Quickly moving a user’s windows profile to new hardware

Ever have someone get new hardware, run your setup, then spend an inordinate amount of time copying their windows profile to the new machine, piece by piece? Here’s how to do it quickly and cleanly, with a minimum amount of effort (the goal of every sysadmin…)

  1. Connect both computers to the network
  2. Log in as the user on the new computer.
  3. Log out
  4. Log in as an administrator on the OLD computer
  5. Mount the administrative C$ share of the new computer as a new network drive
  6. Open the System control panel
  7. Click the Advanced tab, and click the Settings button in the “User Profiles” section
  8. Highlight the user’s profile, click the “Copy To” button
  9. Browse to the user’s profile on the new computer’s mapped drive
  10. Set the “Permitted to use” section to the user’s domain account
  11. Click OK, and wait for the profile to copy (no user feedback, can take a long time if their profile is big…)
  12. You’re done.

Every user preference, down to screen saver, desktop, and favorites is on the new hardware with very little effort. Cheers!