On a Windows 2000 box I have setup local users and one group for the purposes of ftp sites for our clients to transfer files to their own site. We are now moving to a different server running Windows 2003. I would like to be able to transfer the users/group and related folders with permissions to the new server without setting them all back up by hand. I see tools available for migrating users to Active Directory but nothing for local to local migration. How should I go about doing this? Is there a capability already built into Windows 2000/2003 for this purpose? Thanks

  • I don't think USMT (User State Migration Tool) works with servers, but it may be worth looking at Mar 3, 2010 at 19:52
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    "How can I migrate local users/groups from old Windows 2000 server to old Windows 2003 server?' - have you considered Server 2008?
    – Chopper3
    Mar 3, 2010 at 20:02
  • We do have one server running 2008 but this is a server that has been rebuilt and 2003 was put back on it. This probably all sounds pretty stupid to someone with sysadmin experience but we don't have an admin in our small software company.
    – dmr83457
    Mar 3, 2010 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


The only Microsoft-supported way to "copy" the user and group information would be to promote the source server to an Active Directory Domain Controller (DC) and join the "destination" server to that domain. If you wanted to completely remove the "source" server you'd need to promote another machine (potentially the "destination" machine) to being a DC before you demoted and removed the "source" machine. If you don't want or need to have an Active Directory infrastructure to deal with then this is probably sub-optimal.

The script I wrote for another answer could be used to create copies of the users and groups on a destination server computer. Passwords can't be migrated and the destination users and groups will have different Security Identifiers (SIDs) than the source. To migrate permissions you could use Helge Klein's wonderful SetACL tool to backup the NTFS ACL information on the source server and restore it on the destination server (after doing a search-and-replace on the backup file for the old server name to the new server name).


You may want to look at SecureCopy http://www.scriptlogic.com/Products/securecopy/. It may be overkill for a single server migration, but it handles the kind of local account and group manipulations that you're facing.

  • Well there is a free trial so I might as well give it a shot
    – dmr83457
    Mar 3, 2010 at 20:56

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