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Environment

Netmail 6.x

Synopsis

This article will explain how to import Microsoft PST files into Netmail Archive.  For the purposes of this article, PST import refers to preparing PST files for archiving and then converting them to Netmail's XML format during the archiving process.  For example, you may have existing data in PST format that you wish to import and make available in Netmail Search.

Solution

The import process is a 2-step procedure.  First the PSTs must be filed into appropriately-named folders, and then an archive job must be run to convert them into XML.  The folders containing the PSTs must match identically to the audit folder name of the user which will receive that data.  Since PSTs are not locked to an owner, this method is the only way Netmail Archive can use to ascertain whose data it is.  It is recommend that the administrator file the PSTs manually using the audit folder structure as a guide, but if the number of PSTs is great then the Utility Agent may be of assistance.

The Utility agent can be used to prepare the folder structure in the first step of the process. Note that a Utility job does not actually perform the import but instead organizes the PSTs for their subsequent conversion by the archive job.  To do this, the Utility job creates a series of folders that will receive PST file(s) for each owner of the files.  Ownership of a PST file is determined by the job in a best-effort manner by scanning the items therein and identifying the most probable owner.  If a clear owner can't be identified, the PST is filed into a folder called "Unknown".  

Scenarios where this can occur include:

  • Empty PSTs
  • PSTs which have been used by multiple users
  • PSTs with no email (ie. only Calendar or other item types)
  • Corrupt PSTs

It is recommended that Microsoft's ScanPST.exe be run against PSTs before any job, in order to obtain the best results.  This tool is included with every installation of Outlook.

The folder structure that will be created is shown in the following example (alternatively, refer to the audit folders of your archive storage repository):

C:\PSTImports\UserID@UserID.SERVER.domain

Important note: The folder name must match exactly the audit folder name, including upper & lower case letters.

 

You will need to create a new Storage Device for the PST location. This can be done in the Archiving -> Storage tab. Create a new Storage Device that points to the path containing the PSTs (ie. "C:\PSTImports" in the example above).

Next you will want to create an archive job. Normally, archive jobs default to using Exchange mailboxes as their source.  On the Criteria tab you can change the source by checking the PST option and choose the Storage Location.

Returning to the first tab, you may now select the users you wish to archive.  The "users" displayed now are simply the folders created above containing the PSTs.

Run the job.

 Important note: Before running this job, ensure that PST files are not password protected, encrypted, or in use by another program such as Outlook.

 

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  1. Remember that all PST operations in Netmail (eg. import or export) require 32-bit Outlook installed on the servers which will run the jobs.  Outlook 2013 & 2016 have traditionally provided the best results.

    The PST files are generated locally in the nodes' \TEMP folder during job operation, and then copied to the specified destination when the thread completes.