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Importing PST files into Exchange 2010

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have migrated from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010.  During the test phase, we imported 2 PST files from our old exchange server to our new one.  Over a period of time this caused appears to have caused corruption to occur on the exchange database to which the PST files were imported.  One of the effects was that a percentage of users were unable to download the OAB. we were able to resolve the problem by deleting all of the affected accounts and recreating them.  Can I ask if anyone else has had these issues?  I thought that maybe some of the mail messages were corrupt as when I tried to import mail using the exchange PowerShell, I had to use the bad mail limit switch.  I understand that there’s a significant architecture change between exchange 2003 and Exchange 2010.  Is it possible that the new Exchange mailboxes are expecting the mail in a different from format than the PST file is in?
Has anyone experience of corruption when importing PSTs to Exchange 2010 via the Outlook 2010 Client?
Your thoughts would be very much appreciated
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Question by:crashservices
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Expert Comment

by:abhijitmdp
ID: 34896202
Why not you are simply moving mailboxes between your two exchange servers' this will not cause any curroption and also you will not lose the data. But if you are moving it using PST process you can follow below articles for a proper move.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/A_2709-Importing-PST-files-in-to-Exchange-2010.html

http://www.msexchange.org/articles_tutorials/exchange-server-2010/management-administration/exporting-importing-mailboxes-exchange-server-2010.html
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lucid8 earned 2000 total points
ID: 34907478
Yes major architectural changes and I have not seen a DB go bad because of the imported data but there were several issues regarding import of legacy data types in PST and previous versions of Exchange that were causing imports and migrations to fail and to also crash the CAS service.  I suppose its possible that the bad data types had something to do with this but I wouldn't think so.  

That said what service pack level are you patched on for 2010?  

1. There were a ton of issues fixed regarding the import and export process in SP1 so I would suggest that you update to that first http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=50b32685-4356-49cc-8b37-d9c9d4ea3f5b

2. You should also install SP1 RU2 since there were additional fixes regarding bad data types in legacy PST and databases that were causing imports to fail http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=0059546f-f43d-4c7e-8367-81c6d5642bf3&displaylang=en

3. How did you export the data to PST?

4. How did you then import that data into the new Exchange Server?

5. Have you had any other hardware issues?
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Author Comment

by:crashservices
ID: 34924779
Quick question.
If the exported files are attached to outlook 2010 as archive files in their pst state, would there be any reason why the users could not simply import from the pst to their exchange datastore through the outlook client rather than using powershell at all?
The clients are all Windows 7 enterprise (32 bit) with Outlook 2010
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Assisted Solution

by:lucid8
lucid8 earned 2000 total points
ID: 34926686
1. I don't see why not
2. if you are concerned about the PSTs themselves I would make a copy and then run ScanPST against them
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Expert Comment

by:abhijitmdp
ID: 34926771
Have you tried by drag and drop of messages in outlook from Archive location to actual mailbox.
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Author Comment

by:crashservices
ID: 34949612
We are rebuilding a test environment, then we will patch exchange up to SP1 RU2 and test again.
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Expert Comment

by:lucid8
ID: 34956624
ok let us know how things progress
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Author Comment

by:crashservices
ID: 34998383
So Far, So Good.
Built test environment, SP1 applied for OS and Exchnage.
SP1 RU2 applied.
built one win 7 x64 test VPC with outlook 2010 x64
Copied over two large pst files.
scanned with scanpst (errors detected in both files)
Repaired using same.
imported to Exchange 2010 Test environment.
No errors so far.
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Expert Comment

by:lucid8
ID: 34999057
Excellent news and  thanks for the update.  So at this point whats left one your list to validate the issue/question you had?
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Author Comment

by:crashservices
ID: 35005025
We are going to leave the test environment for a week to see if any errors occur in the DB, if all OK, we will update the the question for closing.

Thanks to all for their input so far.
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Expert Comment

by:lucid8
ID: 35009257
thanks for the update and let me know if I can be of additional service
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Author Comment

by:crashservices
ID: 35035510
No errors occurred in test environment.
Test subjects had PST files imported to live environment.
No Errors so far.

This can be closed.
Thanks again to all.
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by:lucid8
ID: 35036827
Good to hear and thanks for the points!
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