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IT proceeds with 3-step plan for file services migration

Published: 22 October 2012

After much research and testing, the Information Technology Division is moving forward with a three-step plan to migrate from Novell to Windows File Services.

File services are used by many departments across campus for file storage, back-up and sharing within and across departments. Departments that currently use Novell to access shared folders and files (e.g., in the S:, U:, and X: drives) will be included in the migration process.

The migration involves three steps:

  1. Preparing computers for the migration by joining them to the Active Directory domain
  2. Migrating data from the Novell servers to the Windows servers
  3. Removing the Novell client from workstation computers

During the next five months, the division’s Desktop Support team will circulate through campus buildings to prepare IT-supported Windows computers for the migration by joining them to the Active Directory domain.

IT Help Desk staff will send email notification to administrators, faculty and staff in a given department before the process begins in their particular building. The notification will include details regarding what users can do to prepare, as well as steps they will need to take after the process is complete. 

This first step is expected to take 20-30 minutes per computer. Users are not required to be present while this process is taking place, and Mac and Linux computers will not be affected by this first step.

Technical support staff in departments that provide their own IT support will work with IT Division staff to determine a plan of action for machines with Novell in their area.

After workstation computers are joined to the Active Directory domain, they will be ready to access shared folders and files in the new system only after the data is moved from the Novell servers to the Windows servers, which is the second step in the process. IT Division staff anticipate this step will take place mid-spring 2013.

The final step in the process involves removing Novell from workstation computers. Migration team members are still working to determine whether this step can be automated to make the final change as seamless as possible for end users.

For more information, including instructions regarding how to prepare for the migration, go to:

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the IT Help Desk at 231-8685 or

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North Dakota State University
IT Help Desk Phone: +1 (701) 231-8685
Administrative Calls Only: +1 (701) 231-7961 / Fax: (701) 231-8541
Campus address: Quentin Burdick Building 206
Physical/delivery address: 1320 Albrecht Blvd, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 4510 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Information Technology Services

Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013