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Windows 7 Migration: Introduction

Created: 19 Feb 2010 • Updated: 01 Nov 2010 | 2 comments
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blairthomas's picture
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Step 1: Assess Your Environment and Plan Your Deployment
Step 2: Build Standard Windows 7 Images
Step 3: Prepare Applications
Step 4: Capture User Settings and Personality
Step 5: Assemble and Automate
Step 6: Migrate Systems
Step 7: Measure and Report
Appendix A
Appendix B


Migrating to Microsoft Windows 7 can be an intimidating task. You want to take advantage of how Windows 7 will help make users productive anywhere with enhanced security and control, but how do you implement an efficient, cost effective migration that doesn't disrupt end-user productivity? While challenging, migration also presents an opportunity. It's the perfect time to wipe the slate clean; to implement standard configurations and structured change management procedures that will help ensure the long-term rewards that come from a manageable, sustainable environment.

Symantec has migrated more than 300 million desktops and notebooks to Windows 2000, XP, Vista and now the Windows 7 operating system. With more than a decade of experience, Symantec's expertise is engineered directly into our solutions. Combine the expertise with our powerful hands-free, fully-automated technology helps customers simplify a seemingly difficult hardware refresh or OS migration.

The authors of this white paper Larry Olsen and Blair Thomas currently work as Principal Technical Support Engineers for Symantec on the Deployment 6.9 product. They will guide you through the process of migration to Windows 7with the fewest steps possible. If you have any questions after reading this white paper please ask questions.

Why Use Symantec for Your Windows 7 Migration?

Integration - Symantec solutions not only deploy the OS image. They perform inventory and assessment, virtualize applications, capture application settings and user data, conditionally install applications based on the user or department, and reconfigure the migrated computer-all from a single console. This integrated, automated approach eliminates the need for custom scripting, and ensures that when the migration finishes the machine is ready to use, eliminating hundreds of hours in unnecessary help desk support calls.

Automation - Symantec customers have migrated millions of computers to new operating systems using a single job and a single hardware independent image. Most organizations don't have the time or personnel to manually perform each part of a migration, so we've designed our tools to fully automate the process, allowing you the option to remotely carry out full migrations without even touching the computers being migrated.

Proven technology - Symantec provides native support for sector-based imaging as well as the new WIM image format introduced with Vista. Your migration starts from wherever you are at-even Windows 98, 2000, XP, or Vista machines. We believe that your technology decisions should be based on business needs, not the limitations of your software.

As the key deployment partner for desktops, notebooks, workstations, thin clients, and servers for Dell, HP, Fujitsu Siemens Computers and IBM servers, Symantec works closely with all major hardware manufacturers. We also support hardware-based management technologies such as Wake on LAN, PXE, and Intel® vProTM, ensuring you can take full advantage of hardware features.

Post migration management - as part of a migration project, you will be building all of the pieces (standard images, software packages, etc.) necessary to put an on-going management system in place. Symantec solutions allow you to leverage this investment and to continue to secure and manage your IT resources long after the migration is complete.

General Migration Guidelines

Having a sound migration plan and an integrated, automated solution is important for migration. Making sure your team is prepared can be just as important. As you prepare for Windows 7 migration, be sure your team is ready.

Communication - a successful migration involves coordination with people across your organization. As part of your migration plan, identify who within your organization will need to see and/or approve various aspects of the migration, and make a plan for how you will make sure they are informed and involved at the right time.

Set expectations - even a good process can be considered a failure if expectations are not met. As you make your migration plan, work with key stakeholders to understand their objectives and to make sure that you are setting achievable goals.

Identify other opportunities - as you work through your migration plan, look for ways to take advantage of the migration to improve and automate processes or address current objectives in areas such as standardization, automated management, compliance and security. Some improvements you might want to consider include:

  • Implement computer naming standards
  • Standardize software versions
  • Resolve security vulnerabilities
  • Harvest and consolidate software licenses

Stay focused - Migrations present natural opportunities to improve. However, be sure to avoid distracting out-of scope projects, such as network upgrades. By staying focused on projects related to the migration, you can limit cost and scope creep that might ultimately jeopardize your success.

Prerequisites to Windows 7 Migration

  • Install Deployment Solution 6.9 SP3
  • Create the Automation boot environment so it is ready to boot clients

7 Steps for Windows 7 Migrations

Successful migration is only possible with a thorough strategy. We have used our years of expertise to develop the Symantec 7 Step Windows 7 Migration process.

This process includes three phases:

♦ Assess and Plan

♦ Build and Test

♦ Execute and Report

Assess and Plan

In this initial phase, you will assess resources and plan a strategy to ensure a successful migration. This includes evaluating the hardware and software in your end user environment, and identifying network and management issues across your organization. Symantec solutions help with assessment and planning by providing pre-built reports. These reports enable you to determine hardware readiness and overcome infrastructure barriers to ensure a smooth migration. This assessment and planning phase provides the foundation for your deployment plan.

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ohzone's picture

As each article in this series is published the links in the content list will become live

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nish's picture


I am going to rollout windows 7 to all my computers, they will all be new machines (not upgraded). I wanted to know if I can have the old hidden bootworks partition on the machines with the image on it so that I can restore back the machines remotely if need be. I have done it with Windows XP, but don't know about windows 7. If someone could point me in the right direction, it would be much appreciated,


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