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How do I move home folders to a new server?

I have an older server running Windows 2003 with approximately 2000 users set up in Active directory, and all the home folders for these users are hosted locally. We have purchased a new server to replace this one. I am OK with replicating the users in AD, but how do I move the actual home folders complete with their shares and permissions? Do I need to back up to a tape and recover on the new server?

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Using the backup tapes might work, and it would be a straightforward solution of it did. (It's easy enough to test.) Another alternative is to use Robocopy.exe, a utility from the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit. This utility is great for mirroring entire directories and with the security and file attributes intact. Be careful when using the /move switch with Robocopy, as there is no error checking if there are network issues during the move. Use the /copy command with the appropriate switches.

This was first published in March 2005

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