Create a migration answer file for Windows SBS 2011 Standard migration. An answer file is used by Windows SBS 2011 Standard Setup to automate the installation and run Setup in migration mode. This section introduces you to the migration answer file and guides you through using the Answer File Tool to create the migration answer file.


Next up is the step where you build an answer file.  While the setup in SBS 2011 is slightly different than SBS 2008 where it stops and asks if you are doing a clean install versus a migration – no need to try to guess when exactly the server wants that usb flash drive anymore – you still need to build this answer file.

It’s also where you see the difference between the Microsoft migration path and the www.sbsmigration path.  As it’s here where in the MS way your resulting SBS 2011 server will end up with a different name than the SBS 2003 it migrated from along with a different IP address.  However using the method, you’ll build a temporary DC that sucks over the AD information from the old SBS server, and then you’ll build the final migrated server  with the same name as the original SBS 2003 server (ergo why it’s called swing migration)

Plan to migrate line-of-business applications

A line-of-business (LOB) application is a critical computer application that is vital to running a business. LOB applications include accounting, supply-chain management, and resource-planning applications.

When you plan to migrate your LOB applications, consult with the LOB-application providers to determine the appropriate method for migrating each application. You also must locate the media that is used to reinstall the LOB applications on the Destination Server.

You can fill in the following table as you collect LOB-application information.


If you haven’t done your homework WAY before this to determine if your line of business apps

a. Support SBS 2011 (or will)

b.  Support Win2k8 r2

c.  Support 64bit

And all of the resulting impact of moving from a 32bit operating system to a 64bit operating system, honey stop the migration thinking right here and right now and begin all over again with that in mind.

If you find that some of your apps won’t support 64bit you have a couple of choices….. you can plan on a Win2k3 server license and repurposing the old SBS hardware to be a member server, or a 2k3 license in a HyperV.  Bottom line… start planning NOW before the new year starts of what apps will support 64bit and which ones won’t.

So now you are ready to run the migration prep tool

  1. Insert Windows SBS 2011 Standard DVD1 in the DVD drive on the Source Server.
  2. When the Windows SBS 2011 Standard installation wizard starts, click Install the Migration Preparation Tool. Choose the most recent version of the tool to install.

You need Powershell and the MS baseline config analyzer to install first.

  • Installation requires that you first install Microsoft PowerShell 2 0. You can download and install the software from Windows Management Framework (Windows PowerShell 2.0, WinRM 2.0, and BITS 4.0) ( ).
  • Installation requires that you install Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2 0. You can download and install the software from Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0 ( ).

    Put the SBS 2011 dvd in your SBS 2003 box.  What?  Don’t have a DVD drive in there?  No worries you can mount the ISO using magicdisc (a iso mounting software that makes a ‘pretend’ cdrom drive) or copy over the tools folder

  • A fyi in case you hit this error. 

    The migration process kept getting stuck and demanding that the source server tool had not been run on the source server…but yet it had.

    SBS 2008 Migration Error:

    Turns out there was issues with the dcom communication:



    From the LOG SNIPPET of the first post, seems the installation passed Schema Version, domain/forest level requirements, but it fails at the following point:


    [2080] 101119.164128.3054: Setup: Caught exception: System.UnauthorizedAccessException: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))


    This issue can occur if SBS2008 setup fails to make WMI query to the source server to get the OS version. To try to fix the issue, I suggest you do the following:


    Action Plan



    Make sure DCOM and ‘Impersonate a client after authentication’ have been configured correctly.


    Make sure DCOM is enabled and is working correctly, I understand that you have tried this before, but please double check to ensure it is correct.


    1.) Launch Component Services (DCOMCNFG)

    2.) Expand Component Services -> Computers -> My Computer

    3.) Bring up the Properties dialog box for My Computer

    4.) Click on Default Properties tab

    5.) Check the box ‘Enable Distributed COM on this computer’

    6.) Make sure Default Authentication Level is set to ‘Connect’ and Default Impersonation Level to ‘Impersonate’

    7.) Click Apply, click Ok.

    8.) Close the Component Services window.


    Make sure the group policy ‘Impersonate a client after authentication’ has SERVICE account added to the list.


    1.) Launch Local Computer Policy (GPEDIT.msc)

    2.) Expand Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies -> User Rights Assignment

    3.) Make sure the Group Policy ‘Impersonate a client after authentication’ has Administrators group and SERVICE account added to the list.

    4.) Reboot the Source server



    Show me a failed migration from a physical box to HyperV and I’ll show you a time zone/time sync to an external source problem.

    The installation of Windows Small Business Server 2008 on a Hyper-V virtual machine fails if the time zone of the virtual machine differs from the time zone in the parent partition:;EN-US;956359

    The problem is no different for SBS 2011.  It is so very very very key that you ensure that both the source server and the built migration server are exactly in time sync.  The reason is that Active Directory cannot replicate (talk to one another) if the time zone of the two machines are plus or minus 5 minutes apart.  This is a key Kerberos requirement and you’ll have a barfed install if you have a time problem between the two servers.

    I have personally found that the documents recommend that you do NOT enable the time integration in the hyperV, but instead ensure that the DC in a HyperV syncs with an external source.  And here’s the rub… then I’ve found the HyperV’s drift a bit.  So here’s my resolution.  I personally found that following these commands on this blog post made my HyperV DC not drift.

    Hyper-V, CPU Load and System Clock Drift:

    All I can say is…it worked.

    But bottom line, there’s an EXTREMELY good reason that they recommend you make sure that the time is in sync.

     Optimize Exchange Server 2003 mailbox sizes

    Migrating large mailboxes from Exchange Server can take a long time. To save time, reduce the size of the mailboxes before the migration. Send an email message to users with the following instructions about how to empty the Deleted Items folder and archive older mail:

    Show me a small firm and I’ll show you a bunch of overweight mailboxes.

    SMB folks run some of the biggest email accounts known to Microsoft.

    We run with fat, bloated mailboxes and quite often boast about the size of our OSTs.

    In addition to telling people that Exchange is not a filing cabinet, do yourself a favor and do a trick that Amy Babinchak of strongly recommends before a migration… running an eseutil.

    Review this blog post — or grab a copy of the SBS 2008 David Overton book and remind yourself of how to use eseutil if you haven’t done it in a while.


    Your migration will be made a ton easier if the mailboxes and not too big, nicely defragmented and ready to go.

    So you have a SBS server you can’t remember a password for?  (okay so like it’s a case of too many betas … there’s a beta image I can’t remember a password for)

    There’s a lot of ways to reset a password on a DC

    This isn’t “hacking”… this is law 3 of computer security — if I have access to a server it’s my server. 

    There’s or

    Or you can build a locksmith reset disk from downloading the Desktop Optimization Pack 2010 refresh and installing the  Microsoft DART (Diagnostic and Recovery Toolkit) that is in the Server section download of the Technet Plus or MSDN.

    Download Desktop Optimization and install it (anywhere). 

    Launch that DART console

    Install the tools and in particular the ERD Commmander boot media wizard

    Launch that… now you’ll need some sort of Win7 or Server 2008 R2 media (not SBS) and it will begin the process of building a boot disk that you’ll use to reset the password

    That Locksmith one is the one you’ll be using later.

    Dump the ISO down to a location you can get to later.

    Now either make a bootable DVD…or in the case of HyperV just mount that ISO as a bootable cd/dvd

    You boot from there, and basically what you are doing now is resetting the DSRM password



    This will reenable the Administrator account on the server

    Okay hit next and close.

    Unmount the ISO and reboot the box hitting F8 to get into DSRM mode

    At the login, now go to .\Administrator and the password you entered