Support for Windows XP reaches the end of extended support in April 2014. We hope that customers using Windows XP are already well underway with migration projects to a more current platform as waiting for the release of Windows 8.1 later this year will only allow for a very short timeframe in which to migrate. For customers that are planning this, though, the migration process is not as straightforward as usual due to advances in technology. One area of typical focus is the migration of user data. If you are not already using any user state virtualization and need to ensure your users’ data is migrated at the same time the operating system is refreshed from Windows XP to Windows 8.1, this post describes the process by which you can use System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager for this purpose.
System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager requires the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8.1, which includes the User State Migration Tool (USMT) 8.1. USMT 8.1 does not support Windows XP as a source operating system, but it can restore user data (not settings) captured by USMT 5 from the Windows ADK for Windows 8. So to migrate user data from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 using System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, we can first capture user state with USMT 5 on Windows XP, and then restore the data with USMT 8.1 to Windows 8.1.
NOTE: this process will only capture user data such as files in My Documents, My Pictures or the Desktop. It does not capture and migrate Windows settings such as the desktop background and regional settings.
This process will work in both the typical refresh and replace scenarios, but does require the use of two task sequences and an available State Migration Point server role. The following steps focus on the refresh scenario, but the concept is the same for a replace scenario using a computer association to link the two computers.
Here are the components that you’ll need:
First, prepare the USMT packages.
Next, follow these steps for capturing data from the source Windows XP computer.
This will capture and save the user state to the state migration point, and create an In-place computer association under the User State Migration node, as shown below:
Finally, use this procedure to deploy Windows 8.1 and restore the previously captured data.
NOTE: You can remove the Capture User Files and Settings group as well, but by default it will be skipped as the rest of this procedure relies upon the task sequence starting from bootable media or a PXE Service Point.
The target computer will run the task sequence to install Windows 8.1 and eventually restore the user data from the previously captured user state on the state migration point. As you can see from the end result below, Windows 8.1 is installed and the data files and folders are successfully restored but as expected the settings are not (such as the custom desktop background).
If you are migrating Windows XP computers directly to Windows 8.1, Microsoft recommends and supports the process outlined above. As with any task sequence there are often multiple ways to achieve the same end result, but this specific procedure best aligns with our tested scenarios.
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights.
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