VSS to TFS upgrade made easy

Posted by Sahas Subramanian - November 14, 2012


Download the latest VSS upgrade tool from visual studio gallery. This utility alleviates VSS to TFS migration pain to some great extent.. one of the best improvements seem to be this utility can be installed and used from a machine where we don’t have VSS setup. VSSConverter.exe (previous tool) expects VSS2005 installed on the machine due to some runtime dependencies.

Here is a quick walk thru.. in this walk thru I’m migrating a VSS DB over to TFS on the cloud and using SQL Server 2012 Express LocalDB. If LocalDB sounds new, please refer this

Download the tool

Post installation, navigate to the installed location..


1. Typically, tool will get installed to “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual SourceSafe Upgrade”

2. Run the Analyze utility to make sure there are no serious issues with the VSS DB

3. Once you are ready for Migration, double click VssToTfs application

This should bring the VSS Upgrade Wizard up


  1. Enter VSS DB path
  2. Enter Admin password
  3. Click “List Available Projects”
  4. Select Projects for migration from the List

Browser and choose the target Team Foundation Server, Team Project Collection and Team Project…

Remember that the migration process will need a SQL Server or SQL Server Express instance.

This DB instance used for temporary storage. After the upgrade process is complete, the database is never used again...

key in the SQL instance here…

Next step will validate the settings…

Upon successful verification, you can step ahead with Upgrade and track the status in the UI..



Post Migration screen will provide errors and warnings.. also, there are links to view Upgrade Report and Complete Log…

My upgrade went pretty smooth…I checked the history in TFS.. It looked neat.. also I was able to checkout and make changes to the source in TFS..

Additionally, if you wish to validate the migration, you may follow instructions mentioned here

This utility definitely makes VSS upgrade process easier …if you have used previous versions of migration utility, you may easily identify the improvements

  1. No need to install VSS on the migration box.. tool will work as long as you have access to the DB and Admin password
  2. No more settings.xml J…
  3. Tool supports both On-Premise and TFS Service..
  4. UI driven Upgrade..

(Note: This walk through shows VSS --> TFS 2012 only.. not other versions of TFS)



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