Question Regarding PST Importing

Posted on 2010-04-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-09
Hi all,

With this question, I'm looking for some sound advice and steps on the best way to handle this. We've recently begun a migration of all of our in-house Exchange mailboxes to a Microsoft Hosted solution in the cloud. Moving the mailboxes has been pretty smooth so far but we had a problem with one mailbox

After the migiration, we noticed that in a good amount of her mailbox's sub-folders, that a large amount of the emails appeared damaged (wouldn't show the entire message but only a few lines). Looking at her old non-migrated mailbox, all of the messages were intact. We exported several thousand messages from the old mailbox into a PST so we could import them into the new mailbox.

My question comes during this process. When I import the PST, I have several options; Do not import duplicates and Import and overwrite. I guess I'm a bit confused here. If the messages in the PST and the migrated mailbox are the same and I choose "Do not import duplicates" will anything from the PST import in? If I choose to important and overwrite, will the import actually overwrite what's in the mailbox or will it make a second copy of each email doubling the amount that's already there

If you all have further questions or need more info, please let me know so I can try to elaborate further. Thanks!
Question by:Keenanassoc
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Expert Comment

ID: 29473489
If you are having problems importing the pst file it may actually be easier to simple copy the contents of the .pst file to the hosted exchange account by opening both files in outlook and just dragging and dropping the folders into the Exchange .ost file/default mailbox, then exchange will automatically upload them to your hosted exchange server. When you copy the email folders you can choose to rename or overwrite the existing folders. I would probably overwrite them because of size limitation with the hosted exchange folder probably 1-2 GB.

Expert Comment

ID: 29473860
Also... In answer to your question if you choose "import and overwrite" it will import all of the emails from the .pst file and it will overwrite any emails/files with the same name, thus making it so you do not have duplicates.

Author Comment

ID: 29475714

Thanks for taking the time to respond. In your first reply, you mention copying and overwriting the folders in the hosted mailbox. If my user has already, let's say, moved an additional new 100 messages to one of these folders in their migrated mailbox; and I decide to move a folder from the PST to the hosted mailbox and overwrite that folder; am I going to lose the additional messages my user moved, or will it simply merge with that folder overwriting what's there but keeping the new items moved?

Thanks for your insight!

Accepted Solution

bitMASTERS earned 1600 total points
ID: 29544879
I am not seeing how you can copy one from the other by draggin and dropping since Outlook only allows one Exchange Account.  Perhaps if you can successfully open the PST in Outlook then you could drag to the Hosted Exchange account.  You may want to try importing one folder at a time and see if that helps.  I have seen issues where corruption has occurred on importing an entire PST at once but doing it in sections (folders) does the trick (especially on very large PST files.

Also if you choose "Do not import duplicates" it will skip items that are already there without duplicating them.  If you choose to overwrite it will not create duplicates.  However, all bets are off if the data is corrupted.  If you do get duplication, follow this link.  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/299349

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31710332
I'll have to award the points to bitsMaster on this one. When importing or merging the PSTs to the mailbox, I really had no options of not duplicating objects or overwriting. In the end, even though it was time tedious, I ended up adding all my PSTs to the account and importing the whole folders with different numbers so I could differentiate them. Then i copied the emails all into one directory, deleted the now empty folders, and renamed the one containing all of the messages. Took several days but we're all good now.


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