Migrating – Folders and Share Permissions

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Usually If I’ve got a lot of user profiles and data to shift, I use the clients backup software, copying user and group permission’s is pretty easy, xcopy can do that quite happily. The problem is migrating the shares and share permissions, that’s got to be done manually, for a few folders that’s easy to do, but if they have a LOT of shared folders that can be a problem.

So heres how to migrate both the share permissions and the NTFS permissions. from one server to another.


Note: For this to work, the drive letter on the source server and the new server needs to be the same.

drive letter matching drive letter

1. On the new server, map a drive letter the the shared drive on the old server.

map a drive from command

2. Copy the contents of the OLD drive to the NEW drive with the following command.

xcopy x:*.* e:*.* /D /E /C /F /H /K /O /Y

xcopy with permissions

3. The copy over can take some time, remember if your old server has a slow network card or you only have a 10/100 switch then it may take considerably longer. In this example I was moving approx 140GB – it took a couple of hours.

data migration

4. That gets the files over with the correct windows permissions. Lastly we need to migrate the share permissions, on the OLD server > Start > Run > Regedit > Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesLanmanserverShares > Right click the entire “Shares” Key and export it to a file. (I just called it Shares and dropped it on the old servers C: drive).

migrate windows shares

5. Now I’ve read other sites and posts that say WARNING importing this key will break shares on the new server, but that is NOT the case. If you are worried you can export the same key on the NEW server to back it up.

Lanmanserver Shares

6. Copy the file you exported from the old server to the new server, then double click it, you will get a warning about adding/merging the file into the registry > Accept by clicking yes.

merge shares from registry

7. All being well it should say it was successful. Now simply reboot the NEW server and the shares will be recreated.

import reg file

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Author: Migrated

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