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File Server Home Directories to OneDrive for Business Migration Guide

Last Update: 7/21/2017 11:32 AM
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​​File Server (Home Directories) to OneDrive For Business Migration Guide

Important: When you sign in to MigrationWiz, you are redirected to the Getting Started page in MSPComplete. To get to a migration project created before April 4, 2017, click the Go to Projects button on the Getting Started Page. To create a new project for the migration scenario documented in this article, click the waffle icon (waffle.png) in the top navigation bar of MSPComplete, and select the appropriate migration product.


This Migration Guide provides the procedures to be followed for migrating home directories from File Servers to OneDrive for Business.

This strategy is only recommended when migrating a small number of home directories. When migrating a larger number of home directories, PowerShell scripts and a CSV file can automate the process. Refer to KB005488 for step-by-step instructions, and to obtain the scripts and CSV file.

When migrating file shares from the file server, follow the migration guide specific to that scenario. Typically, file shares will be migrated to SharePoint Online Site libraries.

The diagram below provides a high-level overview of the steps involved in migrating a small number of home directories. The key difference for this type of migration scenario is that this requires an Azure subscription, and the use of the BitTitan UploaderWiz utility to upload the home directories to Azure before they can be migrated into the OneDrive for Business accounts using MigrationWiz.


Prepare Azure Environment:

  • Estimate Azure storage costs. This step is optional, but is useful in order to provide the customer with upfront storage costs ahead of time. KB005177
  • Buy an Azure subscription (or use the free one-month trial, and be aware that this option is only viable if you are performing a very small migration). KB004996

  • Create an Azure storage account, and take note of the Storage Account Name and the Primary Access Key. (In Azure, from the storage screen, click on Manage Access Keys at the bottom of the screen.) These need to be entered into the MigrationWiz document project, when specifying the Source settings. We recommend that you create an Azure Storage Account in the same Microsoft data center as the Destination Office 365 tenant. There is no need to create any Azure containers for this migration. Separate containers are created on a per-home directory basis. During migration, MigrationWiz will create two separate metadata files (with extensions: -directory.metadata and -files.metadata) which will be added to each container. These are used during migration by MigrationWiz, to build the folder structure in OneDrive for Business and to migrate the permissions. They should not be deleted until after the migration. KB004832

Prepare Destination Office 365 Environment:

  • Set up the Office 365 tenant. The Destination must be OneDrive for Business, not the free personal OneDrive version that comes with (a.k.a.
  • Add users and assign SKUs (if permissions are being migrated, this is required).
  • Assign a SKU to the Office 365 global admin account being used for migration; often this will already have a SKU assigned. This is required for MigrationWiz to provision the OneDrive for Business accounts during migration.

Upload Files to Azure: (Note: Steps performed from file server, or computer joined to the domain, when logged in with domain admin account, with local admin rights to the machine.)

  • Download and extract the UploaderWiz utility from here (e.g., extract into the c:\apps\uploaderwiz directory).
  • Set the home directory migration batch to read-only access by user, and inform each user that a migration is occurring and that their home directory is now read-only. (This will prevent the user from adding any files to their home directory during the migration). KB005479
  • From the command console, running as administrator, from the directory that UploaderWiz was extracted into, run the following command (replace the x's with your own information): KB004997

    UploaderWiz -accesskey "xxxxxxxx" -secretkey "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" -type azureblobs -rootpath "xxxxxxxx" -homedrive true


  • If there are problems with the upload, and you need troubleshooting help, refer to KB005473.
  • If performing these steps from a domain-joined computer, a network drive needs to be mapped from the domain-joined computer to the file server, and the rootpath needs to match this drive letter, followed by the directory path - e.g., "x:\home directories" (if spaces in the path then need to surround the path by quotes) or x:\homedir.

MSPComplete Steps: (

  • Create customer. KB005421
  • Create the Source and Destination endpoints (select Azure File System for the Source endpoint, and OneDrive for Business V2 for the Destination endpoint).

    Note: The V2 connector uses the new SharePoint API and is not subject to throttling limits from Microsoft. KB005427
  • Launch Document migration (select All Products/Document Migration).

MigrationWiz Steps:

  • Set up the Project (Create project/Create a document project/Name project, and Select MSPComplete customer/Select Source endpoint/Select Destination endpoint).

    Note: This first project is the baseline project, which all other projects will be cloned from. It is recommended to call this 'baseline', for easy reference.
  • Set Project Advanced Options KB004834
    • Set the value for Licensing/Maximum licenses to consume per item per pass licensing count. The default value = 1. (This allows up to 10GB to be migrated. For example: If the largest home directory = 78GB, set this value to 8, otherwise this migration will pause at 10GB.) KB004890
    • Add ShrinkFoldersMaxLength=200 under Support/Support options. KB005007
    • Add RenameConflictingFiles=1 under Support/Support options. KB005058 (Refer to the section in this article with the heading: Multiple files with the same name limitation.)
    • Add InitializationTimeout=28800000 under Support/Support optionsKB005242
    • Set the Preferred BitTitan Data Center. (For the fastest migration speeds, select the Data Center that is closest to your Office 365 Destination tenant.) KB004268
  • Clone the Project (Click on the Edit Project button/Select Clone Project from the drop-down list/Enter the name for new Project (each new project should be named after the home directory container name in Azure)/Click on the Clone Project button. Repeat this process to create one MigrationWiz project per home directory. KB005487
  • For each MigrationWiz project, add the OneDrive for Business account to migrate home directory files into. (Select Add/Quick Add and enter the login name of OneDrive for Business account within the Destination field labeled Email Address.)
  • Set the Project Advanced Option for the container name. KB004834
    • Specify the correct container name under the Source: File System/Container Name field. By default, the container name is migrationwiz. This must be changed or your migration will fail. This must be set to match the name of the Azure container that was created on your Azure subscription when the home directories were uploaded in the previous step, under the Prepare Source File Server Environment section. Typically, this will match the name of the home directory, unless the home directory contained any special characters (including spaces and uppercase characters). In such cases, the Azure container name could be different, and so the names should be checked within Azure. KB005484
  • Run Verify Credentials. KB004511
  • Purchase Document licenses. KB004647
  • Perform a Full Migration pass (Checkmark the box next to the Root Path/Select the Start button from the drop-down list/Select Full Migration/Click on the Start Migration button). KB004938

Post-Migration Steps:

  • Remove access to the Source home directories.
  • Provide training on OneDrive For Business.
  • Decommission file server. Perform this step only after migrating all data from the file server, such as file shares, and you are absolutely certain that you will not be returning to the file server.
  • Delete all the Azure blob containers that were created during the upload to Azure.

    Note: This will prevent incurring post-migration Azure costs for these containers. Be careful to only delete the containers created by UploaderWiz; these will be names that match the home directories, and have a create date from the date of the upload.