Monday, 7 March 2011

How to Migrate Your Lotus Notes to Another PC/Laptop

Ever Wondered How To Move Your Lotus Notes To Another Computer? Well Here's How!

Hi all,

So I am not sure if anyone has attempted to migrate their Lotus Notes account to another PC, but it is a myriad of confusing screens and delving into note's files. Based on this I thought I would share what I learnt from the process and try and help any IBM'ers looking to migrate their Notes account to another PC/Laptop, or if (like me) they just want access to their e-mail from 2 machines. This guide should be transferable to other companies that use Lotus Notes/Domino Server as their e-mail offering, but any confirmation on this is appreciated!

- Access to your work Network, either via physical location (IBM Site) or VPN. Due to speed I recommend being hard-wired into the network using a network port.
- Your current Laptop/PC with access to your e-mail account.

- People wishing to Migrate their account from an old Laptop to a new one, e.g. from an Thinkpad to an Apple Macbook Pro.
- People wishing to access their account from a PC as well as their Laptop, e.g. A developer with a build machine who doesn't want to have to keep his laptop on just for e-mail.

Time: ~10mins excluding Lotus Notes Download (This time varies based on connection).

How To Move Lotus Notes To Another PC:

Step 1 - Getting your ID file

Firstly we are going to grab your '.ID' file from your current Thinkpad/Laptop which is used to provide Lotus Notes with the relevant information on your account for interacting with the mail server.

Open up 'My Computer' and navigate to:
"My Computer > C: > Notes > Data"

You should now be presented with a folder full of files and a few folders. What you need to do is find your '.ID' file, for IBMer's this should be your IBM employee number (in my case G000000):

Copy this file to a pen-drive/e-mail it to yourself, and keep it safe. We will be using this on the target machine later on.

Step 2 - Finding out your Domino Server Address

Now we have to find out which Domino Server you are assigned to, as IBM hosts multiple mail servers. For those interested in a little background, a Domino Server is basically an IBM server product used for Mail Server hosting (instead of say an Exchange Server for Outlook). It holds all of your user e-mail (as well as other things) and you will most likely be hosting a 'local' copy of your account on your laptop, which requires you to 'replicate' with your assigned Domino Server(s) to send and receive mail.

To find out our Domino Server Address, we will have to boot up and log into Lotus Notes.
Once in, go to your Workspace, and click on the drop down arrow on your mail application:

You should now see a list like the above. There may be 2 servers, but the top server is the one we want (as I believe the second one acts as a backup should the first be down).
Note down the full server name and path, i.e. for me it is: D06 / / /IBM (parts are blanked for privacy concerns).

This is used so the new Lotus Notes install on the target machine can find your account on the specified mail server.

Lastly, we need to find the IP address of this server, as Lotus Notes can get confused with hosts names depending on different variables.
To do this, open up a new Command Prompt window by going to:
Start > Run and type in CMD and hit enter.

You will be presented with a black box command prompt. From here we're going to 'ping' our Domino Server to find out it's IP address, do this by typing in:
Ping [Server Name]

So in my case I would write:

n.b. Note that I didn't use the whole path, just the server name.

From this we know the IP address of the server. So in my case it is:
Your's will be different.

Note down all this information we have just got, as we will need it later!

Step 3 - Installing Lotus Notes on your 'New' Machine

Right, so we have our .ID file, and we have both the server name/server path and the IP address of said server. Now we are ready to setup the fresh Notes install on your target machine.

Start by grabbing yourself a FRESH copy of Lotus Notes, for IBM'ers it's best to get it through ISSI. I used version 8.0 at the time of writing this, but theoretically the method should be sound for any recent version (feel free to prove me wrong here!). I reiterate that it must be a fresh install, as a previously botched install can leave trace files behind. If this is the case, simply delete/rename the Lotus Notes folder is named 'notes' and is typically found in the root of your 'C:\' drive, so C:\ > Notes.

The following steps assume you have used ISSI, but if you have got a copy from elsewhere, skip ahead a paragraph to the 'Wizard Install' part.

ISSI will begin downloading the necessary files for the install, and will bombard you with warning boxes, have a read if you fancy but it's mostly common disclaimer stuff with a few friendly tid-bits on the install process.
The install will get to 94% and then should prompt you about having to setup Lotus Notes for the install to finish. This is the important bit, and where we use all the information we have just gleaned. So do not close of the Lotus Notes wizard setup box which follows:

Wizard Setup

So, you should now be facing a Lotus Note's wizard welcome screen which looks like the following:

Click next, and continue on to the following screen:

Here put in your full name, i.e. I put "Tommy Giovannelli"
Now in Domino Server put in your full Domino server name and path which you got earlier, i.e. I put "D06/ / /IBM"

Click Next, and you should face this screen:

Click Next and progress onto the following screen:

The first field "Domino Server Name" should automatically be populated, but again it's just your sever name and path.
You want to select "TCP/IP" from the drop down box.
Now enter your server's IP address that we got earlier into the bottom box (this is necessary as some internal network configurations don't detect the server), so in my instance I put:

Click Next and progress onto the following screen, which will ask for your .ID file:

This is where we will use our '.ID' file we copied over from earlier, so in my case 'G000000.ID'.
Don't worry about where your file is located, as it will ask if you want to make a copy of it in the note's data folder, which we do so click 'Yes'.

Finally click next, and on the following screen make sure nothing is ticked:

Lastly click Finish on this box and you should be presented with:

Step 4 - Clean Up/Conclusion

If all has gone to plan, you should be able to access Lotus Notes, and access your e-mail. If you are using ISSI, and a combined install with updates and templates you will have to close off Lotus Notes and let the ISSI installer finish it's install.

Once everything is complete, you should be able to access your mail on your fresh install (as well as your old one!).

N.B. There are some circumstances where there is issues with downloading some of the Domino Application files, so you may be prompted that some '.NSF' files are missing. Simply copy these over from the 'notes' folder on your current install to your fresh one (do a search for the filename within the folder).

I hope this guide helped people with Migrating their Lotus Notes. Should you have any questions feel free to find me through IBM internal methods (IBMer's) or through my e-mail address for this blog, with the subject: Lotus Notes Migration Help


Jennifer said...

Extremely helpful blog. Thanks Tommy!

After finishing the steps, I didn't have my mail in the new account. I didn't follow the steps exactly so I must have missed something vital out. But if anyone else has this problem, simply copy your old data folder (C:/notes/data) into your new C:/notes folder.

Tommy G said...

Hey Jen,

Thanks for the advice! I'll update this into the post when I get a chance.

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