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Replace a Windows 7 Computer with a Windows 8.1 Computer

Published: May 9, 2014

Applies To: Windows 8.1

A computer replace scenario for Windows 8.1 is quite similar to a computer refresh for Windows 8.1; however, because you are replacing a machine, you cannot store the backup on the old computer. Instead you need to store the backup to a location where the new computer can read it.

For the purposes of this topic, we will use four machines: DC01, MDT01, PC0002, and PC0007. DC01 is a domain controller and MDT01 is a Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard server. PC0002 is an old machine running Windows 7 SP1. It is going to be replaced by a new Windows 8.1 machine, PC0007. User State Migration Tool (USMT) will be used to backup and restore data and settings. MDT01, PC0002, and PC0007 are members of the domain contoso.com for the fictitious Contoso Corporation. For more details on the setup for this topic, please see Proof-Of-Concept Environment.

Figure 1

Figure 1. The machines used in this topic.

When preparing for the computer replace, you need to create a folder in which to store the backup, and a backup only task sequence that you run on the old computer.

  1. On MDT01, using the Deployment Workbench, update the MDT Production deployment share rules.

  2. Change the SkipUserData=YES option to NO, and click OK.

  1. On MDT01, log on as CONTOSO\Administrator.

  2. Create and share the E:\MigData folder by running the following three commands in an elevated Windows PowerShell prompt:

    New-Item -Path E:\MigData -ItemType directory
    New-SmbShare –Name MigData$ –Path E:\MigData 
    -ChangeAccess EVERYONE
    icacls E:\MigData /grant '"MDT_BA":(OI)(CI)(M)'
    

  1. On MDT01, using the Deployment Workbench, in the MDT Production deployment share, select the Task Sequences node and create a new folder named Other.

  2. Right-click the Other folder and select New Task Sequence. Use the following settings for the New Task Sequence Wizard:

    1. Task sequence ID: REPLACE-001

    2. Task sequence name: Backup Only Task Sequence

    3. Task sequence comments: Run USMT to backup user data and settings

    4. Template: Standard Client Replace Task Sequence

  3. In the Other folder, double-click Backup Only Task Sequence, and then in the Task Sequence tab, review the sequence. Notice that it only contains a subset of the normal client task sequence actions.

    Figure 2 Figure 2. The Backup Only Task Sequence action list.

During a computer replace, these are the high-level steps that occur:

  1. On the computer you are replacing, a special replace task sequence runs the USMT backup and, if you configured it, runs the optional full Window Imaging (WIM) backup.

  2. On the new machine, you perform a standard bare-metal deployment. At the end of the bare-metal deployment, the USMT backup from the old computer is restored.

  1. On PC0002, log on as CONTOSO\Administrator.

  2. Verify that you have write access to the \\MDT01\MigData$ share.

  3. Execute \\MDT01\MDTProduction$\Scripts\LiteTouch.vbs.

  4. Complete the Windows Deployment Wizard using the following settings:

    1. Select a task sequence to execute on this computer: Backup Only Task Sequence

      1. Specify where to save your data and settings: Specify a location

      2. Location: \\MDT01\MigData$\PC0002

      noteNote
      If you are replacing the computer at a remote site you should create the MigData folder on MDT02 and use that share instead.

    2. Specify where to save a complete computer backup: Do not back up the existing computer

    3. Password: P@ssw0rd

    The task sequence will now run USMT (Scanstate.exe) to capture user data and settings of the machine.

    Figure 3 Figure 3. The new task sequence running the Capture User State action on PC0002.

  5. On MDT01, verify that you have an USMT.MIG compressed backup file in the E:\MigData\PC0002\USMT folder.

    Figure 4 Figure 4. The USMT backup of PC0002.

  1. Create a virtual machine with the following settings:

    1. Name: PC0007

    2. Location: C:\VMs

    3. Generation: 2

    4. Memory: 2048 MB

    5. Hard disk: 60 GB (dynamic disk)

  2. Start the PC0007 virtual machine, and press Enter to start the Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) boot. The machine will now load the Windows PE boot image from the WDS server.

    Figure 5 Figure 5. The initial PXE boot process of PC0005.

  3. After Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) has booted, complete the Windows Deployment Wizard using the following settings:

    1. Password: P@ssw0rd

    2. Select a task sequence to execute on this computer:

      1. Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64 RTM Custom Image

      2. Computer Name: PC0007

      3. Applications: Select the Install - Adobe Reader XI - x86 application.

  4. The setup now starts and does the following:

    1. Installs the Windows 8.1 Enterprise operating system.

    2. Installs the added application.

    3. Updates the operating system via your local Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server.

    4. Restores the USMT backup from PC0002.

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