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Microsoft KB Archive/102424

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Knowledge Base

Migrating Windows 3.1 Program Groups to Windows NT

Article ID: 102424

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

This article was previously published under Q102424


It is possible to migrate Windows program groups and .INI file settings to Windows NT without installing NT in the same subdirectory as Windows.


If Windows 3.1 and Windows NT are installed on the same machine but are located in different subdirectories, it is possible to migrate the .INI settings and Windows Program Manager groups into Windows NT by following the procedure outlined below.

NOTE: If you have added program icons other than the default icons in the Main, Startup, Accessories, or Games groups in Windows 3.1, you will need to start Windows 3.1 and either move these program icons to another group or create a new program group and move these icons to the newly created group. If you do not move these icons, you will not be able use the following procedure to move the Main, Startup, Accessories, and Games groups.

To migrate your .INI files and Windows Program Groups to NT:

  1. Copy the .INI files from your Windows 3.1 directory to your Windows NT directory.
  2. To copy the program groups and .INI file settings to your current user ID, you must delete the user profile and log off and log on again.

    NOTE: You do not need to delete the user, just the user profile.

    CAUTION: When you delete your user profile, any personal program groups you have created for this user will be lost.

    To delete the user profile:

    1. Log on as Administrator (NT will not let you delete your profile if you are logged on as that user).
    2. Run Windows NT Setup from the Main program group.
    3. Press ALT+O (to select the Options menu).
    4. Press D (to choose Delete User Profiles).
    5. Select the profile to which you want to copy the Windows 3.1 groups and .INI file settings.
    6. Delete the selected user profile.
  3. Log off as Administrator and log back on as the user whose profile you have just deleted. After your Username and Password have been successfully validated, you will see a screen prompting you to confirm migration of program groups and .INI file settings. These are selected by default. When you choose OK, the migration process will begin. When migration is complete, all program groups and .INI file settings will be migrated into your Windows NT user profile.

NOTE: Only users that have their user profiles deleted will be prompted to migrate. If the profile is not deleted, NT will use the existing profile and migration will not occur.

Alternate Method:

NOTE: There is another way to force migration of settings when Windows NT has been installed in a different directory. This method does not remove the information in the user profile.

The method is to delete the Windows 3.1 Migration Status key under HKEY_CURRENT_USER in the registry.

Do this and then logoff and back on as the same user. It prompts for migration and preserve the user profile settings.

For more information on Windows NT program groups, query on the following words in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

migrated and icons and items and video

Additional query words: prodnt WIN.INI initialization

Keywords: kbusage KB102424