By AOMEI / Last Updated June 23, 2020

What is Windows Server Migration Tools and how to use it?

For many companies, transferring workloads from one Server to another is a common occurrence, especially significant files/folders. Many methods and tools can be used to transfer files from Server to Server. The most common one is Windows Server Migration Tools, a set of PowerShell cmdlets.

Windows Server Migration Tools, a Windows Server built-in tool, works with Server 2003 and newer Server OS versions. Generally speaking, you can use this utility to migrate server roles, features, operating system settings, shares and other data from one Server to another.

In fact, many users don’t know how to use Windows Server Migration Tools. Luckily, the operating steps will be presented below. Suppose you have installed Windows Server 2012 on destination Server and Windows Server 2008 on source Server. Let’s have a closer look!

Install Windows Server Migration Tools on the destination and source Server

Step 1. Click Start in the lower left corner of the computer. Type Server Manager in the search box and then open it.

Step 2. Click Add Roles and Features under Manage tab. Then press Next.

Add Features

Step 3. Select the destination server. Then press Next.

Step 4. Click Windows Server Migration Tools under Features tab. Then press Next.

Features

Step 5. Confirm the installation selections. Then click Install to install this tool on the destination computer.

Step 6. Use the method mentioned above to install this utility on the source computer.

Tip: Windows Server migration tools also allow you to move Windows Server 2016 to new hardware machine with ease.

Create a deployment folder on the destination computer

Step 1. Press Windows + X key. Then choose Command Prompt (Admin).

Step 2. At the command prompt, change to the directory in which the smigdeploy.exe tool is stored. Type the following command. Then press Enter.

cd %Windir%\System32\ServerMigrationTools\

Command

Step 3. Type the following command. Path represents the path of the deployment folder on the source computer. Then press Enter.

SmigDeploy.exe /package /architecture X86 /os WS08 /path

Path

Register Windows Server Migration Tools on the source computer

Step 1. Copy the deployment folder that was created by the destination computer to a local drive of the source computer. Make sure that the operating system architecture of the deployment folder matches that of the source computer.

Step 2. Press Windows logo key + X. Then select Command Prompt (Admin) to open a Command Prompt window on the source computer.

Step 3. At the command prompt, change the directory to which you copied the deployment folder in Step 1.

Step 4. Type the following command to register Windows Server Migration Tools cmdlets. Then press Enter.

.\Smigdeploy.exe

Smigdeploy

Now you have completed all the preparations. Let’s learn how to use Server migration tools.

Use Windows Server Migration Tools step by step

If you want to export the local users and groups from the source Server, you can follow these steps.

Step 1. Click Server Manager and Tools subsequently on the source Server. Then click Windows Server Migration Tools to open it.

Step 2. Run the following command:

Export-SmigServerSetting -User All -Group –Path C:SysAdminExportMigUsersGroups –Verbose

If you want to import the local users and groups to the target Server, you can refer to these steps.

Step 1. Open Windows Server Migration Tools on the destination Server (Server Manager ﹥ Tools ﹥ Windows Server Migration Tools).

Step 2. Type the following command and then press Enter.

Import-SmigServerSetting –User Enabled –Group -Path C:SysAdminExportMigUsersGroups -Verbose

How to use Windows Server Migration Tools 2012? You can complete this task by using the operating steps mentioned above. Care must be taken to use this utility, because serious problems might occur if you operate incorrectly.

Although Windows Server Migration Tools in 2016/2012/2008 Server can help uses transfer data, the operating steps are complex, especially for some non-technical people. If you think this utility is difficult to operate, you’d better use an alternative.

Best replacement for Windows Server Migration Tool

AOMEI Backupper Server is a reliable alternative for Windows Server Migration Tools. It has a practical feature called file sync that allows you to synchronize files between Windows Servers. With this utility, you can sync files to network, NAS devices, and cloud drives, etc.

To save time, users can use this software to set up an automatic sync based on daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers, USB plug in or real-time sync. Other useful functions like files backup, deleted files restore are also waiting for your use.

This utility supports Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016 (including R2)/SBS 2003/2008/2011 as well as Windows PC systems currently. Unlike Windows Server Migration Tools, this software is easy to use.

Just download 30-day free trial! Then follow the quick guide to sync files over a network.

How to share files in Windows Servers step by step?

Step 1. Install and launch this utility. Click File Sync under Backup tab.

File Sync

Step 2. The Task Name can be modified by your needs. Click Add Folder to select the folder you want to share. Then click OK.

Add Folder

Note: To set up the specific requirement like automatically backup files with a certain file extension, click File Filter at the right side of selected folders.

Step 3. Click the inverted triangle and Select a network location, then choose Share/NAS, Add Network Location and type network path, username, password to add destination path.

Select Network Path

Add Network Path

Step 5. To continuously sync files, click Schedule and select one or more settings. To delete file backup for disk cleanup, click Scheme and select a specific role. After all finish, click Start Sync.

  • Daily/weekly/monthly schedule sync: To continuously sync files to network location, you can enable daily sync, weekly sync or monthly sync.

  • Event triggers: To sync files at a specific event, such as, System Shutdown, can help you avoid interference.

  • Wake the computer to run scheduled tasks: To sync files during off-peak hours, especially for large files, this feature is very useful. You can create a schedule sync with this feature, and set the backup time to midnight or any other times, then your computer will be wake up 2 minutes before the task start.

  • Real-time Sync: To minitor any changes made to synced files and sync them immediately when detected, you could consider using "Real-time Sync".

Schedule Settings General

Note: Do not change the name of the source folder after syncing. Otherwise the program cannot sync it anymore.

Verdict

How to use Windows Server Migration Tools? This article shows the detailed steps you want. If you find that these steps are difficult for you, you can turn to the best alternative – AOMEI Backupper Server. This professional software enables you to transfer files from one Server to another easily.