PST Capture 2.0 is used to discover and import Outlook Personal Folder (.pst) File Format files into Exchange Server and Exchange Online. PST Capture helps an organization that wishes to gain more control over their email data repositories by placing them into Exchange. By optionally installing PST Capture Agents on target machines, administrators can determine where .pst files are located and who their file owner is via the PST Capture Console. Administrators can import .pst files via Import Lists to Exchange Server or Exchange Online. Data can be directly imported into the primary mailbox or associated archive mailbox.
PST Capture tool that allows you to hunt down PST files on client computers across your network. After it finds PST files on users’ computers, the tool consolidates the PST files to a central location, and then easily injects PST data to primary or archive mailboxes on your on-premises Exchange Servers or Exchange Online.
What’s new in PST Capture 2.0?
PST Capture 2.0 includes the following improvements:
Download PST Capture 2.0 from the Download Center (aka.ms/getpstcapture), check out the PST Capture documentation (aka.ms/pstcapture) and then go get those PSTs!
How to install and configure it to work with an on-premise Exchange environment and Office 365
The PST Capture Tool is made of the Console (which includes the Central Service) and one or more Agents. First, let’s start by downloading the tool and installing the PST Capture Console.
Figure 1: Console Installation - Welcome
3. On the End-User License Agreement screen, tick the “I accept the terms in the License Agreement” box and then click Next.
Figure 2: Console Installation - End-User License Agreement
4. On the Destination Folder screen, chose the folder where you want to install the PST Capture Console and then click Next.
Figure 3: Console Installation - Destination Folder
5. On the Service account screen, specify the user name and password for the service account that you want the Central Service to use to import PST files (refer to the Permissions table in the first article of this series) and then click Next.
Figure 4: Console Installation – Service Account
6. On the Ready to install Microsoft Exchange PST Capture screen, review your installation choices and then click Install.7. When the installation completes, click Finish to close the Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Setup wizard.
Figure 5: Console Installation Completed
You should now see a new Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Service service installed:
Figure 6: PST Capture Service
As I mentioned before, you can manually specify the file names of PSTs to import, thus overcoming the need for an agent. However, one of the main purposes of this tool is to help with the discovery of e-mail data (in this case PSTs) in your organization. After all, do you know exactly where all the PSTs are on your network?
Before we start looking for PST files and importing them into Exchange, let’s first have a look at the available configuration options by clicking on Tools and then Settings in the main window:
Figure 7: PST Capture Console main window
The first options screen available refers to Online Connection Settings - how we connect to Office 365:
Figure 8: Settings – Online Connection
On the Message Import Settings screen, we can specify whether to import PSTs to a new folder at the root of the mailbox, or to another folder of our choice. We can also chose a name for the folder or create it with the same name of the PST file. Finally, we decide what to do in case a folder or subfolders already exists:
Figure 9: Settings – Message Import
Next, we have Archive Mailbox Settings which allows us to select where to import PSTs to. By default none of the boxes are ticked and, as such, PSTs are imported to the user’s “normal” mailbox. I am guessing most organizations will use this tool so they can import PST files directly to users’ archive mailboxes so I ticked the first box. This way, PSTs will only be imported if users are enabled for archiving (probably not the best option, but it will allow us to test the behavior of the tool when a user is not enabled for archiving):
Figure 10: Settings – Archive Mailbox
In Non-mail Items Settings we decide if we want to import non-mail items, meaning calendar items, contacts, tasks, notes and journal items. If in the Message Import Settings page I hadn’t selected the Create a subfolder for each PST file check box, non-mail items will be placed in their respective folder. For example, contacts will be placed in the Contacts folder and meetings in the Calendar folder.
Figure 11: Settings – Non-mail Items
To specify where all PSTs should temporarily be kept while being imported, as well as the maximum size of the folder that will hold them, we use the Staging Area Settings screen. The maximum size for the folder doesn’t have to be huge as after every successful or failed import, PSTs are automatically deleted.
Figure 12: Settings – Staging Area
The next option is similar to the –BadItemsLimit parameter when exporting or moving mailboxes in Exchange – it sets the limit of failed items to be skipped before the import process is cancelled. If this box is cleared, the PST Capture tool will try to import PSTs regardless of how many errors it finds.
Figure 13: Settings – Import Tolerance
Finally, we get to the General Settings screen. This is where we can change the default port that agents and the console use to communicate and how often the agents poll information from the Central Service. In my case I left the default values as I am testing this in a lab environment. In production I would probably increase the PST Agent polling interval to 15 minutes or more.
Figure 14: Settings – General