How to Configure Hard-Link Migration in User State Migration Tool 4.0

Case Summary


a new version if User State Migration Tool contain nice feature which is call Hard-Link Migration, we can use this feature when we will migrate from Microsoft Windows XP to Microsoft Windows 7.

We have Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and we Configure Operating System Deployment Feature to deploy Microsoft Windows 7 to the end users.

In refresh “In-Place” scenario, we are using USMT to capture user data and store it in central location using State Migration Point (SMP), then restore user data after applying the image.

In our scenario we will Migrate user data from Windows XP to Windows 7 using Hard-Link feature not SMP, because migration will be faster than using traditional copy mechanisms.

Using Hard-link migration in USMT will scans the computer for user files and settings in Windows XP and then creates a directory of hard links to user data files, Then hard links are remapped into the appropriate locations in the new windows 7 operating system image.

Configuration :

Notes “Before Starting”:

  1. This configuration can applied only on Configuration Manager with SP2.
  2. We can use Hard-Link feature only for In-Place Scenario, we can’t use it for Re-Place scenario.


  1. Open Configuration Manager console, navigate to System Center Configuration Manager -> Site Database -> Computer Management -> Operating System Deployment ->Task Sequences.
  2. Right-click the task sequence that you configure to capture and restore a user state, and then select Edit.
  3. When you open task sequence, select a task sequence step before the User State Storage step, click Add, navigate to General, and then click Set Task Sequence Variable.

OSDStateStorePath - FourtyFive Blog
Name: Set Local State Location.
Task Sequence Variables: OSDStateStorePath.
Value: C:_SMSTaskSequenceuserdata.

4. Set on more Task Sequence Variable:


Name: Set Hard-Link Scan Parameters.
Task Sequence Variables: OSDMigrateAdditionalCaptureOptions.
Value: /hardlink /nocompress.

5. Set on more Task Sequence Variable:


Name: Set Hard-Link Load Parameters.
Task Sequence Variables: OSDMigrateAdditionalRestoreOptions.
Value: /hardlink /nocompress.

You can download the sample task sequence and import it into Configuration Manager, and replace missing packages such as “boot images, Windows 7 Master Image and USMT Package and don’t forget to edit Windows settings & Network settings.

Download Hard-Link Task Sequence

If you have any question, please send your post to the following forum, I’ll be glad to help you:

FourtyFive Technical Forum



2 thoughts on “How to Configure Hard-Link Migration in User State Migration Tool 4.0

  1. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


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