Refreshing a Windows 7 Computer to Windows 10 using USMT and SCCM

Benoit LecoursSCCM, WINDOWS 1067 Comments

Since SCCM 1511, you can use the new upgrade task sequence to easily upgrade a Windows 7 computer to Windows 10. But what if you want to upgrade a computer from a 32-bits operating system to Windows 10 64-bits ? You can’t use the upgrade task sequence for this specific scenario. Another reason would be that your company decided to use the wipe and reload option in your Windows 10 migration project. In those cases you will need to use USMT to capture data and settings from the users profiles before applying the new operating system.

This post will describe how to upgrade a 32-bits computer to Windows 10 64-bits using USMT and SCCM. This post will be using hard-links without using a State Migration Point. Continue reading if you are not familiar with those terms, we will explain it later.

Since you’re at the step of deploying Windows 10, we assume that you already installed at least SCCM 1511 and the latest Windows ADK before reading this post. If not, read our related posts :

  1. SCCM 1511 Upgrade Guide
  2. Windows 10 Deployment | Prepare your environment

USMT Basics

Let’s start by giving a couple of facts about the User State Migration Tool :

  • Latest USMT version is 5.0
  • Latest Windows ADK 10 includes the latest version
  • Supports capturing data and settings from Windows Vista and later (including Windows 10)
  • Supports restoring the data and settings to Windows 7 and later (including Windows 10)
  • Supports migrating from a 32-bit operating system to a 64-bit operating system, but not the other way around

What gets Migrated

By default, USMT migrates many settings (user profile, Control Panel configurations, files, and more). The default configuration files that are used in Windows 10 deployments are MigUser.xml and MigApp.xml. These two configurations files migrates the following data and settings:

  • Folders from each profile (My Documents, My Video, My Music, My Pictures, desktop files, Start menu, Quick Launch settings, and Favorites folders)
  • USMT templates migrate the following file types: .accdb, .ch3, .csv, .dif, .doc*, .dot*, .dqy, .iqy, .mcw, .mdb*, .mpp, .one*, .oqy, .or6, .pot*, .ppa, .pps*, .ppt*, .pre, .pst, .pub, .qdf, .qel, .qph, .qsd, .rqy, .rtf, .scd, .sh3, .slk, .txt, .vl*, .vsd, .wk*, .wpd, .wps, .wq1, .wri, .xl*, .xla, .xlb, .xls*.
  • Operating system component settings
  • Application settings

If needed, you can create a custom configuration files to includes more files types or settings. See the following Technet post for detailed instructions.

For more details on what USMT migrates, see this Technet article. For more information on the USMT overall references, see this Technet article.

Where to Store the User Data and Settings

You can capture USMT data locally (Hard-links) or remotely using a State Migration Point in SCCM (File Copy).

  • Hard-link migration takes advantage of advanced features of the NTFS file system that allow files to physically remain in-place and intact even after the drive is wiped (not formatted). When restored, pointers to the files are restored, so the files never physically have to be copied or moved outside the machine. To use hard-linking, select the Capture locally by using links instead of copying files option in the Capture User State task
  • File copy: If hard-linking is not selected, the traditional file copy method for storing user state is used. This file copy method literally copies all identified user state data to an alternative location requiring extra disk space and extra time to complete the copy
[su_box title=”Warning” style=”glass” title_color=”#F0F0F0″]You cannot use a State Migration Point and use hard-links to store the user state data at the same time.[/su_box]
  • To store the user state data on a state migration point (File Copy), you must first Configure a state migration point to store the user state data
  • To store the user state data on the destination computer for update deployments (Hard-Link), you must :
    • Add Capture User State steps to your task sequence and configure it to use local folder using links
    • Add Restore User State steps to your task sequence and configure it to restores the user state using those links
[su_box title=”Warning” style=”glass” title_color=”#F0F0F0″]The user state data that the hard-links reference stays on the computer after the task sequence removes the old operating system. For that reason, you cannot format and partition a drive if you are using USMT. The disk is will be wiped during the Apply Operating System step of the task sequence. If you must format and partition but still want to use USMT, consider using user state migration points, which is network based.[/su_box]

This post will focus on the hard-links option and will not describe how to customize the task sequence to use the state migration point.

Verify SCCM Windows 10 USMT Package

To store the user state locally or on a state migration point, you must create a package that contains the USMT source files that you want to use. This package is used in the Capture User State step of the migration task sequence.

  • Open the SCCM Console
  • Go to Software Library / Application Management / Packages
  • Right-click the User State Migration Tool for Windows 10 package and select Properties
  • On the Data Source tab, ensure that the package is using the ADK 10 – Which is per default C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\User State Migration Tool
  • Right-click the User State Migration Tool for Windows 10 package and select Distribute Content

SCCM Windows 10 deployment

  • If you have no User State Migration Tool for Windows 10 package, just create (without any programs) and distribute it

Creating the Capture and Restore User State Data Task Sequence

To capture and restore the user state, you must first create a new task sequence, but before, we’ll explain the different options in the User State Menu :

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • Request State Store : This step is needed only if you store the user state on the State Migration Point
  • Capture User State : This step captures the user state data and stores it on the State Migration Point or locally using hard-links
  • Restore User State : This step restores the user state data on the destination computer. It can retrieve the data from a user state migration point or from hard-links
  • Release State Store : This step is needed only if you store the user state on the State Migration Point. This step release this data from the State Migration Point

When you create a new task sequence from the latest SCCM version, the wizard takes care of the essential steps. Let’s create it and see what are the options :

  • Go to Software Library \ Operating Systems \ Task Sequences
  • Right-click Task Sequence and select Create Task Sequence
  • Select Install an existing image package

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • On the Task Sequence Information tab, enter your Task sequence name, Description and Boot Image

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • On the Install Windows tab, uncheck Partition and format the target computer and Configure task sequence for use with Bitlocker
    • If a format and partition of the disk is selected, it would wipe all data on the drive, including the USMT data. Instead, the Apply Operating System task will delete of all files and directories occurs on the drive minus protected USMT folders

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • On the Configure Network tab, select to join your domain and specify the account to use

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • On the Install Configuration Manager Client tab, select your client package

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • On the State Migration tab, check Capture user settings and files, select your USMT Package
  • Select Save user settings and files locally and check Capture locally by using links instead of by copying files
[su_note note_color=”#e56e6e” radius=”8″]This is the important part of the post[/su_note]

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • In the Include Update tab, select the desired update behavior

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • On the Install Applications tab, select any applications that you want to include in your task sequence

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • On the Summary tab, review your choices, click Next and complete the wizard

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • Now that the task sequence is created, we’ll edit it and review the steps
  • Right-click your newly created task sequence and click Edit
  • You’ll notice 3 USMT steps has been created :
    • Set Local State Location : This step specify the directory where the local state will be saved. We are using the builtin variable OSDStateStorePath and set the value to %_SMSTSUserStatePath% but you can use a specific location if needed

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • Capture User Files and Settings : This is the step when USMT will run the ScanState command. You will see this command in SMSTS.log when monitoring your task sequence. (By default : C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Packages\<YourPackageID>\amd64\scanstate.exe C:\_SMSTaskSequence\UserState /o /localonly /efs:copyraw /c /hardlink /nocompress /l:C:\Windows\CCM\Logs\SMSTSLog\scanstate.log /progress:C:\Windows\CCM\Logs\SMSTSLog\scanstateprogress.log /i:C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Packages\<ID>\amd64\migdocs.xml /i:C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Packages\<ID>\amd64\migapp.xml)

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • Restore User Files and Settings : This is the step when USMT will run the LoadState command. You will see this command in SMSTS.log when monitoring your task sequence (By default : C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Packages\<YourPackageID>\amd64\loadstate.exe C:\_SMSTaskSequence\UserState /ue:<computername>\* /c /hardlink /nocompress /l:C:\WINDOWS\CCM\Logs\SMSTSLog\loadstate.log /progress:C:\WINDOWS\CCM\Logs\SMSTSLog\loadstateprogress.log /i:C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Packages\<ID>\amd64\migdocs.xml /i:C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Packages\<ID>\amd64\migapp.xml)

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

Add Support for WinPE

Now that we created a basic task sequence for USMT, we suggest to add a step to support offline capture. If you start your task sequence from PXE, you will need this new step because the step we just created will fail in Windows PE. We will add a step and condition to run depending of the environment in which the task sequence is ran.

  • Right-click the task sequence you just created, select Edit
  • Select the Capture User Files and Settings step
  • Duplicate the task by doing CTRL-C, CTRL-V
  • A new Capture User Files and Settings step is created, select the Capture in Off-line mode (Windows PE only) check box and rename the step to add (WinPE) at the end
  • Rename the other Capture User Files and Settings step to (FullOS)
  • You’ll end up with 2 similar Capture User Files and Settings step. One for Online mode (FullOS) and one for Offline mode (WinPE)

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • Select the Capture User Files and Settings (Full OS) step and click on the Options tab
  • Select Add Condition, Task Sequence Variable
    • Variable : _SMSTSInWinPE
    • Condition : Equals
    • Value : False

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • Select the Capture User Files and Settings (WinPE) step and click on the Options tab
  • Select Add Condition, Task Sequence Variable
    • Variable : _SMSTSInWinPE
    • Condition : Equals
    • Value : True

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • Click Apply and Ok to close the task sequence

Deploy SCCM Windows 10 USMT Task Sequence

We are now ready to deploy our Windows 10 USMT task sequence to the Windows 7 computer we want to upgrade.

  • Go to Software Library \ Operating Systems \ Task Sequences
  • Right-click your USMT Task Sequence and select Deploy
  • On the General pane, select your collection. This is the collection that will receive the Windows 10 upgrade using USMT. For testing purposes, we recommend putting only 1 computer to start

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the Deployment Settings tab, select the Purpose of the deployment
    • Available will prompt the user to install at the desired time
    • Required will force the deployment at the deadline (see Scheduling)
  • You cannot change the Make available to the following drop-down since upgrade packages are available to client only

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the Scheduling tab, enter the desired available date and time. On the screenshot, we can’t create an Assignment schedule because we select Available in the previous screen

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • In the User Experience pane, select the desired options

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • In the Alerts tab, check Create a deployment alert when the threshold is higher than the following check-box if you want to create an alert on the failures

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the Distribution Point pane, select the desired Deployment options. We will leave the default options

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • Review the selected options and complete the wizard

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

Testing on the Target Computer

For the sake of this post we created a VM with Windows 7 32 bits. We will run our newly created task sequence to upgrade to Windows 10 64 bits.

I also created multiple files in the user profile to shows the USMT actions. We simply created text documents in the various libraries and on the desktop.

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • We open the Software Center, select our task sequence and click Install

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • The computer will launch the USMT action before rebooting in Windows PE and install Windows 10

SCCM Windows 10 USMT SCCM Windows 10 USMT

  • Once the process completed, we have a brand new Windows 10 migrated with my files where I left them. Even the psycho tortoise wallpaper has made the move.

SCCM Windows 10 USMT

We hope this post will ease your Windows 10 migrations. Leave a comment if you have any questions.


67 Comments on “Refreshing a Windows 7 Computer to Windows 10 using USMT and SCCM”

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  5. Good night guys, I’m implementing a sequence of tasks using usmt with Hardlinks to migrate to Windows 7, but on some machines it excludes users, has anyone caught this problem?

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  7. Having an issue where USMT is halted because a local profile exists on the source machine but it doesn’t not exist on the destination machine. I would like to ignore migrating any local profiles and only migrate domain profiles. Using SCCM 1902

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  19. Is there a way to do hard links, not partition the drive AND convert from BIOS to UEFI? I’m thinking not, but want to be sure there’s not some method out there to do this. Thanks!

    1. DId you ever find a solution to this?? I have USMT running hard links for win7.. I then reconfigure the BIOS to UEFI, Bootup to WinPE and the Apply Image, but the drive is not bootable. I think its the hardlinks that caused this.

  20. Regarding USMT

    For better User Profile migrations (less access denied errors, smaller backups and more complete content) check out the customized and updated XML files for USMT10, free to download, over at

    They migrate more file types like local databases, Endnote, etc. in the general scan, leave out System folders and solve all the issues with Firefox and Chrome favorites (provided Firefox and Chrome are the same version on both PC’s)

  21. Hi

    For some reason mounted printers does not migrate anymore.
    However, to get a more complete migration you should consider using more updated and complete XML files for USMT 10.
    The ones included are not updated. You can download a free reference package here:

    Also consider implementing the free USMT Afterburner by EhlerTech enabling migration of Win 10 modern Apps like Sticky Notes and Edge favorites…

  22. Lovely guide, however we are seeing a .wim file being created in the C:\ partition is there a way to delete it using a custom switch in the end of the deployment.

  23. Hi,

    I`m buildiong my refresh task sequence to migrate from WIn7 to Win10, my Online USMT transfers the data, however the printer queue, Wallpaper and Outlook signature don`t get transferred, i`m using the default USMT settings.

    am I missing something?

    SCCM 1706 + ADK1703

  24. Thanks for the guide. The “Add Support for WinPE” part doesn’t seem to work for me. I configure my TS the same as yours but when I PXE boot it appears to bypass the capture steps and goes straight to Apply Operating System step.

  25. Hello, Benoit. Thanks for this guide. But my task sequence failing during disk wipe step. Error 0x800070091. What might that be? Thanks.

  26. Hi,
    Excellent step by step guide. I followed the post and works perfectly with default Profile Directory c:\Users. Unfortunately, our environment has users directory under D: (D:\Users). In my refresh computer/ upgrade Task sequence I use answer file( FolderLocations ) to change the profile directory to D:\users. but this fails because there is already D:\Users of existing windows. Appreciate if you can suggest the best way to over come this problem. ? shall I rename the users directory after Capture User Files and Settings step in TS? and later Delete the Old Users directory after Restore Files and Settings step. ?

  27. actually it was a False positive i am not getting any saved data either , although i do see the message running restore data !!

  28. What a great post been searching for this for ages so thanks again ,
    It works Brilliantly for me
    But i have a question
    I still have some windows 7 machines that i would like to refresh, But the task does not seem to capture the user state is that because its designed to move to Windows 10.
    or am i missing something !!
    thanks in advance


  29. Hello, I am trying to set up a similar process, but in my org, i am just looking to basically have my users be able to run the USMT tool (Preferably from the SCCM Application Catalog) then from there, on a new system that is already imaged be able to lay down whatever that user has backed up. I dont want this to be in a task sequence if possible. Does anyone know if this is a possibility?

  30. Hi ,

    We have Windows 7SP1 with 2 Partitions and the User Profile is stored in D drive. I would like to perform In Place Upgrade of Windows 10 without losing the data. Is this something possible please? Much appreciated.

  31. Hi, I am having an issue where USMT hardlinks store is being deleted when the “Apply OS” step in runs in the task sequence, I have not chosen to format disks. because of this the USMT restore fails.

    Have you come across this issue, we using the latest verison of SCCM 2012 R2.

  32. I’m trying to make it but return me the following error:

    WIM error:C:\Windows\WinSxS\amd64_windows-senseclient-service_31bf3856ad364e35_10.0.14393.0_none_d5992888a5e76fdd\SenseCncProxy.exe.
    There is not enough space on the disk. (Error: 80070070; Source: Windows) ApplyOperatingSystem

  33. Pingback: SCCM – Scénario de refresh Windows 7 vers Windows 10 – L2T

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