The Sysadmins

Tips and tricks from the Sysadmins

ADMT Series – 2. Preparing the ADMT Machine

You should install ADMT and SQL onto a member server in the target forest. Use the ADMT service account explained in the previous post to install SQL and ADMT.

ADMT requires a preconfigured instance of SQL Server for its underlying data store, so we’ll go ahead and install SQL 2008 SP1 Express on

Installing SQL Express 2008 SP1

SQL Express download here:

1. Choose New Stand-alone installation.

2. Select Database Engine Service.

3. Accept the default named instance.

4. Set an account for the SQL service to run under (use your ADMT Service Account).

5. Set a SQL administrator, choose the user account you plan to run ADMT under- be aware that this user account will need to have local administrative rights in the source domain (this will be discussed further in the series).

Installing ADMT

For this series I will be using ADMT 3.2, which is the supported version for Server 2008 R2. Use ADMT 3.1 for installation on a Server 2008 non-R2 server, or ADMT 3.0 for Server 2003. If you need to migration a Server 2000 Domain, you will need to use ADMT version 3.1 or earlier.

Update Junes 2014 – ADMT 3.2 now supports Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2.

The requirements are explained in the links below:

ADMT 3.0:
ADMT 3.1:
ADMT 3.2:

Run the ADMT setup file, and enter the named instance we created earlier.

Here is the ADMT MMC, ready to go.

ADMT Series – 1. Preparing Active Directory
ADMT Series – 2. Preparing the ADMT Machine
ADMT Series – 3. SID History
ADMT Series – 4. Password Export Server
ADMT Series – 5. Machine Preparation
ADMT Series – 6. Service Account Migration Wizard
ADMT Series – 7. Group Account Migration Wizard
ADMT Series – 8. User Account Migration Wizard
ADMT Series – 9. Merging Users with a Different sAMAccountName
ADMT Series – 10. Security Translation Wizard – Local Profiles
ADMT Series – 11. Computer Migration Wizard


  1. This is by far the finest guide I’ve seen on ADMT. Thank you.

    Have you got one for cross forest mailbox moves from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 forest?

  2. Hello Tom,

    You have been great with these articles. I have the exact lab set up as per your article. I have installed ADMT 3.2 on a member server 2008R2 and also SQL
    SQL Express 2008 SP1. Both installations went fine, however, I get the error when I open ADMT 3.2 MMC. Error: “Unable to check for failed actions. : DBManager.IManageDB.1 : Unable to retrieve the database file path from the registry. The system cannot find the file specified”
    I can’t figure out what is wrong. Please help……..

    • This is the reason and work around for your error:

    • Solution to the issue “error opening ADMT console unable to retrieve the database path from the registry” is
      1. The account with which you are installing ADMT and SQL should be added into local administrators specifically even it is a part of domain admin.
      2. While providing the SQL Server details , use the name of server instead of .(dot) for local server, if your SQL Express is locally installed.

      Following above two points resolved my issue on Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard as well as on Enterprise SP1

  3. This chain of ADMT articles are excellent technical resource , No were in internet I have found such a detailed and minute level coverage of ADMT setup. Thank you Tom

  4. Here’s the new link to ADMT 3.2 and PES

    The one in your link just takes you to the guide.
    Thanks for the article, very helpful.

  5. I post this message in October of 2019, and the above procedure still holds true today.

    Thank you

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