SBS 2008 to SBS 2008 Migration

Back in February I was tasked with providing a migration from Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 to Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 (Premium Edition).

The client was outgrowing their hardware and due to the fact that the hardware was coming off its warranty we decided to purchase new servers and start the migration.

Microsoft is great for the numerous articles, instructions, and information they have on their technet site (technet.microsoft.com). This was our first SBS 2008 to SBS 2008 migration so it all started with a simple google search.

We found an article at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc664208(WS.10).aspx which provided a walk through on the whole migration. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU READ THE ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY BEFORE PERFORMING A MIGRATION.

One of the most interesting things I came across during this migration is that you could essentially perform the entire migration during business hours with zero downtime to the end user (except for migration of your Line of Business applications).

Since this was our first migration, we did decide to do it after hours to avoid any issues, or provide extra time if we needed to do a restore from backup (when performing migration after beginning it is irreversible, so if something goes wrong you MUST restore from a backup).

The whole migration went fairly smoothly with the exception of one problem (related to the “RedirectedFolders”):

Attached to the main server, we have an external HP MSA60 storage unit. During the initial configuration during migration, we choose to store our “RedirectedFolders”, WSUS update information, and Exchange data stores on this unit. Copying over most of the shares went fine from the old server to the new server; however we came up with the issue of actually migrating the “RedirectedFolders”.

The robocopy command kept logging security errors when copying. The instructions were also very vague on what the proper process was to copy the “RedirectedFolders”. Thankfully after I resolved this everything became clear as to how this should be performed but I thought I’d post the solution so no one has to go through what I did that weekend!

If the same issue occurs with you, you will notice that the “RedirectedFolders” share WAS created, however there were no user folders created inside of that directory. Typically during this migration you should NOT copy the “RedirectedFolders” over using RoboCopy as the document states. Typically what you SHOULD do is update the GPO for the “RedirectedFolders” and when the actual users log on, if the client computers have updated their group policies the workstations themselves will move their folder inside of the “RedirectedFolders” share from the source server, to the new share on the destination server.

In our case first of all since it wasn’t clearly stated in the instructions we tried copying the “RedirectedFolders” via robocopy. This failed and kept coming up with “Access Denied” errors inside of the RoboCopy logs. Secondly when trying to update the GPOs on the server to allow the workstations to copy the users folder inside of “RedirectedFolders” (client computers do this automatically with Redirected Folders) the computer would fail at doing so, and a “Access Denied” entry would be logged inside of the computers event log.

After spending 3 days trying to resolve this, I came to the assumption that SBS 2008 should have actually created folders for all the users and set the explicit permissions to them. After creating a new user on the destination server, it DID create the user’s folder inside of “RedirectedFolders” and it worked properly for that specific new user.

In this particular environment we do NOT use the “UserShares”. However since the SBS 2008 system automatically created the directories for the users with the required permissions, I thought I would try copying the folders from “UserShares” to “RedirectedFolders” (PLEASE NOTE: WE DO NOT USE THE USER SHARES AND THE USER’S FOLDERS DID NOT CONTAIN DATA, WE ONLY COPIED THESE TO CREATE THE USER’S FOLDERS INSIDE OF “REDIRECTEDFOLDERS” WITH THE PROPER PERMISSIONS). After doing this and seeing a folder for each user inside of “RedirectedFolders” I updated the GPO and tried running this on one of the workstations and IT WORKED!

We continued to log on to each workstation, performed a forced “gpoupdate” and watched as the workstations copied the “Desktop”, and “My Documents” from the old “RedirectedFolders” on the source server to the new destination server.

One thing I want to mention is that when the workstations are copying this data the computer will look as if it is stuck trying to log in. Please note that it is copying this data, and DO NOT INTERRUPT it. Also, on computers running Windows Vista or Windows 7, you may have to log on/out a few times for it to fully synchronize and move (it is also worthwhile to check the “Sync Center” to make sure it has completed).

Other than the above issue, everything went smoothly and great!


Occupation: President of Digitally Accurate Inc.
Bio: 13 Year IT Service and Solution Provider, Managed Services Provider, Tech Blogger, Entrepreneur

Full biography available here.
Personal Technology Blog: https://www.stephenwagner.com

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