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Backing up users archive.pst in the network

Posted on 2010-08-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hello,

We have Exchange 2003 running on WIN2K3 SBS, currently all of our users have an archive.pst file in the root of C:\ that their outlook archives to. I want to get this Archive and copy it every month to a location on the network so we can back those up and everyones archive is safe.  

I was thinking about doing this with a .bat file, though a different .bat file will have to go on everyones computer and have it run with a scheduled task but then I leave myself open to running into the issue where a user might not be logged in at the time of the task because they didnt come to work or something.

So I'm wondering if there might be a more practical way to do this?
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Question by:printmedia
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by:ZombieAutopsy
ID: 33429939
What i would do is store the .pst on the network somewhere. Create 1 folder to store them all in, then backup the folder.  I wouldnt let the pst's get more than 2 gigs though, they may become unpredictable.
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by:sunnyc7
ID: 33429949
ok - SERIOUSLY bad idea.

a) Backing up .PST everyday for 4 users is like copying 4x(GB's) of data to your network share. Affects your network performance.

b) PST's are really really bad as network stores and then backing it up.
here's a detailed article by network team
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2007/01/21/network-stored-pst-files-don-t-do-it.aspx

The way to get around is:
a) Create a mailbox called userX_archive
Import the PST into that mailbox.

b) Load that mailbox as an additional mailbox in outlook
http://www.vlerick.com/helpdesk/our_services/faq/software_solution/microsoft/outlook/faq_additional_mailbox.html

you can backup the mailboxes as part of the normal backup process.
You can repeat the steps for other users.
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Author Comment

by:printmedia
ID: 33430113
I'm not running the PST's off a network location.  The PST's are local on each users computer and on Outlook their path is to their local machines C:\ drive.  In outlook it is set to check for items that are older than 3 months and it does the check every 14 days.  The PST backup would just be to copy the file from the local computer to a location on the server, not actually execute the file from the server.

Also Sunnyc7 in the method you suggest about loading the additional mailbox, how would I be able to automate a process that dumps the users mail older than 3 moths into the mailbox, so the user doesn't have to do something like that manually?
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by:sunnyc7
ID: 33430179
Good question...let me think about how to make it work for 2003 :)
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by:judas2158
ID: 33430654
You probably already know that the mail database on Exchange (SBS) can index and search through older e-mails much faster than the Outlook client can with archive PST.

If you have the storage space, I would suggest getting rid of the Archive files in their entirety and moving those messages into the Exchange server, and then you just back all that up centrally like you normally would.  I know that the mailstore space on SBS2003 is limited, but if I remember correctly, upgrading to SBS2008 will give you a much larger mailstore.

If space is an issue, you can do one of two things.  You can move the archive PST files to a central location and add that one location to your normal backup schema.  Or if you must, you can pull the individual archive PST files off of the workstations and back them up one at a time.  For that kind of backup, I've used a $30 program called SecondCopy which is very flexible and solid.

Understand that if you're copying files over a network, it will consume so much bandwidth and time that even 24-hours may not be enough.  If you spread out your backups over several days, you run the risk of losing a workstation and potentially a significant amount of e-mail with it.
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GillesT earned 2000 total points
ID: 33445440
You can use BackupMyFolder! to backup pst file inside profile of users. It isn't necessary that the user is connected or not, and the backup can be done even if Outlook is started. This product is a freeware.
The more "corporate" solution is a commercial solution named "PSTStation Corporate" that allow to manage PST files on the network and schedule backup (an other actions). As BackupMyFolder!, can be done even if Outlook is opened or not, and for these two products, the backup is "incremental" and the backup isn't a copy of the file but is "message level". That is to say, only message not already backuped are copied ! The newtork if very happy for that ! These product can be download on http://www.addonmail.com

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by:sunnyc7
ID: 33445488
About my comment here http:#33430179

I dont think you can do this in Exchange 2003 without using an external archiving tool.

You will have to manually do it every 3 months - ExMerge and then import it to Archive mailbox.
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