Reset File History after Copying Profile to New Computer

I find the ForensIT User Profile Wizard to be an invaluable tool when I need to copy a user’s profile from an old to a new computer. However I was having trouble with File History after copying a profile from one Windows 10 machine to a new Windows 10 machine with a new computer name:  on the server, the data was showing up under the old computer name with folder names like OLDCOMP(1) and OLDCOMP(2). Well the config was showing up, but the data wasn’t coming over.

I also discovered that File History was taking up too much room on my server’s hard drive. I have good client backups created with Windows Server 2016 Essentials client backup functionality, so I decided to simply delete the mostly redundant File History and start over.

In an Essentials network, File History is centrally controlled from the dashboard’s Users pane. I don’t know how this works, since it doesn’t seem to be going through group policy. But if you turn off File History in the server dashboard, it is automagically turned off on the clients, and when you turn it on, it is enabled on the clients and pointing to the server.

This article briefly explains managing file history with Essentials and this article is about troubleshooting. But the “trick” for solving the misnamed computer folders is in this thread:  you have to update the configuration files that got copied over when the Profile Wizard copied the profile. You’ll find Config1.xml and Config2.xml in this folder of the client computer:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration

The thread recommends editing the Config1.xml and Config2.xml files, replacing the old computer name with the new one. If you follow this approach and you want migrate the old computer’s File History, you might be able to do that by renaming the old computer’s folder on the server, then editing the server’s copy of the Config1.xml and Config2.xml files. I didn’t try that. Since I am deleting all File History, I decided to simply rename the entire FileHistory folder on the client to FileHistory.OLDCOMP, then to turn File History back on from the server and let it create the new config files. That worked well:  both config and data are now being replicated to the server under a folder named for the new computer.

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