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Having problems with MS Outlook / Exchange email Export and Import - Old to New Server Migration

Posted on 2014-01-28
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Last Modified: 2014-02-06
I'm having problems migrating email messages, using Outlook pst's, from an old server system, SBS2008 with Exchange 2007, to a new server system, Windows Server 2012 std with Exchange Server 2013.  The old configuration and new configuration have different domains, IP's, server names, etc.

I'm able to export messages for each user from the old setup, but when I import to the new setup, not all the messages come in.  I've tried different Outlook clients, on different workstations, multiple times, on both the export and import sides. I am currently using an Outlook 2013 client for both export and import.

The first time I import, some of the messages come in.  Then each time I run the import again, more of the messages come in, until ultimately I've got them all for that user. But that takes many imports to accomplish.

I have not run a repair on the export files, but they're brand new each time I've created one.  Just to be clear, I've run the full export for the same user on multiple workstations using 2007, 2010, and 2013 Outlook, so I have a hard time thinking the export file is corrupted.  And if the data is corrupted, why does it come in on subsequent imports?

I have read that others have had similar problems with PSTs.  At this point I'm thinking that maybe a third party program is the best / quickest / easiest way to resolve this.

Is there something I'm clearly missing here?  If I were to use a third party program, which would you recommend?
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Question by:eganders
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 39816598
Don't use Outlook to import into Exchange 2013, instead you can import a .pst file directly into the user's mailbox.

You can use the Exchange Powershell, or even easier is the Exchange Admin Center (accessed by going to https://<exchangeserver>/eac)

Store the .pst files on the Exchange server itself for the import.

Here's an overview:
http://msmvps.com/blogs/andersonpatricio/archive/2012/11/08/importing-pst-data-into-mailbox-in-exchange-server-2013-using-eac.aspx

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:eganders
ID: 39816637
Yeah, I saw that earlier and already sent myself a note to try it out.  I can see advantages to doing it this way, but is it your experience that this does a "better" job importing data (more successful importation of data), or is it just faster and easier / more convenient - which is worthwhile, but might not resolve my "issue" whatever it is...
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by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 39816645
Any reason you are just moving users from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013 directly using the admin tools?
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Author Comment

by:eganders
ID: 39816654
New company, new domain, new users, new server and new techs, etc.  Didn't want to bring over any unwanted / problematic / unknown residue from the old system.

And at this point, the new server is up, the data's been moved over, and the conversion, except for this email issue, has been done.
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by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 39816834
Okay. Sounds like it might be a little late to recommend the ADMT then. ;)

You may want to look at MigrationWiz as well as an option. It can export and inject mailboxes from one system to another.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 39816925
Definitely try the ECP method, it IS better, as it handles corrupt data better (ie, it will tolerate and ignore corrupt messages rather than failing completely).

You may also want to run the Inbox repair tool on the .pst files before importing them.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:eganders
ID: 39816936
I looked at MigrationWiz earlier today and pricewise it's amazing.  However, given that you need to send them all your exchange data, logins, passwords, etc. that seems a bit scary to me.  No disclosure about where the MigrationWiz servers are in the world, where their techs are located, who has access, owns and runs the company, etc.  If I wanted to spy on a firm, this sounds like an awesome Trojan Horse.   You couldn't ask for a brighter silver platter to have companies bring their data directly to your doorstep (whether MigrationWiz is in on the gig or not).

Anyway, I'm thinking that many firms would prefer an application that can be run onsite, and keep their data at least somewhat further away from the potential risks of prying eyes..
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 39816942
FYI, I've used MigrationWiz a ton for larger migrations and there is really no problem with trusting them if that's the way you want to go.

FYI, they are located HERE

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:eganders
ID: 39816956
"FYI, I've used MigrationWiz a ton for larger migrations and there is really no problem with trusting them if that's the way you want to go."

I'm not suggesting it's a scam from the conversion perspective.  Quite the contrary, MigrationWiz may well work great.  That it works well would be just another part a brilliant cover wouldn't it, because data migration is actually a very valid and useful purpose.  And some businesses wouldn't care about any such risk at all anyway.

But simultaneously, if MigrationWiz, or some government agency, were stealing / keeping a copy of a company's data, how would one know otherwise anyway?  Unless the thieves were dumb enough to immediately run to the corner store with a credit card number they just learned (which might immediately put them out of business), I'm thinking very few would ever know, and they could keep the program running for years until their own Snowden came along.

I don't mean to go all James Bond here.  If MigrationWiz was more forthcoming about who and where, it would be easier to make a decision about using them.  But that they don't give out such information, it gives us cause for some cautionary concern.  I would find it hard to believe that these questions have never come up or aren't worthy of a prominent answer on their website.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 39816968
Ok, so you're paranoid.

But your accusation that they are not forthcoming about who and where is a bit weird...
http://www.bittitan.com/migrationwiz/privacysecurity
http://www.linkedin.com/company/bittitan
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Author Comment

by:eganders
ID: 39816988
"Ok, so you're paranoid."

Oh come on now Jeff.  I think that's a bit strong.

I would say prudent and cautious, but that's just me.

Anyway, let's get back to the problem at hand and leave my thoughts of conspiracy theories for a cold beer.

Have you used any other 3rd party conversion software?
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 39817020
Actually, I've never migrated mailboxes between two on premise servers that weren't in the same domain, so I've never had the need to use 3rd party tools in that type of scenario.

I've only used MigrationWiz for migrations into Office365.

Before we even consider that, I think you need to attempt importing a .pst using the ECP method, and if that fails, try running the repair tool and importing via ECP again.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Accepted Solution

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eganders earned 0 total points
ID: 39826851
Ultimately I wasn't able to use any alternative solution.  The shell method had a problem.  I ended up importing using the PST import in the Outlook client software.  For most users it only took 2 import sessions each - with the same PST being imported, to get all their data to come in.  For the largest one (15Gb+) it took a bunch of imports.
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Author Closing Comment

by:eganders
ID: 39838438
Was able to make it work myself.
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