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I have finally returned from Hong Kong after another not-so-fun fifteen hour flight. At least I had a window seat this time but as bad as I thought Delta was at times, I was being spoiled in comparison to what you get on a United flight. A couple of tiny bags of snacks a tiny little cup of a drink - not even a whole can of soda or mini-bottle of water! They open a big bottle and pour out of it. The screens for the movies during the flight (what else do you have to do - there are no power adapter plugs in coach) were horrible! All kinds of blurs, squiggles and interference. The only thing that went well is we weren't forced to pay five dollars to use our headphones to watch the movies!! Ugh. Please, Delta, open a route to Asia.

Everything went well with the migration. This is about the tenth one I have done overseas and it followed the typical formula:

  1. No matter how well you prepare there will be a large number of things missed with regards to client machines. Some small and some large. Fortunately, few are show stoppers. I have found due to the sheer numbers involved as well as language and cultural differences you will never uncover all the nits ahead of time.
  2. Twelve hour days are the norm - if not the minimum. Get in the office by 8am and work until you start making dumb mistakes.
  3. Go back to the hotel room and then work another 3-4 hours answering emails and doing things from your normal job.
  4. Start all over the next day.

We laid in the network first and got it squared away so we could then dcpromo the domain controller and allow replication to begin. The next question the PM had for me is how long will replication take? Our estimates came in at 41 hours. How will we know when it is complete? Good question. I had never thought about it but all of my previous dcpromos had been on LANs or pretty beefy WAN links. I never had to worry about if or when replication would complete. I knew how to check the various of aspects of replication with REPLMON but after combing through the event logs I found this little message that basically said "this wont be a domain controller until replication completes. To check to see when it completes, run the net share command and look for the sysvol share."

Once the domain controller was promoted we could begin with the client migrations. We used the great new desktop migration tools available in the Windows Vista AIK. ImageX especially came in handy in imaging the old workstations before laying down the new image. We could then mount the .wim file if needed to extract any data that was missed in the migration such as an obscure .pst file. The new file-based image is so much more convenient in this regard than the bit-based images that other disk imaging programs like Ghost provide.

Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 1:02 PM Windows Server , Active Directory , XP | Back to top


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