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Microsoft Exchange Server 2003: Configuring Recipient Objects (part 8) - Moving Mailboxes with the Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Merge Wizard

2/10/2011 5:24:15 PM
Moving Mailboxes with the Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Merge Wizard

The Exchange Task Wizard is useful for moving a small number of mailboxes within the same organization, but it isn’t designed to move mailboxes in bulk or to move mailboxes across Exchange organizations. For these tasks, use the Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Merge Wizard.

The Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Merge Wizard is not installed by default with Exchange Server 2003. You must copy Exmerge.exe and Exmerge.ini from the installation CD to the \Exchsrvr\Bin folder on your Exchange server. Once you do this, start Exmerge.exe. When you start the wizard and pass the Welcome page, you are given the choice of a one-step or a two-step merge process, as shown in Figure 25.

Figure 25. The Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Merge Wizard


There are some considerations when using the Mailbox Merge Wizard. The process exports mailbox data out to personal storage files (.pst files), then imports them into the same mailboxes on another server. In the process, the Single Instance Storage feature of Exchange, where a message is stored once and referenced by pointers to as many mailboxes as contain the message, is lost. Each migrated mailbox will have a copy of every message it contained, which can increase the size of the mailbox store considerably.

1.
Select the Extract And Import (One-Step Procedure) option, and click Next to continue.

2.
Next, you are prompted to select a Source Server, as shown in Figure 26.

Figure 26. Selecting the source server


3.
You can control the behavior of the mailbox merge procedure by clicking Options after entering the source server name. You will be presented with multiple pages that allow you to configure different aspects of the merge.

4.
The options you can configure are as follows:

  • Data— The Data page allows you to control how much data you migrate. The default setting, User Messages And Folders, shown in Figure 27, migrates only user messages and folders. If you want to migrate additional items, such as the user’s dumpster items (items held by the Deleted Item Retention period) or folder permissions, you can select the appropriate options.

    Figure 27. The Data page

  • Import Procedure— The Import Procedure page, shown in Figure 28, allows you to define how the data should be written to the destination mailbox store. You can copy the data to the target store (which could create duplicate items), merge the data, replace existing data, or archive the data (deletes it from the source store after copying).

    Figure 28. The Import Procedure page

  • Folders— The Folders page, shown in Figure 29, allows you to configure what folders are processed in the migration. By default, all folders in a mailbox are migrated, though you can choose to limit the migration to specific folders or to exclude certain folders.

    Figure 29. The Folders page

  • Dates— On the Dates page, shown in Figure 30, you can select messages between specific dates and times to be migrated. This is useful if you have users who have years worth of e-mail, tasks, and calendar items saved, and you wish to keep only items dating back to a certain date. The default is to migrate everything, regardless of date.

    Figure 30. The Dates page

  • Message Details— The Message Details page, shown in Figure 31, allows you to extract items based on message subjects or attachment names. This is especially useful if you are working with a very large mailbox, and you want to extract only specific types of messages.

    Figure 31. The Message Details page

5.
After configuring your options, click OK, and then click Next to continue the wizard. This brings you to the Destination Server page, shown in Figure 32.

Figure 32. Selecting the destination server for the migrated mailboxes


6.
Type the name of the destination server for the migration, and then click Next to continue the wizard. The Mailbox Selection page, shown in Figure 33, opens, and you can choose the mailboxes you want to migrate. Select the mailboxes you want to migrate, and then click Next.

Figure 33. Selecting the specific mailboxes to be migrated


7.
Next, you are prompted to choose the default locale for the target mailboxes. If your destination is in the same country, such as the United States, then you probably have only a single locale in your Exchange organization. If you are moving the mailboxes to a server in a different locale, select the one that is appropriate from the drop-down list, and then click Next.

8.
Next, choose a folder on the Exchange server to store the temporary .pst files used during the migration process. When you select a folder, you will see the amount of disk space required and how much space the drive containing the selected folder contains, as shown in Figure 34.

Figure 34. Selecting a folder to store the temporary .pst files used in the migration


9.
Before the migration process begins, you will have the option to save the settings for use at a later date. This is useful if you want to run the migration later as part of a batch and not have to redefine all the settings. After you decide whether to save your settings, click Next to start the migration. A Process Status window will display, showing you vital statistics about the migration, including the elapsed time and how many successes and failures have occurred. When the operation completes, you can click Finish to exit. If there were any errors, an ExMerge.log file will be created in your \Exchsrvr\Bin folder. You can view it to see what went wrong in the process.
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