Upgraded tool moves objects between instances of AD

Administrators setting up a new Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 domain to replace an existing NT 4.0 domain often turned to Microsoft's Active Directory Migration Tool to help them move objects from the old domain to the new one. Since being upgraded to version 3.0, it's now also a useful way to move objects between instances of Active Directory regardless of the version involved.

Administrators setting up a new Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 domain to replace an existing NT 4.0 domain often turned to a Microsoft tool to help them move objects from the old domain to the new one.

This aid, the Active Directory Migration Tool (actually a collection of tools under one roof), saved administrators the trouble of having to re-register and recreate everything in Active Directory.

Microsoft recently upgraded it to Active Directory Migration Tool version 3.0, and it's now also a useful way to move objects between instances of Active Directory regardless of the version involved. Version 3.0 contains the following wizards:

  • User and Group Acount Migration Wizard. Copies existing users and their group affiliations into an instance of Active Directory.
  • Computer Migration Wizard. Migrates instances of computer objects into Active Directory.
  • Service Account Migration Wizard. Identifies services in the source domain that are not using the Local System Account, so they can be migrated.
  • Security Translation Wizard. Changes SIDs on access and system control lists so that they match their migrated counterparts. This is handy if you want to migrate access control information, along with their attendant objects, without having to recreate them.
  • Reporting Wizard. Generates reports about the migration process which can be printed out or saved as documentation for future migrations, or to simply document the present state of the directory structure.
  • Retry Task Wizard. This "meta-wizard" lets you rerun any failed tasks without having to re-step through a given wizard all over again. For instance, if you're trying to migrate user settings and the migration times out due to a network problem, you can use it to redo the migration without re-specifying all the data about the source and target servers.
  • Exchange 5.5 Mailbox Translation Wizard. Copies security information from Exchange 5.5 mailboxes to directory information in a new domain.
  • Password Migration Wizard. Migrates passwords between domains.

The program also generates reports based on the actions performed in each of the wizards, such as reports on accounts with expired passwords or any instances of namespace collisions between the old and new domains. Data generated from older versions of the Migration Tool's databases can also be imported and used in the new version of the wizard.

Note: Once installed, the tool creates an instance of the SQL Server Desktop Engine. If you have other SQL Server products installed, it should coexist with them without a problem. If you already have a full version of SQL Server already installed, you can use that in lieu of the Desktop Engine (even if SQL Server is not installed on the local server).

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter, which is devoted to hints, tips, tricks, news and goodies for Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP users and administrators. He has more than 10 years of Windows experience under his belt, and contributes regularly to SearchWinComputing.com and SearchSQLServer.com.

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This was first published in September 2006
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