Monday, 26 October 2009

Migrating / Move Lotus Notes from one PC to another.

First a digression: Notes is the singularly worst piece of widely adopted enterprise software I know of.

The key is the data folder. Each user has a Notes Data folder which contains their settings. On the old PC, which was XP and had migrated from 6.5 -> 7 -> 8 -> 8.5 this was at:

c:\program files\notes\lotus\data.

I installed Notes 8.5 on the new machine and copied the data to:


Selecting to overwrite or replace all conflicts. I then started Notes, cancelled a few meaningless wizards and messages (one about "Internet Mail", one about "IM" and a "Cannot create folder").

However after 15 mins of Notes "churning", I can see my inbox, and I'm migrated.


  1. You forgot the Notes.ini file that resides in the program path.

    The users personal data (their Notes Databases.nsf and their are located in the Data folder. The notes.ini file contains your Notes client (software) preferences.

    Notes needs both:

    1. Data to identify who you are,
    2. ini file to tell the software how you like it to work.

    If you move the notes.ini and data to another folder location, you also have to open the ini file and edit the "directory=" line so that it points to the new data location.

    It's actually lucky you forgot to do it, because Notes created a blank .ini file for you in the new location - which is why you had to answer the questions again. If you did not perform the steps above, you would have just gotten a notes splash screen, and then nothing.

    Notes is a Database. Notes is Secure. Notes can access information from virtually any source.

    That's why it's used by most large organisations.

    btw, you didn't "migrate" anything, Notes is fully backward compatible with all versions. You just installed new .exe's on your computer that gave your Notes client a new look and feel, and more features.

    Hope this helps...

  2. Notes isn't perfect but it's a lot better than Outlook.

  3. I'm agreeing with the 2 above posters. Don't get mad, get informed.

  4. totally agree with the author. notes is an administrative and support nightmare. the beauty of 21st century technology is you shouldn't have to "informed" to merely use it. it's email for goodness sake. it should be intuitive, simple, and easy to follow for any moron and not take an "informed" technician who has to specialize in it and devote a small piece of their life to supporting it. especially if you're just trying to go from one machine to the next.

  5. I can't believe anyone but a total notes fanboy would think it's better than outlook. It truly is the worst POS abortion masquerading as software in existence. I can't put into words how much I hate using notes.

  6. Heh. It's the eternal flame! Of course Notes mail is a POS, but as a programmer, I must say that Notes at large is a brilliant POS. I prefer Outlook's email client, and Microsoft has won that battle. But no other "piece of software" has all the capabilities that Notes has. That's why Bill hired Ray, and also why it is so widely hated - you can really tangle things up with it.

    Now look at what a POS Sharepoint is. I have to laugh!