File Server to Office 365 Groups Files Migration Guide


This is the complete onboarding task flow for migrating file shares from File Servers to Office 365 groups.

Complete each step in the order listed. Links to corresponding Knowledge Base articles are provided.

If you are performing a file server file share to SharePoint Online migration, refer to the File Server File Shares to SharePoint Online Migration Guide.

You will need to create separate MigrationWiz projects for each file share. You will create a baseline project first with all the Advanced Options set, and then use the MigrationWiz Clone feature to create one MigrationWiz project per file share, based on this first baseline project.

The Destination for this scenario is the Files document library in each Office 365 Group.

What items are migrated with MigrationWiz?

MigrationWiz is a migration solution (not a synchronization solution) and will NOT propagate updates, deletes, or moves of the items previously migrated in the first migration pass because 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.

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. For more information, visit Project Sharing in MigrationWiz.

The diagram below provides a high-level overview of the steps involved in migrating a small number of file shares. The key difference for this type of migration scenario is that this one requires an Azure subscription, and the use of the BitTitan UploaderWiz utility to upload the file shares to Azure before they can be migrated into Office 365 groups, using MigrationWiz.


Prepare Azure Environment

  1. Estimate Azure storage costs. This step is optional, but is useful in order to provide the customer with up-front storage costs ahead of time. KB005177
  2. 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
  3. 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 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 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. KB004832


Prepare the Destination Environment

  1. Create an administrator account in Office 365 to be used for the migration, or use the global admin account for the tenant. KB004948
  2. Create the Office 365 Group, if it doesn't already exist. Read the Create and navigate a group article from Microsoft to learn more.
  3. Add the migration administrator account as an owner and a member of the Destination group. Read the Manage Group membership in the Office 365 admin center article from Microsoft to learn more.
  4. Add other owners and members to the group.
  5. If they have not already been created, set up accounts on Office 365 and assign licenses. These can be created in several ways:
    • Manually, one at a time.
    • By bulk import, via CSV file. Microsoft instructions.
      Note: You can use the CSV file that was created under Step 3 of the Prepare the Source Environment section of this guide.
    • By PowerShell script. TechNet article
    • By DirSync, AAD Sync, or AAD connect. KB004336
      If you are migrating permissions, the part of the usernames before the "@" sign on Office 365 must match the part of the username on Source before the "@" sign, e.g., on Source must follow the same format before the @ sign on Office 365, and so must also equal "john.smith" on Office 365. The domain name, however, can be different. KB004843
  6. If they have not already been created, set up groups on Office 365. If permissions were assigned to groups on Source, and you want these to be migrated, the group names on Office 365 must match the group names on Source. KB004843
  7. Set up the app-based authentication in the Office 365 tenant. For specific instructions, see Sharepoint App-based Authentication.


Upload Files to Azure

Note: 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.

  1. Download and extract the UploaderWiz utility from here (e.g., extract into the c:\apps\uploaderwiz directory).
  2. 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. KB005479
  3. 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 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, and the root path needs to match this drive letter, followed by the directory path, e.g., "x:\home files" (if there are spaces in the path, you need to surround the path with quotation marks) or x:\fileshare.
    • The parameter -homedrive true creates separate blob containers for each file share, under your top-level Azure blob container.


MSPComplete Steps

  1. Create the customer. KB005421
  2. Create the Source and Destination endpoints.
    • For the Source endpoint:
      • Click Endpoints > Add Endpoint > Enter endpoint name > For endpoint type, select Azure File System.
      • Enter Storage Account Name and Access Key in fields provided.
    • For the Destination endpoint:
      • Click Endpoints > click Add Endpoint > Enter endpoint name > select Office 365 Groups for endpoint type.
      • Enter the URL of the group's document library into the URL field. KB005831
      • Enter the admin account credentials.
        Note: This should be a global admin account. If creating a separate admin account for the purpose of migration, refer to the Office 365 section in KB004725.
        Important: You must create Destination endpoints for each Office 365 Group that you will be migrating file shares into.
  3. Purchase User Migration Bundle licenses. User Migration Bundle licenses allow multiple types of migrations to be performed with a single license. They also allow DeploymentPro to be used to configure Outlook email profiles. Refer to these articles for more information:


MigrationWiz Steps

  1. Set up the Project. Read the How do I create a new migration project? article for more information.
    • This first project is the baseline project, from which all other projects will be cloned. We recommend that you call this "baseline", for easy reference.
    • The Destination endpoint can be set to any Office 365 Groups Destination endpoint. Once the project has been cloned, you will need to change the Destination endpoint for the cloned project, to reflect the correct Office 365 Group endpoint, as directed under Step 5 of this section.
  2. Set the Project Advanced Options.  KB004834
    • Under Support/Support Options add:
      • ShrinkFoldersMaxLength=200  KB005007
      • RenameConflictingFiles=1  KB005058  Refer to the section in this article with the heading "Multiple files with the same name limitation".
      • InitializationTimeout=8 - This increases the initialization timeout window to eight hours. Read the Cannot get folders from My Drive for more information.
        Note: There are no spaces on either side of the "=" sign, and the entries are case-sensitive, so pay special attention to the capital letters in the commands above.
    • 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
  3. Clone the Project. Click the Edit Project button > Select Clone Project from the drop-down list > Enter the name for the new Project (each new project should be named after the file share name) >Click the Clone Project button.
    Important: Repeat this process to create one MigrationWiz project per file share.  KB005487
  4. In each cloned MigrationWiz project, add an item for the file share to be migrated. Select Add/Quick Add and enter Shared Documents as the Destination library name. KB005201
    • The Source entry field will already contain the Azure information, based on the Source endpoint.
    • The Destination Library field will be the name of the SharePoint document library, for Office 365 groups. This will always be "Shared Documents", because each Office 365 Group gets assigned a document library, named "Shared Documents". It does not need the entire URL because this was captured when setting up the Destination endpoint.
  5. In each cloned MigrationWiz project, change the Destination endpoint to reflect the Office 365 Group endpoint that you want to migrate the file share into. Click the Edit Project button > Select Edit Project > Click Destination Settings > Click the EndPoint drop-down list and choose the Destination Office 365 Group endpoint > Click Save Project.
  6. In each cloned MigrationWiz project, 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 of this guide. 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
  7. Run Verify Credentials. KB004511
  8. Purchase User Migration Bundle licenses. Refer to these articles for more information:
  9. Perform a Full Migration pass.  KB004938


Post-Migration Steps

  1. Remove access to the Source file shares.
  2. Remove the migration administrator account (that was used for migration) from the Office 365 Group.
  3. Provide training on Office 365 Groups.
  4. Decommission the file server. Perform this step only after migrating all data from the file server, such as home directories, when you are certain that you will not be returning to the file server.
  5. Delete all the Azure blob containers that were created during the upload to Azure.
    • 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 file shares, and have a create date from the date of the upload.


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