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Backup .pst files

Posted on 2012-03-26
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Last Modified: 2012-03-26
We need to backup users .pst files. We currently backup user data via Microsoft RoboCopy scripts on a Windows 2008 Standard backup server with a data drive. Users often leave their Outlook/PST files open so the back files as the file is open/in use and the backup fails. We cannot backup at night because users too often forget to leave their PCs turned on.
How can we backup .pst files to our backup server's data drive, remotely/in the background while the users have the files open?
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Question by:CompGenHosp
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c_a_n_o_n earned 500 total points
ID: 37768068
There is a piece of software that will do this:

EdgeSafe PST2PST Backup is the leading PST backup solution for organizations that swiftly and incrementally backs up PST files even if Microsoft® Outlook® is open. Featuring simple native PST recovery, and central management for the PST file backup / Outlook Backup process.

http://www.datamills.com/products/edgesafe-pst-backup

There is discussion here and here:
http://www.petri.co.il/forums/showthread.php?t=30661
http://www.petri.co.il/forums/showthread.php?t=895
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Expert Comment

by:cgelm
ID: 37768073
Have you considered running a shutdown /restart script about 30 minutes before starting the backup?
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by:pjam
ID: 37768093
When we still used pst files our users had a Microsoft program called pfbackup.
Every time they exited Outlook it would ask if they wantd to backup.  Of course the target was set to their Home drive so they were backed up by the server.
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=9003

Looks like you already accepted a solution, sorry.
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by:kdubendorf
ID: 37768114
Microsoft has a nice pst backup utility that might do the trick for you.   Have you looked at this article yet?

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/238782


I'm not sure how it will handle open pst files but it still may worth a try.
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by:c_a_n_o_n
ID: 37768121
Another approach is to schedule a task on the client PC that will execute a script that will close Outlook.
http://www.howto-outlook.com/howto/closeoutlookscript.htm
Then, backup the PST files.

The drawback is that users will likely have many Outlook windows open with work that may need to be saved.  However, educating the end user will help prevent that.
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Expert Comment

by:cgelm
ID: 37768135
shutdown \\computername /r /y /c
if you want to use a script or

at 18:00 /every:M,T,W,Th,F shutdown /l /r /y /c
(From CMD prompt) if you want to use the local task scheduler of the local machines
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