Scenario: you're moving (or have moved) your files/emails from a server share such as "Microsoft Small Business Server" or "Server Essentials" into the Cloud.

  • You've moved all of the emails
  • You've moved the files to local computers, and the files are upload(ed/ing) to OneDrive for Business
  • You realize that you no longer need that server...but it's a Domain Controller
    • If you turn off the server the users will not be able to log onto their computers
    • If you make the users create local user accounts they will lose their data/email/desktop configurations
Is there a way to easily migrate a user's "domain" profile to a "local" profile, thus preserving all of their data and settings? Read on...


The official Microsoft answer would be to use some of the Microsoft tools, such as USMT (see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824873.aspx), but sometimes a 3rd-party tool is available for free that makes the task quicker and simpler. For this scenario we'll be using User Profile Wizard (http://www.forensit.com); the latest free version is best, but if you're having problems downloading it then there's a cached copy (zipped) attached to this article.

  • Log onto the local computer with local admin rights & install User Profile Wizard
  • Create a new local user account
    • Go to Computer Management > Local Users and Groups > Users
    • Create a new user with an identical username as the Domain Username
      • If the server logon for the user was "COMPANY-X\JimmyBean" then the new username will be "JimmyBean"
      • Take time to choose what password options you want to apply, such as "User must change password at next logon"
    • Go to the properties of the new user and add them to the local "Administrators" group
  • Migrate the domain user profile
    • Run User Profile Wizard
    • On the "User Account Information" page, enter the details for the new local account that you just created
    • Next is the "Select User Profile" page, where you simply choose the domain profile that you want to migrate
    • Next is the "Migrating Profile" page, which actually moves the data and registry settings
      • Be patient - it could take some time...but it's worth the wait
  • Log onto the local computer and verify the migration
    • Log off, and log onto the local computer using the newly created account
    • Launch Outlook - the profile should be there, along with email, but it may prompt you to re-enter the Office 365 email password the first time
    • Verify the items on the Desktop
    • Verify contents of the OneDrive for Business folder - it may prompt you to re-enter the Office 365 email password the first time
That's it! Once all of the users are no longer logging onto the old server (Domain Controller) then you can switch it off gracefully; be kind and retire it with dignity  :-)