Backing up user profiles/data before deploying image

  • Debian 8
    FOG 1.3.0 RC-23

    I ran across this thread as I’m trying to find a solution for this

    Backup Feature for user profiles/Data

    FOG has changed in 4 years so I wasn’t sure if this scripts was something that could ever be implemented or if there was a better solution. Folder redirection, offline mode, and roaming profiles aren’t out of the question yet, but if we can use FOG I’d rather.

    The main issue right now is that our drives are encrypted with McAfee and so in order for this to work I suppose the FOG client would have to do the heavy lifting.

    If this isn’t something that can be done in general or for my environment, I’m okay to be told it can’t. :)


  • @george1421 I will take a look at that, thank you!

    Yeah, I feel where you’re coming from. Which is why I’d like folder redirection so we don’t have to worry about them too much, but many of our users are mobile and I’ve heard some syncing horror stories. :(

  • Moderator

    @THEMCV How we use it is a bit much to explain. But we do use USMT for workstation migrations and OS upgrades. We will use usmt scan state to copy all profiles and user data from the target computer to an IT share. Then image/swap the machine, and then finally use the usmt load state to import the user’s profile back to the new target computer. By default we install usmt on all computers as we are imaging them for its eventual use.

    Here is a good article on using usmt:

    Now in your case, you could use a snapin to issue the usmt scan state to copy the profiles to a common share before imaging and then a second snapin to copy them back post imaging. But I have never been to comfortable using that method. I would prefer my guys SEE the profiles being backed up and confirm the migration file exists before wiping the computer. The process does work, but on occasion there are hiccups. When the user logs in after the usmt migration they see exactly their profile on the old computer. We did create a custom xml config file to ensure that all files in all specific locations were being backed up.

    The only caveat to usmt is the user that runs the scan state and load state must be a local admin on the box. Normal users can’t run the command successfully.

  • Moderator

    @Tom-Elliott You could theoretically scan the profile before backing it up, but seeing as anti-viruses aren’t perfect, this is bound to screw things up anyway.

  • @Tom-Elliott Huh, yeah I suppose I didn’t think about that with the infections. I would hope that McAfee would grab it, but who are we kidding. It’s McAfee.

    We have some users who are having issues (first time FOG deployment here for a user) and that’s just something that’s come up. I’m trying to make it so I can tell it to image and the process is done from there. No touching it or anything. Just image and you have a new PC in 20 minutes. :)

  • @george1421 How do you guys use USMT? See, I wondered about pulling their profile up before the FOG client rebooted them, then it pushed it back down similar to how the script works, but I don’t know that Windows will just accept the profile that’s there or if it’ll make a new one. Our computers are single user PCs.

  • Senior Developer

    @Tom-Elliott the good idea ultimately is referring to my own thoughts.

  • Senior Developer

    @Wayne-Workman I’ve pondered the idea of this but it’s not a good idea ultimately. Useful as it could be, what kinds of things would require before actions (beyond data backup)? I suppose there could be more uses but they’re still seeming rather ubiquitous. As for the profile backup portion I would recommend against it. While certainly there could be the occasional need, the idea of imaging is to have a “clean start”. Imaging if you’re imaging a system due to a virus. Backing up to place back on wouldn’t do much good I don’t think.

  • George is right.

    But, this makes me think of a feature request… predownloadscripts

    @Tom-Elliott thoughts?

  • Moderator

    Since you have mcafee fde installed you will have to backup the user’s profiles in the windows environment. Linux FOS can’t help you here, or your drive encryption wouldn’t be very good.

    We use USMT to transfer the user’s profile to their home drive before imaging and then back after imaging. This is all done in the windows realm outside of FOG.