the performance of migration compared to previous methods that USMT used.

Additional USMT improvements for Windows 7 include:

  • Reducing the need for IT professionals to write custom migration XML files by providing a dynamic algorithm to discover user documents during deployment.

  • Enabling offline user state migration, which increases flexibility and performance of gathering users’ files and settings.

  • Migration of in-use files using the Volume Shadow Copy service.

Microsoft is also updating the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) for Windows 7. MDT provides installation task sequencing that fully integrates imaging, setup, and migration. IT professionals use MDT to create and manage layered images. It automates application and software update installation, as well as joining the domain and creating user accounts. Importantly, MDT enables IT professionals to easily deploy images based on computer roles, locations, hardware models, etc.