This article describes how to take advantage of the improvements in the Move Mailbox tool in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.
What's new in the Move Mailbox tool
The new or improved functionality of the Move Mailbox tool in Exchange 2003 includes:
- Mailbox move from Exchange System Manager In Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, any work with mailbox objects had to be done from the Active Directory Users and Computers console. In Exchange 2003, Exchange Tasks can be run from Exchange System Manager. You can run Exchange Tasks on multiple mailboxes by using either the CTRL key or the SHIFT key to select the mailboxes that you want to move. You can select mailboxes in the right pane of Exchange System Manager when the Mailboxes node is selected in the left pane (under the specific mailbox store).
- Performance improvementsOne major improvement in Exchange 2003 is that the Move Mailbox task is now multithreaded. This feature means that you can move multiple mailboxes at the same time. This capability dramatically reduces the time that is required to move multiple mailboxes.
- ScheduleIn Exchange 2003, you can schedule mailbox moves to start at a certain time of the day (for example, during hours when users are logged off or the network is not as busy). Additionally, you can set the finish time so that the Move Mailbox task also stops on schedule. For example, you can configure to Exchange 2003 to move x number of mailboxes from 22:00 to 03:00 only.
If there are mailboxes that are being actively moved when the finish time arrives, all their messages are moved back to the source server, and the mailbox on the destination server is deleted. Essentially, the Move Mailbox operation for those mailboxes is rolled back instead of being completed. Any mailboxes that were moved before the finish time remain moved. Any mailboxes that were not moved before the finish time must be rescheduled and moved manually because the finish time includes time of the day and the date.
- How corrupted items are handledThe Exchange 2003 Move Mailbox tool has built-in functionality to handle possible corrupted items that are found during the mailbox move. The Move Mailbox tool can perform the following actions if corrupted items are found:
- Create a Failure Report This option notes in the final Move Mailbox report that the mailbox contains corrupted items. The mailbox is not moved.
- Skip Corrupted Items and Create a Failure Report This option skips any corrupted items that cannot be moved and moves the rest of the items. This option assumes that those corrupted items that cannot be moved will be deleted when this mailbox is moved. You can also define how many corrupted items to skip. For example, if you set this threshold to 5, and the Move Mailbox task encounters four corrupted messages, the mailbox move succeeds. If the Move Mailbox task encounters six corrupted messages, the mailbox move fails, and any messages that have been moved already are moved back to the source server. Additionally, the Move Mailbox tool always notes any problems in the final Move Mailbox report.
- ReportingAfter the Move Mailbox task is complete, you can choose to view the detailed log file of the Move Mailbox operation. The logs are saved in XML format to the following path:
systemdrive\Documents and Settings\profile name\My Documents\Exchange Task Wizard LogsThe Exchange 2003 SDK has XSL/HTA files that show how the format of XML reports can be changed to a more readable format.
Move Mailbox Q & AQ1: If the Move Mailbox tool is multithreaded, how many threads can it create at the same time? How many mailboxes can the Mailbox Move tool move at the same time?A1:
By default, the Move Mailbox tool creates four threads. Four mailboxes can be moved at the same time. Q2: Can the Move Mailbox tool move mailboxes between earlier versions of Exchange, or can it only move mailboxes to or from Exchange 2003?A2:
The Move Mailbox tool can move mailboxes from Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 (Exchange Server) to Exchange Server 2003, from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange 2000 Server, and from Exchange 2000 Server to Exchange 2000 Server. However, the new Mailbox Move functionality is only available in Exchange 2003. Therefore, you must initiate the mailbox move from the Exchange 2003 computer.Note
You can also initiate the mailbox move from a computer that has the Exchange 2003 Exchange System Manager installed.Q3: Can a mailbox move operation still be done from Exchange Tasks in Active Directory Users and Computers ?A3:
Yes, as long as Exchange 2003 Exchange System Manager is installed on the computer where the mailbox move is initiated.Q4: Can multiple instances of the Move Mailbox task be run at the same time?A4:
Each instance of the Move Mailbox task can run four threads. Depending on your server hardware and load, you may be able to run multiple instances of the Move Mailbox task at the same time. Microsoft recommends that you test this capability on a server-by-server basis.
How to use the Move Mailbox tool
This section provides an example of how to use the new functionality of the Move Mailbox tool.
- In Exchange 2003, start Exchange System Manager, select the mailboxes that you want to move (or select the users in Active Directory Users and Computers), and then click Exchange Tasks.
- When the Exchange Task Wizard appears, click Move Mailbox , and then click Next.
- Select the server and the mailbox store that you want to move the mailboxes to, and then click Next.
- Click the action that you want the Move Mailbox tool to take if corrupted items are encountered during the mailbox move, and then click Next.
- Select the start time and the finish time for the mailbox move, and then click Next.
- The mailbox move is now underway. Note that all the selected mailboxes are moved at the same time (the percent of messages that have been moved increases on all the selected mailboxes at the same time).
- After the mailbox move is complete, Exchange Task Wizard displays a summary of results of the task. If you want to view a detailed report of the Move Mailbox task, click to select the View detailed report when this wizard closes check box, and then click Finish.
To use Exchange 2003 management tools, the schema must be updated by installing an Exchange 2003 server. Or, if you are using Exchange 2003 ESM or ADUC without having installed an Exchange 2003 server, you need to run Exchange 2003 Setup by using the /forestprep
switch. If you do not update the schema, Move Mailbox will not work correctly.
For the latest information about Exchange 2003, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
More information about the Move Mailbox tool is also available in Exchange Server 2003 Help.