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Exchange 2003 server crash....How can I automate import of PST data to new mailbox??

Posted on 2010-11-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
One of the information stores on our Exchange server became corrupted yesterday.  Unfortunately the backup image we had from Monday night is listed as corrupted when I try to mount it in Exchange.  I tried running ESEUTIL to repair the IS, but that effort failed.

In a bid to get everyone working again I created a blank IS late last night then mapped the users to it.  This has allowed people to send/receive mail and become productive again.

To recover their historical data we ended up remoting into each users PC.  Opening their OST file and copied this information to a local PST file.  Thankfully our company isn't too big and we have been able to get to everyone over the course of the day.

At this point I have the users Outlook connected to their new mailbox and a separate PST file (showing as Personal Folder) with their historical emails.  Ideally I would like to somhow automate the process of searching each of the mail folders in the local PST and copy anything less than 6 months old to their live mailbox (on the Exchange server).  Ideally we could send this script to each user so that they could run it on their PC without IT assistance.

Is this doable?  Does anyone have a script which might accomplish the task?

Appreciate any assistance...
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Question by:DrakeCA
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Expert Comment

by:Jon Brelie
ID: 34105665
Exmerge is the only 2003 era tool I know could import it besides Outlook.  I don't think you could automate it though.

2007/10 has the Import-Mailbox command that can match exchange aliases to pst filenames, but that probably doesn't help you.
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Expert Comment

by:Rick Fee
ID: 34105765
Automating Exmerge:

http://www.petri.co.il/brick_level_backup_of_mailboxes_by_using_exmerge.htm

You can use the task scheduler with the exmerge.exe and the parameters you require
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lucid8 earned 2000 total points
ID: 34111073
  1. If you used Outlook to Export to PST as you say then you may not be able to use ExMerge because form Outlook 2003 and forward the default PST format is UNICODE and ExMerge ONLY accepts ANSI based PST files.  
  2. So if you try to use ExMerge to do an import it will fail and to make it even more fun it wont give you a good error message to tell you why this is happening
  3. I would suggest that you just use Outlook to import the messages back in since you have a small user set.  That or you could check out Lucid8's DigiScope but really thats overkill since you don't need to access an offline EDB to recover data, but it would do the job for you and you might also want to review it for future recoveries of Exchange databases.
  4. Again I think Outlook is your best bet
Troy Werelius
Lucid8.com
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Author Comment

by:DrakeCA
ID: 34111403
I hadn't thought of that.  We did export the emails in the newer PST format...guess ExMerge is out of the equation.

Next question then...is there any way that I can have Outlook only show me messages 6 months or newer so that I can only copy those messages back to their live mailbox?  Some users have PST files which are over 4 GB in size!!

Thanks...

Craig
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Expert Comment

by:lucid8
ID: 34112451
Create a VIEW in outlook i.e.
  • At the top of Outlook,  Click on View/Current View/Define Views....
    • Click New...
    • Name the view and select a type
    • Click OK and you will be given all the options and right in the middle is a FILTER option that you can customize
    • Once you get that done then apply that view and Drag and Drop items into the new Mailbox
  • Other option would be to do a search and then D&D items
  • The other option would be to Open each PST
    • Then Export the contents to a NEW PST and put a date filter on the export action which would give you all the data within the desired date range
    • Then open that PST and import it with Outlook
  • If you wanted something more sophisticated you should check out Lucid8's DigiScope but from how you describe it one of the above Outlook options should server you well
Troy Werelius
Lucid8.com
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Author Closing Comment

by:DrakeCA
ID: 34545669
I ended up having to manually import each users records over the course for a couple of days.  Wasn't as bad as I had expected.
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