File Server Home Directories to OneDrive for Business Migration Guide


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 File Server Home Directories to OneDrive for Business Migration Guide, using PowerShell for step-by-step instructions, and to obtain the scripts and CSV file.

Note that OneDrive data may not be accessible for a few days after migration, due to OneDrive's crawling and indexing process. We suggest having your users log in immediately after migration, but warn them that their data may not be available immediately. For this reason, it may be best to complete the migration on a Friday so the indexing can happen over the weekend.

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. You can use this Azure storage for the OneDrive for Business v2 Endpoint. This endpoint leverages Azure to maximize speed and bypass throttling.

Note: We no longer support migrations to or from GoDaddy-hosted OneDrive.

Which items will be migrated in this scenario?

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.

Note: Due to versioning, storage usage in OneDrive may be increased when migrating with permissions.

Prepare Azure Environment

  1. Estimate Azure storage costs. This step is optional but is useful in order to provide the customer with upfront storage costs ahead of time. See Estimate Azure Storage costs for migrations. 
  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). How do I buy an Azure subscription?
  3. See How do I create an Azure Storage Account? to create your storage account. You will need to set up a STORAGE (General Purpose v1 or v2) account rather than a storage blob. 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 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. How do I Create an Azure Storage Account?


Prepare Destination Office 365 Environment

  1. Set up the Office 365 tenant. The Destination must be OneDrive for Business, not the free personal OneDrive version that comes with (aka.
  2. Add users and assign Office 365 licenses.
  3. Assign an Office 365 license to the Office 365 global admin account being used for migration; often this will already have a license assigned. An O365 licensed admin is required for MigrationWiz to provision the OneDrive for Business accounts during migration.
  4. Set up the app-based authentication in the Office 365 tenant. For specific instructions, see Sharepoint App-based Authentication.


Upload Files to Azure

Note: These steps are performed from the file server or a computer joined to the domain, when logged in with domain admin account that has 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 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). For more information see How do I restrict users to read-only access to their Home Directories?
  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): For more information see Using BitTitan UploaderWiz for File Server Migrations
    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 How do I troubleshoot UploaderWiz?
  • 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.
  • Important, the v2 connectors do not support invalid XML characters.  The list of users will need to be checked for these characters and users with invalid characters will either need to be renamed or migrated using a v1 connection instead of v2.
    Note: The invalid characters are: < > " ' &


MSPComplete Steps

  1. Create customer. 
  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 the Azure Storage Account Name and Azure Access Key.
    • For the Destination endpoint:
      • Click Endpoints > Add Endpoint > Enter endpoint name > For endpoint type, select OneDrive for Business v2.
      • Add the URL for your OneDrive for Business.  For more information on finding the URL for the SharePoint library, see How do I find the URL for my SharePoint Library or OneDrive for Business?
      • Enter the administrator username and password in the proper fields.
      • Enter the Azure Storage Account Name and Azure Access Key.
  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.


MigrationWiz Steps

  1. Set up the project in MigrationWiz. For specific steps see Project Setup FAQ
  2. Set Project Advanced Options.  
  3. Clone the Project (Click 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 the Clone Project button.
    Important: Repeat this process to create one MigrationWiz project per home directory. For more information see How do I clone a migration project and then move items between projects?
  4. 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.)
  5. Set the Project Advanced Option for the container name
    • 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. For more information see How does UploaderWiz overcome Microsoft restrictions to Azure container names?
  6. Run Verify Credentials. 
  7. Purchase User Migration Bundle licenses.
  8. Perform a Full Migration pass. For more information see How do I start a migration?


Post-Migration Steps

  1. Remove access to the Source home directories.
  2. Provide training on OneDrive For Business.
  3. 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.
  4. Delete all the Azure storage 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.



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