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Steps to Success EDB to PST Conversion

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Sandeep Kumar
Experts in Data Recovery, Email Recovery, and Email & Cloud Migration Tools.
The article is for all the Exchange users seeking smooth and effective EDB to PST conversion. Exchange Server is the most widely used platform for messaging with collaborative sharing, Exchange online, secure working environment, etc.

An Exchange Database file, designed on single client-server architecture, stores mailbox data items such as emails, tasks, calendars, folders, attachments, notes, etc.  Prior to leading to the types of solutions for EDB to PST conversion, let us understand the conditions leading to this conversion.


EDB to PST Conversion – Why?


There can be certain situations that require you to perform EDB to PST conversion. Such situations could be desirable or out of urgency. Let us discuss some of these scenarios.


The Server has crashed and is under-maintenance:  This is a situation where your organization’s Exchange Server has crashed and is taking a long time to repair. Under such a condition, if any data is required that can't be accessed due to an Exchange crash, a problem is created. You'll need to convert EDB to PST to avoid such a scenario.


For previous users’ record:  When any user of Exchange Server leaves the organization, his data should be moved to a secure location for further utilization and analysis. For that, conversion of an Exchange database EDB file to PST format is not only desirable but required.


Making data portable:  Another reason for an EDB to PST conversion could be data portability needs. When the user needs to share data present in Exchange more often to other clients, EDB conversion is also required.


For specific requirements:  The data from Exchange could be required for legal compliances, forensic investigation, researchers, etc. For that, the data should be saved or exported as a record to a location from where it is accessible all the time.


By looking at the certain situations in which conversion from EDB database to PST format becomes a need, solutions for the conversion are needed. The conversion can be performed through mainly two methods – Manual solution and Automated solution. First, we are going to discuss the manual ones and their effectiveness.


3 Manual ways for EDB to PST conversion


  1. EDB to PST Conversion via ExMerge utility (for Exchange Server 2003)
  2. EDB to PST Conversion via Exchange Management Shell cmdlets (for Exchange Server 2007 & later versions)
  3. EDB to PST Conversion via Exchange Admin Center (for Exchange 2013 & 2016)


For EDB to PST conversion, let us discuss one-by-one how these manual methods work.


1- EDB to PST Conversion via ExMerge utility (for Exchange Server 2003)


Microsoft has provided a free tool application ExMerge that helps to convert multiple Exchange EDB file mailboxes to PST format. The user needs to download the free Microsoft Exchange Server Mailbox Merge Wizard (ExMerge) tool to perform the conversion. 


For the conversion to happen, the user must have full permissions over all the required mailboxes. After installing the free application, perform the conversion for the required EDB mailboxes. First, launch the tool and select Extract or Import (Two Step Procedure). Then, in the opened window, select first option Extract data from an Exchange Server Mailbox.



After providing the mailbox details and destination location, your EDB data is saved at PST location. The process completed information is seen like this.



Know about the whole procedure in detail by following the link: Step by Step Guide to Convert EDB Files to PST in Different Exchange Versions - Part 1


2- EDB to PST Conversion via Exchange Management Shell cmdlets (for Exchange Server 2007 & later versions)


Users can take advantage of the Exchange Management Shell cmdlets for Exchange EDB conversion. The process is quite technical and requires knowledge of Command Prompt use. To confirm the conversion in this process, the user must have assigned a Mailbox Import/Export role to migrate the mailboxes. You can assign the rights by using the following cmdlet in a Command Prompt.:


“New-ManagementRoleAssignment -Role “Mailbox Import Export” -User “”<user name or alias>”


Also, the user needs to have a shared PST file saving location. Once the prerequisites are performed, the user can move to EDB to PST conversion. For EDB to PST conversion, the user needs to use different cmdlets for different Exchange Server versions. For Exchange Server 2016, the cmdlets for conversion


New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox -FilePath ” “<destination file path>”


Put the mailbox path name in Mailbox FilePath and then put PST name in <destination file path>. Executing this command will export an EDB mailbox to specified PST location.


For complete information about the process, users can follow the information provided in the following link: Step by Step Guide to Convert EDB Files to PST in Different Exchange Versions - Part 2


3- EDB to PST Conversion via Exchange Admin Center (for Exchange 2013 & 2016)


One more manual solution for EDB to PST conversion is using Exchange Admin Center mainly for the latest Exchange versions (2013 & 2016). The prior requirements before EDB to PST Conversion is that there should a shared folder to export the mailbox data and Export permissions must be provided to the mailboxes in the user account. Open Exchange Admin Center within your Exchange Account and provide permissions to the mailbox by assigning a Mailbox Import & Export role.



After providing the required permissions, open your Exchange Admin Account, go to recipients, and select mailboxes. Now right click the mailbox you want to migrate and click Export to a PST file.



In the next screens, provide the converted PST file path location to complete the process. To analyze or understand each step in the process, see: Step by Step Guide to Convert EDB Files to PST in Different Exchange Versions - Part 3


So, we have discussed the manual ways for EDB to PST conversion but the success rate is not yet defined. The user cannot completely depend on these kinds of solutions because of the following listed limitations:


ExMerge application

  • Exports only up to 2 GB data
  • Does not support latest versions
  • Data loss risk and lengthy procedure

Exchange Management Shell cmdlets

  • Cannot convert corrupt EDB file
  • Good technical knowledge is required
  • Complex procedure for multiple mailbox conversion

Exchange Admin Center

  • Not feasible with versions except 2013 & 2016
  • Data loss situations can occur
  • Technical knowledge is needed


These limitations cannot be avoided so a permanent solution is needed for EDB to PST conversion. The users have another choice for performing the conversion i.e. using a third-party professional software – Kernel for Exchange Server


This is the perfect solution for converting any type of (corrupt or healthy) single or multiple EDB mailboxes to PST & other destinations (including Office) within minutes. This Converter has a simple GUI beneficial for both novice and technical users alike. The Kernel for Exchange Server Recovery Tool offers selective data conversion with advanced filters. 


Its interface looks like this.



Conclusion


The article explained manual solutions for EDB to PST conversion, along with their environmental requirements and limitations. The three manual solutions are effective up to some point only and have one or more drawbacks. 


However, in the end, a permanent and completely successful professional method is mentioned to give users a choice. Finally, it all depends on the user’s intelligence to prefer any manual method or an automated EDB to PST Conversion tool.


Related Links:


  1. How to export mailboxes to Outlook PST in different versions of Exchange?
  2. Export Exchange 2013 EDB Mailbox to PST



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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Marshal Hubs
Stellar EDB to PST Converter converts EDB file to PST format efficiently. The software allows you to convert Online Exchange and Offline EDB file to Outlook PST without much of manual intervention. For detailed steps, check following post:      
https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/30961/How-to-export-Exchange-mailboxes-to-PST.html
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Expert Comment

by:Annie Rose
You can try manaul methods like;

Method 1: Using PowerShell Cmdlets

Method 2: Using Exchange Admin Center (EAC) or Exchange Management Console (EMC)

Method 3: Using Exmerge Application

http://expert-advice.org/exchange-server/convert-edb-pst/
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