Archive for December, 2010

Archiving Exchange Mailboxes to .PST files

Update:

Rather than deleting this old entry, I wanted to update it with a simple link to “Microsoft Exchange PST Capture 2.0”: http://aka.ms/pstcapture2

It might help more than an original technique described below

PST files

Somehow I always manage to hit problems that are poorly documented and I have to spend hours of installing/re-installing software, adding features and patches… and reading posts that are somewhat relevant but not 100% covering the issue.

So my task of de jure was to assist our IT Admins to off-load user mailboxes form local Exchange server to PSF files for archiving purposes. I’ve volunteered for it thinking that – hey, what can be difficult about that. So after several hours of trying to figure out what is that I need here is definitive path that worked for me.

  • Install “Windows 7 x86” (32 bit version is important detail) [I’ve virtualized this machine]
  • Install Outlook 2010 x86 [You’ll need MAPI protocol from it… ]
  • W7 comes with PowerShell (just make sure that you have it installed/enabled)
  • Install Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7
    [Exchange Management tools (which we’ll install later) will need it. It is not really documented all that well or throws an obvious error that tells you – hey you are missing a pre-requisite. That would be easy… Exchange installer goes through the install verifies something and tell you that everything is fine… and shortly thereafter fails with odd error “An error occurred. The error code was 3221684226. The message was The system cannot find the file specified ” Gotta love it!)
  • Enable Active Directory Domain Services Tools (that is an Add Remove Programs\Windows Features)
  • To avoid error “The log file directory ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Logging\MigrationLogs’ does not exist” you need to:
    a) Create that folder AND (if you still having the error)
    b) Create a registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Exchange Migration
  • Add your admin account to “Enterprise Adminis” group and to “Exchange Organization Administrators” group
  • Now you can download and install the “Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Management Tools (32-Bit)” You’ll need to identify your version of Exchange with currently installed SP by looking at “About” dialog box of your exchange server and then looking here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/158530
  • Now you are ready to off-load your users into PSTs with TWO PowerShell consecutive commands
    1) Firstly you need to grant yourself right to access the mailbox to avoid this misleading error:
    Export-Mailbox : Error was found for because: Error occurred in the step: Movingmessages. Failed to copy messages to the destination mailbox store with error: MAPI or an unspecified service provider. ID no: 00000000-0000-00000000, error code: -1056749164
    To grant yourself right you’ll need to execute following cmdlet:
    Add-mailboxpermission -identity -accessrights fullaccess -user
    2) And lastly you can execute this command:
    Export-Mailbox –Identity -PSTFolderPath
    Note: Make sure that your path for your destination PSF is pre-created…

I think this pretty much documents several several hours of my life.

Happy codding