XADM: Bulk Import/Export FAQ

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Article ID: 155414 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

The Microsoft Exchange Administrator program has the ability to import and export mailboxes, custom recipients, and Distribution Lists (DLs). This article covers the most frequently raised issues related to Bulk Import and Export.

MORE INFORMATION

Exporting mailbox data does not export all data fields
By default, the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program does not export all of the data fields associated with a mailbox, custom recipient, or DL. If you need a particular field that is not exported by default, the following are your two available methods:
  1. Create a header file that contains all of the headers that you want to export. You can do this in the following two ways:

    1. Use the Header.exe program in the Microsoft Exchange Resource Kit to create a file with the data field names that you want to export.
    2. Manually create a file with the data fields you want to export.


    To export all of the data fields associated with an object, instead of creating a header file with all the data field names, use one of the sample header files available on the Microsoft Exchange Server CD-ROM 4.0 in the Support\Samples\Csvs directory. There are subdirectories that contain header files for mailboxes, custom recipients, and DLs. Copy the relevant .CSV file from the CD to your hard drive, remove the Read-Only attribute on the file, and then run the Export command from the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program, specifying the file that you copied from the CD. The Export command will read all the headers in the file specified and will export those attributes.
  2. To export all of the data fields associated with an object, instead of creating a header file with all the data field names, use one of the sample header files available on the Microsoft Exchange Server CD-ROM 4.0 in the Support\Samples\Csvs directory. There are subdirectories that contain header files for mailboxes, custom recipients, and DLs. Copy the relevant .CSV file from the CD to your hard drive, remove the Read-Only attribute on the file, and then run the Export command from the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program, specifying the file that you copied from the CD. The Export command will read all the headers in the file specified and will export those attributes.
How to modify attributes using Bulk Import
You can use the Bulk Import program to modify attributes associated with mailboxes, custom recipients, and DLs. To modify the value of an attribute, export the existing data to a .CSV file, change the value of the attributes in the data file, and import the file. All existing objects will be modified with the new values.
How to modify the value of Custom Attributes
Each mailbox, custom recipient, and DL has 10 Custom Attributes that the administrator can use to specify custom data. These Custom Attributes can also be modified using the Directory Import program. There are 10 Custom Attributes which are named "Custom Attribute 1" through "Custom Attribute 10".

To change the value of a particular Custom Attribute for mailboxes, follow these steps (for Custom Attribute 1):
  1. Use Header.exe to create a header file (Cust.csv) with the required fields. Custom Attribute 1 should be included.
  2. From the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program, run the Directory Export command specifying the header file created in step 1. This will populate the header file with data.
  3. Edit the modified header file using a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel. Modify the values in the Custom Attribute 1 column.
  4. From the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program, run the Directory Import command specifying the header file modified in step 3. This will modify the Custom Attribute 1 field for all the objects that were exported in step 2.
Error Importing data into Custom Attributes
When you import data into a Custom Attribute, the following error is received:
The attribute Custom Attribute 1 is unknown
This error might be received if the Custom Attribute 1 has been renamed.

To determine what the Custom Attribute names currently are, follow these steps:
  1. In the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program, double click on the Configuration container.
  2. Get Properties of the DS Site Configuration object.
  3. Select the Custom Attributes page.
  4. The Custom Attributes names should be displayed. The names can also be renamed on this page.
How to clear data attributes using Bulk Import
Please refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

152854 XADM: Using Bulk Import to Remove Data

152727 XADM: Importing Blank Value Won't Modify Mailbox Value
Exporting mailbox information does not export the Secondary E-mail addresses
By default, the Secondary E-mail (Proxy) addresses are not exported. For information about how to export these addresses, please refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

153028 XADM: How to Export Multiple (Secondary) E-mail Addresses
How to import multiple E-mail addresses
The following Microsoft Knowledge Base article describes how to associate more than one E-mail address with a mailbox:

148339 XADM: How to Import Multiple SMTP Addresses
On exporting, Custom recipients are not exported
The following Microsoft Knowledge Base article describes a possible reason why the export only contains header fields:

147854 XADM: Custom Recipients DIR Export Creates Headers-Only CSV
How to run Import/Export in a batch mode
The directory import/export can be run from the command line and, therefore, can be run as part of a batch process. For more information on running import/export from the command line, please refer to Microsoft Exchange Administrator's Guide, pages 479-487.
How to specify the delimiter to be used
Please refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

152472 XADM: How to Specify a Tab or Space as Separator in .csv File
ExportObject entry in the options file not working
The following Microsoft Knowledge Base article provides more information about the ExportObject setting:

152300 XADM: ExportObject in Command-Line Export Options File Only
How to export the entire GAL using the command line Import program
The following Microsoft Knowledge Base article describes how to perform a command line Directory Export of the Global Address List (GAL) using the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program:

149447 XADM: How to Perform a Directory Export of the GAL
Issue with opening .CSV files containing Exchange DL data in Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Excel has a limit of 255 characters per cell. When you open a .CSV file containing DL data, it is very likely that the Members field, which contains the members of the DL, will be larger than 255 characters in length. If you use Microsoft Excel to modify the data in the .CSV file, when you save the file any field with more than 255 characters will be truncated. This could cause problems when this data is imported back into the Microsoft Exchange system via the Directory Import command. It is possible that the members of large DLs will not have all the original members that were present when the data was exported. It is also likely that sending mail to these DLs will generate errors.
How to export subcontainers
When you use the Directory Export command interactively from the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program, there is an Include Subcontainers check box on the Directory Export dialog. If this check box is set, subcontainers of the selected container will be exported.

When you run the Directory Export program from the command line, there is a setting in the Export Options file that you need to be set:
      [Export]
      Subcontainers=Yes
					
"Unable to process object"
When you import data from a .CSV file, the following error might be received in the Event Log:
Event ID: 291
Source: MSExchangeDSImp
Type: Error
Category: None
Description:
"Unable to process object TestUser because the import line must contain the same number of fields as the header line. 10 were expected, 8 were found."
As the error message indicates, this error is generated if the data supplied in the .CSV file is incomplete. In other words, if there are 10 fields specified in the header of the file, each record in the file should have 10 data fields, even if the fields are empty. This problem can easily occur if commas are missing from a line in the .CSV file. It may not be possible to detect this problem by viewing the data in Microsoft Excel because Microsoft Excel does not display the data delimiters (commas, in this case). You will need to update the .CSV file using a text editor like Notepad.

Properties

Article ID: 155414 - Last Review: October 28, 2006 - Revision: 3.3
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 kbusage KB155414
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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