XADM: Some Questions and Answers About the Exmerge Utility

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SUMMARY

This article contains information about some questions that you may need to ask when you run the Exmerge utility (the Exchange Server Mailbox Merge utility) on Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 or Microsoft Windows 2000 Server. The following questions are addressed:
  • What are the conditions I need to meet to run Exmerge successfully?
  • What are the possible uses of Exmerge?
  • What is Exmerge able to do and what is Exmerge unable to do?
  • How do I extract all the mail from a damaged private information store and create a new private information store with the extracted mail?
  • What is the advantage of being able to extract only specific mail from a private information store, either by date, subject, or attachment name?
  • How do I extract only specific mail from a private information store?
  • Where can I obtain additional information about running Exmerge?

MORE INFORMATION

What Are the Conditions I Need to Meet to Run Exmerge Successfully?

  • You can run the Exmerge utility against a remote Exchange Server computer. However, you must have Exchange Server or at least the Exchange Server Administrator program installed on the computer that you run Exmerge on.
  • The account that you use to log on must have Service Account Administrator permissions at the organization, site, and configuration levels of the Administrator program.
  • You need enough disk space on the drive that contains the Priv.edb database for the Priv.edb database to possibly double in size. This growth occurs because you lose single-instance storage, which is the ability to store a mail item that is addressed to several recipients as one mail item with pointers to each recipient instead of as a mail item for each recipient.
  • You also need enough disk space for the personal folders (.pst) files that Exmerge creates. By default, the .pst files are created on the drive that you run Exmerge from, but you can specify that the .pst files be created on another drive if necessary.
  • You must have the correct version of Exmerge. With Exchange Server 4.0 and 5.0, use Exmerge version 2.0. With Exchange Server 5.5, as of June 2000, use Exmerge 3.71.
  • Allot enough time for Exmerge to run. Depending on hardware and other considerations, the average time for Exmerge step 1 is from 45 minutes to 1 hour for each gigabyte (GB). For Exmerge step 2, the average time is from 1 to 2 hours for each GB.

What Are the Possible Uses of Exmerge?

  • You can use Exmerge to extract mail from a damaged private information store. Exmerge puts this mail into .pst files that you can import back into an undamaged private information store.
  • You can use Exmerge to locate and remove a specific e-mail message from the private information store (for example, virus mail).
  • You can use Exmerge to migrate users between different organizations and sites by copying the users' mail to .pst files that you can then import into the new organization or site.
  • You can use Exmerge to extract folder rules.
  • In some situations, you can even use Exmerge as a brick-level backup agent, although Exmerge does not have the ability to write the data to a backup tape.

What Is Exmerge Able to Do and What Is Exmerge Unable to Do?

  • Exmerge merges server-based rules on Exchange Server 5.0 or later, but clients must re-enable the rules after the merge. To re-enable the rules after the merge, click to select the check box for each rule in the Rules Wizard (on the Tools menu).
  • Exmerge 3.71 does support the Microsoft Outlook Calendar, Contacts, Journal, Notes, and Tasks. Exmerge 3.71 also supports folder rules and views in Exchange Server 5.0 and later. (Earlier versions of Exmerge may not support all these items.)
  • Exmerge 3.71 does not support Microsoft Schedule+ data.

How Do I Extract All the Mail From a Damaged Private Information Store and Create a New Private Information Store with the Extracted Mail?

  1. Create a folder called Exmerge on your Exchange Server computer desktop.
  2. Copy or unzip the following files into the Exmerge folder: Exmerge.exe, Exmerge.ini, and Mfc42.dll.
  3. Double-click Exmerge.exe.
  4. Click Two step merge.
  5. Click Step 1: Copy Data to Personal Folders.
  6. Type the name of the Exchange Server computer.
  7. Click Options.
  8. Click the Data tab, and then click to select the User Messages and Folders, Associated Folder Messages, and Folder Permissions check boxes. (Clicking to select the Dumpster Items check box is optional.)
  9. On the rest of the tabs, leave the default settings. Click Apply, and then click OK.
  10. Click All Mailboxes, and then click Next.
  11. Note the number of mailboxes that are selected, the free disk space available, and the disk space required, and then click Next.
  12. It is recommended that you leave the default folder as C:\Exmergedata; however, you can change the location if necessary. Click Next.
  13. Exmerge merges mailboxes to .pst files.

    NOTE: If Exmerge stops responding (hangs) on a mailbox, the mailbox is too corrupted to merge to a .pst file. Click the next mailbox and continue the process.
  14. Stop the information store.
  15. Remove the Priv.edb database from the X:\Exchsrvr\Mdbdata folder, and then place the Priv.edb database in a backup folder. Also remove all .log and .chk files from the Mdbdata folders on all drives, and then move those .log and .chk files to a backup folder.

    IMPORTANT: Do not remove the Pub.edb database.
  16. Start the information store to create a new Priv.edb database.
  17. Send a test message to all server recipients or to the global address list.
  18. Double-click Exmerge.exe.
  19. Click Two step merge.
  20. Click Step 2: Merge Data from Personal Folders.
  21. Type your Exchange Server computer name, and then click Options.
  22. Click the Data tab, and then click to select the User messages and Folders, Associated Folder Messages, and Folder Permissions check boxes. (Clicking to select the Dumpster Items check box is optional.)
  23. On the rest of the tabs, leave the default settings. Click Apply, and then click OK.
  24. Click All Mailboxes, and then click Next.
  25. Leave the default folder as C:\Exmergedata, and then click Next.
  26. Proceed with the merge.
NOTE: Offline folder (.ost) file users must convert their .ost file to a .pst file before those users can connect to the new private information store. The .ost files are profile-specific and can only be used with a single profile. When the location of the mailbox that the profile points to changes as a result of creating a new Priv.edb, the user can never gain access to that mail again.

What Is the Advantage of Being Able to Extract Only Specific Mail From a Private Information Store, Either by Date, Subject, or Attachment Name?

  • You can use this process to remove sensitive data from the private information store that was accidentally distributed by an Exchange Server user.
  • You can use this process to remove e-mail messages or file attachments that are infected with a virus from the private information store.

How Do I Extract Only Specific Mail From a Private Information Store?

  1. Log on by using the Exchange Server service account.
  2. Create a folder called Exmerge on your Exchange Server computer desktop.
  3. Copy or unzip the following files into the Exmerge folder: Exmerge.exe, Exmerge.ini, and Mfc42.dll.
  4. Double-click Exmerge.exe.
  5. Click Two step merge.
  6. Click Step 1: Copy Data to Personal Folders.
  7. Type your Exchange Server computer name, and then click Options.
  8. Click the Data tab, and then click User messages.
  9. Click the Import Procedure tab, and then click Archive data to target store (this copies the selected data to .pst files and then deletes the data from the Exchange Server mailbox).
  10. Click the Message Details tab, enter the subject of the message or the name of the attachment that you want to remove, and then click Add. Click Apply, and then click OK.
  11. On the Dates tab, you can also select a specific date or range of dates or times to narrow your search.

    NOTE: All dates and times are selected by default.
  12. Click All Mailboxes or select the affected mailboxes if you can identify them, and click Next.
  13. If possible, leave the default folder as C:\Exmergedata, and then click Next.

    NOTE: It is not recommended that you change the default folder, but you may need to change the default folder because of free disk space limitations.
  14. Exmerge moves the specified messages to a .pst file.
  15. When the merge is finished, open a few mailboxes to make sure that the messages have been removed.
NOTE: The selected messages are not removed from the system attendant mailbox as a safety measure. You must manually delete these messages.

Where Can I Obtain Additional Information About Running Exmerge?

For additional information about running Exmerge, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
260037 XADM: How to Remove a Message from Exchange by Using the ExMerge Utility
174197 XADM: Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Merge Program (Exmerge.exe) Information

Properties

Article ID: 265441 - Last Review: October 28, 2006 - Revision: 3.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto KB265441
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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