Tuesday, August 05, 2008

User Profile Wizard 3.0 Beta 2

User Profile Wizard 3.0 Beta 2 is the first "feature complete" release of the latest version of our domain migration tool. What beta 2 adds over the first beta release is the ability to rename things. With User Profile Wizard 3.0 you are able to rename workstations, users, and - for the first time - the user profile itself.

With User Profile Wizard 2.5 you rename user accounts and workstations using a script generated by the Deployment Kit. The way this works is that the script will use a "lookup" file to match a user's existing account name to their account name in the new domain. The lookup file is simply a plain comma-delimited text file. So, for example, if a user's current account name is jsmith and their account name in the new domain is jane.smith, there would be an entry in the lookup file like this:

jsmith,jane.smith

In exactly the same way, you can create a lookup file to change the current workstation name.

User Profile Wizard 3.0 takes the same approach. The difference is that you don't have to use scripting: renaming is built into the tool. All you have to do is tell User Profile Wizard where to look up the new user or workstation name. The way you do that is to put an entry in the .config file (click to view):


Similarly, there is a "machinelookupfile" entry in the .config file for specifying new workstation names. Note that the path to the lookup file is relative to profwiz.exe: if I'm migrating a remote machine from my workstation, "C:\Temp" is on my machine.

The other entries in the section of the .config file shown above relate to migrating machines remotely. "All" tells User Profile Wizard to try to migrate all the profiles on the remote machine. "OldDomain" tells User Profile Wizard which profiles to migrate. If you don't specify an "OldDomain" value, User Profile Wizard will look for local user account profiles, otherwise it will look for profiles of accounts in the domain you specify.

One option that customers have consistently asked for is the ability to rename the profile folder itself. This is the folder that is under C:\Documents and Settings, if you are on XP, or C:\Users if you are on Vista. Up to now User Profile Wizard has not allowed you to rename this folder. This has been quite deliberate on our part. Our aim is always to minimize disruption to the end user - not least because disruption=cost. Some lagacy applications use hard-coded paths to the user's profile, so changing the profile path can break those applications. However, there can be good reasons to change the profile folder name. One argument we have heard quite a lot, is that a Tech coming to look at a user's machine at some point in the future will be looking for the profile folder name to match the user's name - and it could be confusing if it doesn't.

User Profile Wizard 3.0 will now rename the profile folder for you if you want it to. All you have to do is set the "RenameProfileFolder" value in the .config file to "True". Just make sure you test it before you migrate everybody :-)

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