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No incoming mail when importing / synching PST Outlook 2003 / Exchange 2003

We are migrating many Outlook 2003 users from PST's to Exchange 2003. We create an Exchange profile and import the PST into the Exchange account. Following the import the users cannot receive any mail until the local copy of their mailbox is synced out to the server. Unfortunatly since these are slow connections, this is taking 8 hours or more.

Does anyone know of a better way to make this process go faster so we dont have to shut down our users for a day or two while we migrate their mail
Avatar of cgbent
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If you are concerned about your users having their new mails more then their old you might just have them use OWA while their machine are syncing the mail. OWA should show the new mails while they continue work through the day.

*Note: You are also making sure to first delete or remove the old POP/IMAP account information so when they are not having a conflict of trying to pull the mail off the server while they are trying to sync their pre-existing mail?
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We are doing that, unfortunatly our OWA server is not speedy at the moment and when combined with very outspoken end users and its a bit of a PR issue.

Are there any tools that would allow me to centrally batch import a bunch of PST's into may mailboxes?

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Hi willp2,

Even if you batch load their old into their existing email file, won't they still have to sync their email to the local copy? Do the user's have a local copy of their pst? Can't you have them copy it locally into a new pst file?

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Purely from my own expierience and far from fact, I've never had trouble with Outlook being responsive while synching a large mailbox from a server, like we are having now synching up to a server.

That may have been purely just luck, but it seemed like this may be less trouble if I am downloading rather than uploading.