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I have Dell Laptop with windows 7 64 bit and for the last year it's been just a machine with an account like:

machine\john

there are files in folders and stuff in c:\users\john and john uses outlook 2007 as a pop3 client and has identifiable local appdata pst files.

Now I installed a server and want to have everything be domain-centric so I added this laptop to the domain with admin credentials and then logged in as a domain user as:

domain\john.smith

Now I want to duplicate machine\john (outlook emails mostly) to domain\john.smith. In the past I used the Files and Settings Xfer Wizard and done. I tried that here and it crunched away for a while, made the file, but the restore had no effect - it ran for a while, had a progress bar, but it's like nothing happened at all afterwards.

I've rebooted the machine, logged in as domain administrator as the first user to log on after the restart and tried:

c:\users\john> xcopy c:\users\john c:\users\john.smith /V /C /F /H /K /Y /E

...and it copies some of it, but when it gets to c:\users\john.smith\appdata\local\application data it chokes "Access denied, unable to create directory"

I also tried logging in as domain\john.smith and copying the entire directory that the PSTs are in from machine\john and a lot of the mail was there when I launched outlook after replacing the PSTs, but not all of them??? I got errors about files in use when doing this method, which I figure must be why not all the old emails are in the inbox?...

There must be some extremely simple way to do what must be a very common requirement. Any guidance appreciated.

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4 Answers 4

If your concern is primarily with the actual emails, then simply copy the pst file from the old profile to the new profile.

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I also tried logging in as domain\john.smith and copying the entire directory that the PSTs are in from machine\john and a lot of the mail was there when I launched outlook after replacing the PSTs, but not all of them??? I got errors about files in use when doing this method, which I figure must be why not all the old emails are in the inbox?... –  bifpowell Nov 24 '10 at 18:53
    
the psts are there after I copy, outlook has not been started at any time after a reboot –  bifpowell Nov 24 '10 at 18:54
1  
That's the wrong way to copy a user profile. My suggestion would be to delete the domain profile and recreate it (by logging on) then log on as an administrator and use the copy profile function from the advanced system properties. –  joeqwerty Nov 24 '10 at 18:58
    
This is what I started with. I'm logged in as domain admin and "copy to" in User Profiles from Adv Sys Props is greyed out and it's a common problem - forums are rife with the problem: social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itprogeneral/thread/… –  bifpowell Nov 24 '10 at 19:09

Reboot the computer and copy the PST's before opening Outlook. Outlook locks those files and may explain why you're receiving "files in use" errors.

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>>I've rebooted the machine, logged in as domain administrator as the first user to log on after the restart and tried: c:\users\john> xcopy c:\users\john c:\users\john.smith /V /C /F /H /K /Y /E<< –  bifpowell Nov 24 '10 at 18:53
    
this includes not launching outlook at all after the reboot –  bifpowell Nov 24 '10 at 18:57
    
So you still get the "files in use" error? –  CurtM Nov 24 '10 at 18:59
    
well - I've tried several methods based on lots of google searching and forum posting but someone said this place is best - ultimately the files are in use are not pst files - they are .dat files in there somewhere - I just can't understand why not all the emails would be there - IF ANY? –  bifpowell Nov 24 '10 at 19:14
    
The .dat file most likely just contains Outlook toolbar preferences. Have you opened Outlook and looked under account settings to verify the location of your .pst files? The user could have specified a different location. –  CurtM Nov 24 '10 at 19:19

I've always used the Xfer wizard without issue. An alternative is to use the System Properties menu to 'Copy' the old profile to a new location. That new location would be the server share where his profile would reside, so you would probably want to log in as a domain admin to do this. It will have to be someone other than the user being copied that still has permission to that share.

Outlook generally looks in hard coded paths for PST files, so I would recommend backing them up. You might have to setup Outlook again depending on how you go about things, but you can also reattach the PST's to the new user account once it's setup to retain your mail.

Xcopy won't work the way you think it will because some of the settings will have paths to files like 'C:\Users\John' but the new path will be 'C:\Users\John.Smith'. The system properties method or the files and settings transfer wizard should take care of those.

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going to delete the existing domain profile we've been working with and try the xfer wiz from scratch again - that has always worked for me - have you used it with windows 7 with domain users? I feel like I'm doing all the stuff I find, but most people have mixed results with what should be pretty basic??? Many thanks for the replies to all! –  bifpowell Nov 24 '10 at 20:42

Any time I have had to create a new user or move an existing user and the only requirement was to maintain email I literally copied only the .pst files to a temporary location (external drive, network share, etc). After the copy was complete, I logged in for the first time to the user's account so the profile would be created, recreated the user's email accounts, copied the .pst files to the new user's profile (does not have to be in the same location as previous, typically I set up a "mail" directory), then attach the email accounts to the old .pst files instead of the new ones that were created during the recreation of the email accounts. Never had an issue doing it this way.

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