Monday, September 22, 2014

Migrating VSS to TFS

I was recently working on a project where they still were using VSS (Visual SourceSafe) and had not yet migrated to TFS (Team Foundation Server).

Several years ago, I had done a large VSS to TFS migration and it was an extremely tedious and painful process requiring the use of a command-line utility as well as an XML mapping file.

Well, fortunately, a few years ago, Microsoft released a GUI VSS Upgrade Wizard that eliminates the need for all of that manual effort:

The tool actually states that it only supports TFS 2010 and TFS 2012, but it worked just fine for migrating to TFS 2013 as well.

The overall guidelines to upgrade from VSS to TFS can be found here:

In order to prepare to upgrade from VSS, you can read the guidelines here:

The preparation to upgrade basically involves:

  1. Knowing the Admin password to the VSS database
  2. Having Administrative access to TFS
  3. Installing VSS 2005 on a computer that also has access to TFS
  4. Running Analyze on the VSS database (and fixing/repairing the VSS database if necessary)
In addition, here are some other considerations when working with your VSS database that are not always well known:

  1. Each VSS database should preferably be 4 GB or smaller.  If you have a VSS database that is larger than this, you may encounter very lengthy analysis times in preparation for your upgrade.
  2. If you need to trim down/shrink the size of your VSS database, you can do this by archiving.  However, archives can only be 2 GB or smaller.  Therefore, this may require picking and choosing your folders that you need to archive in order to achieve this limit.  VSS, unfortunately, does not offer any assistance with chunking out archives to that they fit into the 2 GB limit.
  3. If you have forgotten your Admin password, you may be able to reset the Admin password using this utility:  (Instructions for using this tool can be found here:   If this does not work for you, you may be able to reset the Admin password as long as you have another Administrative account in VSS.  Otherwise, you may be out of luck since the TFS VSS Upgrade Wizard requires the Admin password in order to perform the migration. 

Once you are ready to upgrade, you can follow the steps to upgrade your VSS database to TFS:

 If all goes well, you have successfully migrated VSS to TFS!!

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