Microsoft File Transfer Wizard

avoid the difficultiesI discovered another quick of Microsoft’s File Transfer Wizard, which is not surprising but can be an unexpected surprise for administrators who are using redirected folders. Basically when using File Transfer Wizard, one of the default settings is to capture the My Documents and Desktop folders. However it does not detect if these folders are network and/or redirected folders, and as such will copy their contents by default. This is not surprising, but can cause unneeded actions if the new computer will also be using the redirected folder for the My Documents.

I was recently performing this action for a user upgrading from Microsoft Windows 2000 to Vista, and they were connected to a Microsoft Active Directory 2003 network which we did not setup for them. Redirected folders were in use, which I knew in the back of my mind. When I began the File Transfer Wizard, I noticed it backing up the My Documents folder and the ETA was 45 minutes. Then I realized that I should need the My Documents folder, so I canceled the FTW, and ran it again against the same dataset except for the redirected folders – wizard completed in 90 seconds. What a faster way to accomplish this simple task.

Lesson learned – understand what your backing up on the workstation and how it is configured before simply relying upon the wizard. Also, as mentioned previously, some items such as Outlook POP/IMAP configurations are not migrates, as well as the PST file (or anything in the “Local Settings” folder).