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USMT for swapping machines



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Howdy, I hope this section of the forum gets enough visibility.

My understanding is, that the normal flow if I want to run USMT backup through a task sequence and to restore to a different computer, I would need to pre-emptively define the source and destination. My searches have all returned very limited results and I am hoping there are more options.

I'd like to be able to run a backup task sequence, either available or required, grab a random PC, and run a restore task sequence to install the data. I'm not pretending the software would know what the destination would be without telling it, but I'd like to be able to direct it without knowing the destination prior to the backup. The other scenario is harvesting data after failed remote wipe-reloads upgrading from 7 to 10. Without a doubt there will be hardware failures, and saving face may involve simply doing a hardware swap.

So far I played with the OSDStateStorePath variable, hoping I could just steal the known path. It didn't appear to work at all, I suspect because it knew where it was supposed to go any my intended destination wasn't that.

Am I playing the impossible game?

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we use USMT in this way everyday to deploy new devices

backup old machine at 6:30pm / restore to new machine 2am 

do you have a specific question?

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I created a replace task sequence to backup data. It runs scanstate and pulls the data. Is there an easy way to restore it on a new computer? I know I can redeploy a image and choose to restore data in the wizard. Can I achieve a restore without doing that? I'm thinking I should be able to create a task sequence, go to the new computer launch litetouch pick that task sequence, point it at the data i want to restore and let it run wild

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Another thing is we have a project of migrating users to a new domain. Can this be achieved using MDT/USMT? right now I have some powershell scripts that run scanstate and loadstate, but i'm not he best script writer and i'm getting failures on a lot of stuff. I'm guessing there should be a way to do a backup and restore task sequence similar to what i'm asking about above, but i can use the /md:olddomain:newdomain in the loadstate arguments to migrate the data to the new domain user account upon restore

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1st question - we have two separate task sequence. 
1st  at 6pm

  • disable bitlocker
  • restart computer
  • request state store
  • capture user state
  • re-enable bitlocker

2nd at 2am

  • request restore state
  • restore "customize how it's restored"
    • "we have custom .xml files"

 Lastly, in the Assets and Compliance section, you will see the "User State Migration" section. That is how you associate the FROM computer and the TO computer. Associate the computers / users and let the tasks run

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2nd question

Inside the task sequence, there is an "Join Domain or Workgroup" option where you can have the device join a domain. I have never used it separately from imaging but I don't see why it wouldn't work for what you want to do. I would try to have it perform the backup, restore, then add to the new domain. 

keep in mind you have to have an account on the new domain so SCCM will have rights to add the device. 

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Unfortunately our company is too small and we don't have SCCM at the moment. it would be cool if we did. It'd make my job so much easier. But until I can convince someone to shell out some cash for it, I just have a MDT server for deploying Windows.

Thank you for your advice. I'll poke around a bit. I jsut created a Post OS Install task sequence to test out the restore functionality. We're not using bitlocker here (yet) so I don't have to worry about that.

I'm fairly new to the XML files bit. I know that a config file is genreated by scanstate before it runs the backup. Do you have your own master config file that you generated? We've got a mix of WIndows 7 and Windows 10 computers laying about. Would the same config file work for both?

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i created an offline package to run USMT outside of SCCM but have never run it in our MDT server. you could probably run it in MDT but creating an association would be an issue. I'll look at it tomorrow.

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On ‎12‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 8:17 AM, Noqturnal said:

have you had any luck on this? I'm looking to do something similar

Not really helpful to your situation, but I did put something together, and I'll try to explain how I did it.

For planned hardware replacements, created two collections. The first collection (stage1) runs a required deployment of a script that gathers data from the device. This would be typical stuff we embed on the device to describe the department, business unit, and any other data we want tied to the device. The second (stage other?) is an available usmt backup task sequence, meant for the tech delivering the new device.

  1. When it is time to replace schedule the replacement of the device, the analyst will add it to the stage1 collection. It will gather the info, and condense into an XML
  2. The tech building the baremetal install will have an option in the naming script, which will import the data gathered in the XML. At that point, the task sequence will have the old and new PC names.
  3. Towards the tail end of the task sequence, it will send a remote command to another box to create the USMT entry and archive the XML (so other people will not try to build that replacement twice). The task sequence will add the new device to another collection that makes the restore available to run a usmt restore task sequence.
  4. The day before the replacement, a tech can add the doomed computer to the stage2 collection.
  5. When the replacement begins, the tech logs in, starts the backup through the software center and powers down.
  6. Plug in new computer, and do a restore through the software center.

Not a perfect routine, but is linear enough I can tell people what to do. The problems I had in test was the guy doing my testing thought he would be clever and do step 4 while the baremetal install was running. Typical behavior if the entry isn't made, is to make the target the same PC. This doesn't appear to be capable of being manipulated, and after discussion with my peers I suspect this is a security feature against hijacking other users' data.

Ad-hoc machines will likely just need a manual usmt process to an onsite storage, which we do have something for win7 like that but we'll need to overhaul it for 10. For the record I am going to need to edit this later... I haven't mastered this whole "communication" thing yet.

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