Microsoft currently offers the market a less than user-friendly solution to do a one-time migration from Windows XP to Windows 7. Microsoft USMT, (User State Migration Tool) is a command-line based utility that works best on a one-to-one basis. As a result, most experienced administrators have found ways to script the automation for several users at once.
Microsoft USMT can be described as a: "script-able command-line tool that provides a highly-customizable user-profile migration experience for IT professionals. Microsoft USMT includes two components, ScanState and LoadState, and a set of modifiable .XML files: MigApp.xml, MigUser.xml, and MigDocs.xml. In addition, you can create custom .XML files to support your migration needs. You can also create a Config.xml file to specify files or settings to exclude from the migration."
In more layman's terms, this user state migration tool can be used to do a one-time migration of user profiles and certain registry settings (user state) to port a user's profile from Windows XP to Windows 7. It is not without its challenges though. There is a learning curve involved and although Microsoft has gone to great lengths to document the process of using this user state migration tool for an enterprise migration, many administrators end up finding the process is still too time-consuming and error-prone to be very effective in large environments.
ProfileUnity FlexApp - User State Migration Tool Automated for the Enterprise
A clear alternative to using Microsoft USMT is Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity FlexApp. ProfileUnity FlexApp can be used in physical environments to automate the process of moving the user state to Windows 7 easily and with much more flexibility for administrators. When applied as a user state migration tool, ProfileUnity FlexApp breaks down the barriers to upgrading to Windows 7 because it can move enterprise users to the new OS at any time after an initial run that decouples user profiles from the original operating system (whether it’s Windows XP or Windows Vista.) This "Anytime Migration™" ability also allows users to seamlessly login to any Windows desktop or server OS, and retain backward and forward user profile compatibility between the original Windows OS and the target Windows OS.
With ProfileUnity FlexApp replacing Microsoft USMT as an automated user state migration tool, administrators do not need to be a scripting expert in order to "set it and forget it." You can be confident that ProfileUnity FlexApp can robustly support management of user profiles, the migration of user authored data, and configuration settings, from that point forward.
Comparison of Microsoft USMT with ProfileUnity FlexApp
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ProfileUnity FlexApp is an affordable option that can run as a virtual appliance in your environment today. Installation is simple and straightforward and can be performed in under a day. In fact, most users report that they were able to download and implement ProfileUnity in their proof of concept environments in less than one hour!
ProfileUnity FlexApp leverages existing Windows architecture, there are no separate databases or back-end infrastructure to implement. If your Windows domain is scaled, ProfileUnity FlexApp is scaled -- even to tens of thousands of users. As a Windows desktop administrator, you will be dealing with familiar Windows native file formats and concepts from day one; you will not have to learn a proprietary system that forces you to apply an unfamiliar approach. If you try ProfileUnity FlexApp and - for any reason - decide it's not for you, you can go back to your original processes and setups without any issues - profiles and data are still compatible with your original systems. So... you have absolutely nothing to lose and hours and hours of productive time to regain, with ProfileUnity FlexApp. Download now.