File Server Home Directories to Dropbox Migration Guide


This Migration Guide provides the procedures to be followed for migrating home directories from Windows File Servers to Dropbox.  If you are migrating file shares to Dropbox accounts, refer to the File Server (File Shares) to Dropbox Shared Folders Migration Guide for more information.

First migration?

We’ve created a guide on scoping, planning, and managing the migration process for your use. If this is your first migration, we recommend reading this guide carefully.


MigrationWiz is a migration tool, not a syncing tool. If changes are made at the source after migration, they will not sync to the destination, nor will changes made at the destination sync to the source. We do not have “live” monitoring of changes (as with a sync agent) and we cannot handle scenarios such as conflict resolution without user interaction.

To see what items are included in the migration, see What items are migrated with MigrationWiz? and What items are not migrated with MigrationWiz?

MigrationWiz supports the capability to share migration projects across a Workgroup. When the Project Sharing feature is turned on, all Agents besides those who are Inactive can view all migrations projects. 

We are not able to support migrations with two-factor or multifactor authentication. 

The maximum file size for migration through MigrationWiz varies by migration type and environment, but may never exceed 60GB.


Prepare the Azure Environment

  1. Estimate Azure storage costs. This step is optional but is useful in providing the customer with upfront storage costs ahead of time.  You will need enough storage capacity to upload all of the migrating data.
  2. Buy an Azure subscription, or use the free one-month trial ( this option is only viable if you are performing a very small migration).
  3. Create an Azure storage account. We recommend that you create an Azure Storage Account in the same Microsoft data center as the Destination Microsoft 365 tenant. Leave all settings default unless otherwise specified.
    • Visit ​​​ 
    • Click Storage accounts
    • Click Storage Create
    • Select the subscription in which you want to create the new storage account.
    • Select your Resource group.​ Create new if one doesn't exist.
    • Enter a name for your storage account.​
    • Choose your datacenter Location.
    • Choose Standard performance
    • In the Redundancy field, select Locally Redundant Storage (LRS).
    • Click Review
    • Click Create
    • Once the deployment shows as complete, click on Go to resource
    • Select Access keys under "Security + Networking"
    • Copy the Storage account name and the key 1.  You will use this when running UploaderWiz and within the migration project.

You do not need to create any Azure containers for this migration. Separate containers are created on a per-home directory basis as they are uploaded. During migration, MigrationWiz will create two separate metadata files (with the 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.


Prepare the Destination Environment (Dropbox)

  1. Create a Dropbox user account that will be used for the migration, and grant team admin privileges​ to the user. Follow the instructions in the Add Tiered Admins article from Dropbox.
  2. Create the new Dropbox user accounts. Follow the instructions in the Invite your Team article from Dropbox.
    Notes: You must wait for all new users to accept their Dropbox invitations before starting the migration.​


Upload Files to Azure

Steps are performed from a file server, or a computer joined to the domain, when logged in with the domain admin account, with local admin rights to the machine. This process utilizes UploaderWiz. Our guides contain information on running, configuring, and troubleshooting UploaderWiz. 

  1. (Optional, but recommended) Set the file share migration batch to read-only access by user and inform the users that a migration is occurring and that their file shares are now read-only. This will prevent the user from adding files to these file shares during the migration.
  2. You can restrict users to read-only access to their Home Directories through the Active Directory Users and Computers console on the AD controller, or via PowerShell. Prerequisites:
      1. Create a CSV file containing all the usernames (SAMAccountName).
      2. Install the required AD module on the machine that you're running the script from.
      3. Example script: 

    Import-Module 'ActiveDirectory'
    import-csv E:\usersname.csv | foreach-object{
    $homeDrive = (Get-ADUser -Identity $ -Properties homedirectory).homedirectory #Query AD for the HomeDirectory attribute
    $ACL = Get-Acl $homeDrive
    $ACL.setAccessRule((New-Object System.Security.AccessControl.FileSystemAccessRule($, "Read", "ContainerInherit,ObjectInherit", "none", "allow")))
    Set-Acl $homeDrive $ACL

  3. From the command prompt, running as administrator, from the directory that UploaderWiz was extracted into, run the following command (replace the x's with your own information):
    UploaderWiz.exe -accesskey "xxxxxxxx" -secretkey "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" -type azureblobs -rootpath "xxxxxxxx" -homedrive true   
    Note: if you are performing these steps from a domain-joined computer, a network drive needs to be mapped from the domain-joined computer to the file server (e.g. x;\File Server).
  • The AccessKey will be the name of the storage account
  • The SecretKey will be the access key for the storage account
  • The RootPath will be the path to the files that you want to migrate 

The parameter -homedrive true creates separate blob containers for each file share, under your top-level Azure blob container.  For example, if you have folders called User1 and User2 under C:\Users and you set the rootpath parameter to "c:\Users" then a container named "User1" and another named "User2" would be created in the Azure storage account and the files within those folders uploaded to each.


MigrationWiz Steps

Create a Document Project

  1. Log in to MigrationWiz.
  2. Click the Go to My Projects button.
  3. Click the Create Project button.
  4. Select the Document project type. 
  5. Click Next Step.
  6. Enter a Project name and select a Customer.
  7. Click Next Step.
  8. Click on New to create a new endpoint or select an existing one from the dropdown list
    • Give the endpoint a name
    • For Endpoint Type, select Azure File System
    • Enter the storage account name
    • Enter the Access Key
    • Click on Add
  9. Click Next Step.
  10. Click on New to create a new destination endpoint or select an existing one from the dropdown list
    • Give the endpoint a name
    • Select Dropbox as the endpoint type
    • confirm that Provide Credentials is selected
  11. Click on Save And Go To Summary
  12. In the "Authorization" tab, click on the option to "Request Access Token" and go through the steps to sign into your Dropbox tenant.  This will generate the Token that MigrationWiz will use to connect to Dropbox
  13. Once the token has been provided, click on "Advanced Options on the left side of the screen
  14. Under the "support" Section  enter  the  option  InitializationTimeout=8  This increases the maximum allowed timeout window for the enumeration phase of the migration.  This is most useful for larger migrations, but does not negatively impact smaller ones.
  15. Click on the Source/Destination tab
  16. Under the Source section, update the Container Name to reflect the container that the items were uploaded to.
  17. Click on Save and then Save Project

Clone the project

Each MigrationWiz project will need to point to a single container.  This means that you will need a separate project for each Home Directory that you want to migrate.  You can use this first project as a template and can clone it for any additional project that is needed.

  1. Click the Edit Project button
  2. Select Clone Project from the drop-down list
  3. Enter the name for the new Project (each new project should be named after the file share name)
  4. Click the Clone Project button.
  5. Go into the source/destination tab of the new project's Advanced options and update the container


Add Items

Within each project, add the Dropbox account to migrate the files into. Select Add/Quick Add and enter the login name of the Dropbox account within the Destination field labeled "Email Address".

Once the item has been added to the project, select it by checking the box next to it and then click on "Apply Licenses" > "Apply User Migration Bundle Licenses".  This will apply the UMB license to the user.  Once the "User Migration Bundle Active' column changes to a Yes, you will be ready to proceed with the migration.

Run Verify Credentials

Note: You do not need a license applied to run this step.

  1. Open the Project containing items you wish to validate​.
  2. Select the items you wish to validate.
  3. Click on the Start button in your dashboard.
  4. Select Verify Credentials from the drop-down list.

Once complete, the results of the verification will be shown in the Status section.​ 

Start migration

  1. Select the users
  2. Click the Start button from the top
  3. Select Full Migration
  4. Click Start Migration

Retry Errors

If the migration fails, you will see a red Failure message in the project, clicking on this will take you to a screen which will show the error which caused it to fail.  If the Migration was successful, but certain items failed to migrate, You will also see those errors listed.  If the migration is failed, you can simply try it again after resolving whatever caused it to fail.  If it was successful but with failed items, you can run a "Retry Errors" migration pass to attempt those failed items again without running the entire migration again.

If problems persist, contact Support.

Post-Migration Steps

  1. Remove access to the Source file shares.
  2. Provide training on Dropbox.
  3. Decommission file server. Perform this step only after migrating all data from the file server, such as home directories, and you are certain that you will not be returning to the file server.
  4. Delete the Azure blob container that was created during the upload to Azure. This will prevent incurring post-migration Azure costs for this container.


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