Saturday, March 30, 2013

Migrating user profile with Outlook 2010

You want to migrate user profile with Outlook 2010 and restore it completely on another PC?

I would like to share my tip how to save a lot of hassle.

We will use great Windows built-in Windows Easy Transfer tool.


1. Download this hotfix for Office 2010 update for USMT:

You will be prompted for destination email to receive a download link and captcha. 

2. Extract the .CAB and you will get the content:

What we need is only the file migapp.xml. In fact, this is the file which directs MigWiz.exe (Windows Easy Transfer Migration wizard) what to migrate with all the registry settings and data files. 

Notice the file size: 609 KB.

In the time of release of Windows 7 there was only Office 2007. That´s the only reason why Windows Easy Transfer can´t see your Outlook 2010, because there is not a single line about it in migapp.xml. Simple, isn´t it?

Investigate to folder C:\Windows\system32\migwiz:

Notice the file size: 544 KB.

If you compare the both files, you will notice that it is really the same file for MigWiz navigation, but the extracted one is bigger, and has newer instructions - and yes, the lucky one for Office 2010!

3. Take ownership and replace.

The main task is to replace MigApp.xml in C:\Windows\system32\migwiz with the extracted one. You need to take ownership first, because it is a system file (don´t worry, MigApp.xml is just text file for profile settings and registry migration navigation).

After you take ownership, add yourself correct rights for replacing the file. 

Replace the file.

4. Run MigWiz.exe (Windows Easy Transfer) and you will be pleased with migration settings for Outlook 2010 (Office 2010):

Windows Easy Transfer with original MigApp.xml

Windows Easy Transfer with updated MigApp.xml

What is migrated?

Whole user Outlook profile as is:
PST archives
Database of last typed addresses (formerly NK2, in Outlook 2010 RoamCache stream)
Everything else configured in Outlook 2010

This solution is confirmed by my usage on daily basis. New MigWiz files are designated for USMT (User State Migration Tool Server or System Center products), but you can use the provided MigApp.xml for just client user profile migrations. Its a pitty that Microsoft has not published this as an update for Windows 7.

For Windows XP users: Whole procedure remains same, you need only to update Windows Easy Transfer to Windows 7 version. You can download it from Microsoft:

If you are performing user profile migrations on a regular basis in your production network, taking ownership and replacing the MigApp.xml can be a little cumbersome. I have a good tip: Make a virtual machine with updated MigApp.xml, and use it as a middleman in your user profile migration process. (You need to have updated MigApp.xml file just on one of the PCs when migrating)

If you are using Google App Sync for your Outlook 2010 setup with Google Apps, I can tell you one more good thing - the Apps Sync Outlook profile remains configured on migrated profile. You should only have Google Apps Sync installed on new PC before starting migration. 

Update: I am working on easy 2-click solution right now.