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Frequently Asked Questions

Published: June 17, 2009

Updated: June 29, 2010

Applies To: Windows 7

This topic addresses frequently asked questions regarding migrations using Windows® User State Migration Tool (USMT) 4.0.


Files and Settings

USMT .xml Files

Conflicts and Precedence


How much space is needed on the destination computer?

The destination computer will need enough available space for the following:

  • Operating system

  • Applications

  • Uncompressed store

Can I store the files and settings directly on the destination computer or do I need a server?

You do not need to save the files to a server. If you are moving the user state to a new computer, you can create the store on a shared folder, on media that you can remove, such as a USB flash drive (UFD), or you can store it directly on the destination computer. For example, create and share the directory C:\store on the destination computer. Next, run the ScanState tool on the source computer and save the files and settings to \\DestinationComputerName\store. Then, run the LoadState tool on the destination computer and specify C:\store as the store location.

Can I migrate data between operating systems with different languages?

No. USMT 4.0 does not support migrating data between operating systems with different languages; the source computer's operating-system language must match the destination computer's operating-system language.

Can I change the location of the temporary directory on the destination computer?

Yes. The environment variable USMT_WORKING_DIR can be changed to an alternative temporary directory. There are some offline migration scenarios where this is necessary, for example, when the USMT binaries are located on read-only Windows PE boot media.

How do I install USMT?

Since USMT 4.0 is included in the Windows AIK, you need to install the Windows AIK package on at least one computer in your environment. However, the USMT binaries are designed to be deployed using xcopy. This means that they are installed on a computer simply by recursively copying the USMT directory from the computer containing the Windows AIK to each client computer.

How do I uninstall USMT?

If you have installed the Windows AIK on the computer, uninstalling the Windows AIK will uninstall USMT. For client computers that do not have the Windows AIK installed, you can simply delete the USMT directory to uninstall USMT.

Files and Settings

How can I exclude a folder or a certain type of file from the migration?

You can use the <unconditionalExclude> element to globally exclude data from the migration. For example, you can use this element to exclude all .mp3 files on the computer or to exclude all files from C:\UserData. This element excludes objects regardless of any other <include> rules that are in the .xml files. For an example, see <unconditionalExclude> in the Exclude Files and Settings topic. For the syntax of this element, see XML Elements Library.

What happens to files that were located on a drive that does not exist on the destination computer?

USMT 4.0 migrates the files to the %SystemDrive% while maintaining the correct folder hierarchy. For example, if E:\data\File.pst is on the source computer, but the destination computer does not have an E:\ drive, the file will be migrated to C:\data\File.pst, if C:\ is the system drive. This holds true even when <locationModify> rules attempt to move data to a drive that doesn’t exist on the destination computer.

USMT .xml Files

Where can I get examples of USMT .xml files?

Can I use custom .xml files that were written for USMT 3.0?

Yes. You can use custom .xml files that were written for USMT 3.0 with USMT 4.0. However, in order to use new USMT functionality, you will need to revisit your custom USMT files and refresh them to include the new command-line options and XML elements.

How can I validate the .xml files?

You can use the USMT XML Schema (MigXML.xsd) to write and validate migration .xml files.

Why must I list the .xml files with both the ScanState and LoadState commands?

Unlike previous versions of USMT, the .xml files are not copied to the store. Because the ScanState and LoadState tools need the .xml files to control the migration, you must specify the same set of .xml files for the ScanState and LoadState commands. However, you do not have to specify the Config.xml file, unless you want to exclude some of the files and settings that you migrated to the store. For example, you might want to migrate the My Documents folder to the store, but not to the destination computer. To do this, modify the Config.xml file and specify the updated file with the LoadState command. LoadState will migrate only the files and settings that you want to migrate.

If you exclude an .xml file from the LoadState command, then all of the data that is in the store that was migrated with the missing .xml files will be migrated. However, the migration rules that were specified for the ScanState command will not apply. For example, if you exclude an MigApp.xml file that has a rerouting rule such as MigsysHelperFunction.RelativeMove("c:\data", "%CSIDL_PERSONAL%"), USMT will not reroute the files. Instead, it will migrate them to C:\data.

Which files can I modify and specify on the command line?

If the destination computer is running Windows Vista® or Windows® 7, specify the MigUser.xml and MigApp.xml files on the command line. You can modify each of these files. The migration of operating system settings is controlled by the manifests, which you cannot modify. If you want to exclude certain operating-system settings or any other components, create and modify the Config.xml file.

What happens if I do not specify the .xml files on the command line?

  • ScanState. If you do not specify any files with the StanState command, all user accounts and default operating system components are migrated.

  • LoadState. If you do not specify any files with the LoadState command, all data that is in the store will be migrated. However, any target-specific migration rules that were specified in .xml files with the ScanState command will not apply. For example, if you exclude a MigApp.xml file that has a rerouting rule such as MigsysHelperFunction.RelativeMove("c:\data", "%CSIDL_PERSONAL%"), USMT will not reroute the files. Instead, it will migrate them to C:\data.

Conflicts and Precedence

What happens when there are conflicting XML rules or conflicting objects on the destination computer?

See Conflicts and Precedence for more information.

See Also