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Using Exmerge.exe to create temporary .pst files

Posted on 2006-06-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-28
I have a client who's SBS 2003 server is probably going to have to be rebuilt from scratch following a major disk corruption.  In ther interim I'd like to get their emails from Exchange into pst files so that they can at least be using Outlook in the interim.  It looks like exmerge.exe can do this, but can anyone give me a step-by-step guide, please.
Question by:johnalphaone

Expert Comment

ID: 16943002
I have created a step-by-step for install to creation, if you send me your email, I will email it to you ..

Expert Comment

ID: 16943045
Here is the text only version.  There are many screenshots to walk you through, as well as explicit instructions on the options

ExMerge – How To

ExMerge is a utility to extract the contents of  mailboxes (single / multiple) from the Exchange Information Store.  

NOTE:  The store must be mounted and accessible to use ExMerge.  You will also require full mailbox access to the mailbox being exported and imported.

1.      Step-by-step Example of User Mailbox Export  
2.      Step-by-step Example of User Mailbox Import
3.      Step-by-step Example of User Mailbox Export/Import one step procedure

APPENDIX A:  Details how to install ExMerge for use on a server or workstation.

APPENDIX B:  Microsoft KB Article on ExMerge and related web links to Microsoft.


1.  Step-by-step Example of User Mailbox Export

Click Next.


Select [Two-Step Procedure] and click Next


Select Step 1: Extract data from an Exchange Server Mailbox and click Next.


Enter only the Exchange Server Name

Options available:
Note:  this step of selecting options can usually be skipped, but here are list and relative explanations of often used options.


Most common of selections and the item selected by default

Allows primarily for export of selected dates, etc.  and rarely used

READ THIS carefully, DO NOT use unless you are sure this is needed!

Used to recover items from Deleted Items Folder, potentially VERY Useful, little harm from this selection.

These Items are specific to Importing Data from a PST into Mailbox (procedure covered in next section)

These Items are explicitly stated and follow the same basic options when importing with Outlook.

NOTE:  Default option is shown selected, and the most commonly used option.  If you are unsure, this is the safest option.


This selection allows you to control what folders in the Mailbox are processed.  Shown with default options, and typically is not changed.

Only change this if you need to recover specific folders from a Mailbox.


Again, explicitly stated, Default and most commonly used option show here.

NOTE:  If Dumpster items has been selected all of these items will be returned regardless of message dates.


Again very detailed method of selected certain message types / subjects, most commonly selected option and the default is shown here.

Click Next

Select the store you wish to display users from and click Next

NOTE:  Multiple stores may be selected form same server.

Select the mailbox you wish to Export and click Next.

Click Next

Click Change Folder to specify the location of the PST file that is created.  The name of the file will automatically be named per the properties of the mailbox.  (directory name in 5.5 and Alias (mailNickname) in 2003)


Click OK and then Next


File Names options are:
These are defaults

NOTE:  Save settings button will allow you to save the settings (if any changes are made) so that these are always the options that are the defaults.  Not Recommended unless you are familiar.  If it is selected, the default options can be obtained from this document.
    OOPS!?!  See above Note

Wait for process to finish

Look for failures, if present you can check log file for possible causes.

Click Finish, and PST file is located in directory selected prior to export.


Author Comment

ID: 16943536
>> NOTE:  The store must be mounted and accessible to use ExMerge.
Ok, that's obviously a problem as the server doesn't run at the moment.  I have managed to extract contents of MDBDATA folder, edb files etc.  I do have access to a test server, but that has a different server and domain name.  

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Accepted Solution

rstovall earned 2000 total points
ID: 16943692
Hmmm, you could use the test server and change the legacyExchangeDN for the AG so that it is in the same AG as it was before..

or you could simply build your new environment as was built before and use Recovery Storage Group to recover the mail

Since you have a test environment, the change you would need to make is use LDIFDE to change all instances of the test AG to the same as it was in old environment.

build a store with the same name as before, drop in the files and reattach mailboxes to created users . .export

I can get you the details on the latter procedure later, but if you decide to go with recovering the data using the new server (since it should be built with the same AG anyway) that may be your decision.

Expert Comment

ID: 16943715
Is it possible to install a fresh copy of exchange on a different machine and then mount the existing database into it so you can use exmerge?

this would be doable even if you setup a server and left it running standalone and not connected to the network.  the extractions could then be put into the fresh live version of exchange

Expert Comment

ID: 16943794
Yes, it is possible.  To mount the old store on a new server, the Admin Group and mailbox store needs to be the same name .. there are multiple ways to make this happen, one is to do schema updates .. domain update, and then install just the ESM, add an AG with the same name as before .. install Exchange into the an ORG with the same name, and this should not require LDIFDE to change the names ..

name a store the same as recovered store and drop files into its folder and mount .. you will need to reattach mailboxes

Author Comment

ID: 16944414
Sorry for the dumb question, but where do I find the Administrative Group name with SBS 2003.  Stuff I've read suggests I should see it in ESM, but that goes straight to the Servers, etc.

Expert Comment

ID: 16944454
Okay, SBS is simply a windows 2003 server with AD, Exchange and SQL all built in.  ESM is under Microsoft Eaxchange - System Manager .. you may need to right-click on the top level and go to properties where you add Admin Groups and routing groups to view .. click ok, then restart ESM

Author Comment

ID: 16954104
Here's the conclusion.

Further examination of the server determined that the partition that Exchange was on was actually ok.  So by careful management I was able to get the server up and running.  Attempted an exmerge, but this kept failing on permissions, despite eventually giving Everyone Full Control on the Mailbox Store!  So then we used Outlook clients to manually transfer the mailbox content into local pst's.

Thanks to all and to rstovall in particular.

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