Time is Money

I recently heard that Gartner said the average IT Pro is still spending 6 hours on each user’s migration. If I had to guess, much of that time is the local IT staff moving user data to a server, reloading the OS, and then copying all that data back. If you’re simply going from Vista to 7 or from 7 to 8 and you’re just upgrading existing hardware, look into using the User State Migration Tool’s hardlinks feature in version 4.0. It can “fence off” user data on the local disk, and allow you to do a non destructive reimage, and then point the new OS back to the data. It takes a simple fraction of the time to do this since the data is saved using hardlinks to the local disk. Again, if you’re replacing XP systems, you can still use the USMT, but you’ll have to copy the files elsewhere, hardlinks don’t work in XP, and besides, chances are you don’t want to load Win7 or Win8 to WinXP hardware anyway…

Test the following settings in your MDT 2012 Customsettings.ini file. UserDataLocation=Auto will default to storing the user data locally on the disk using hardlinks. The scan state arguments below will save all users from all domains and local that’ve used the PC in the last 90 days.


ScanStateArgs=/v:5 /o /c /ue:*\* /uel:90
LoadStateArgs=/v:5 /c /lac

If you were one of the smart ones that moved to vista at some point, you’ve made your windows 7 or 8 rollout exponentially easier because you can use hardlinks. Those who got to 7 by whatever means necessary are also now in better shape. Use hardlinks w/ the USMT, you’ll thank me later.