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Comparison Series – PCmover vs. Microsoft’s User State Migration Tool

PCmove VS.

Microsoft’s User State Migration Tool

Microsoft’s User State Migration Tool (USMT) tool provides large organization a way to transfer data from one PC to another. USMT is a command line driven utility that is used for a larger deployments in corporate settings and can work on most version of Windows but requires extensive development for older versions.

USMT utilizes a two step process (load state and scan state) to capture and transfer user accounts, settings, and data to a “destination” PC. Most importantly, it does not transfer applications. This can have a major impact in regards to end-user downtime, helpdesk support activity, and other costs for PCs with non-standard software (media replacement costs).

The User State Migration Tool also requires XML expertise on an ongoing basis, and possibly software development resources in order to create a user interface, configure application settings for migration, and migrate non-standard configurations on a user’s desktop. This can drastically increase the cost of deployment services, upgrade services, and other support related services.

PCmover Enterprise can also be used to deploy “user templates” or “images” stored as an archive file (done using a file-based migration method on a reference PC). Since PCmover is hardware and OS neutral, updates to the core image will not require updates to the PCmover migration “templates” or “images”, enabling PCmover to streamline the imaging maintenance component. “Templates” may contain a single application and no data, multiple applications, or a pre-set grouping of data and applications specific to the user or role.

PCmover also supports a “selective” migration setup procedure that can allow technicians to determine what to migrate in “real time” when appropriate, as the USMT does not have a user-interface to guide users through the migration out-of-the-box.


PCmover Professional

Microsoft’s User State Migration Tool

Migrates Applications Yes No
Migrates all PC user profiles at once Yes No
Migrates Settings Yes Yes (limited)
Multiple Connectivity Options Yes Yes
“Undo Migration” feature Yes No
Application Selectivity Yes No
Migrates files and data Yes Yes
User Defined Migration Yes Yes (customization limited)
Fully Customizable to meet requirements Yes Yes (requires advanded XML expertise, limited)
Supports direct upgrade path from XP to Windows 7 (both in-place and PC-to-PC upgrades) Yes No
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