Exmerge is an excellent tool to use when working with importing and exporting from Microsoft Exchange Server. Most documentation points to the use of this tool when migrating from one Exchange serve to another. However another excellent use is for exporting data into a PST file for archiving. While there are excellent archiving tools for the enterprise space, as well as highly recommended archiving service providers, this is a great method for small businesses who want to retain terminated employee mails in a readable format, while removing the data from the Information Store.
This tool can be run against a single mailbox or multiple mailboxes. The documentation is clear and is almost unnecessary as it is very easy to use. However, here are the two most common problems that people encounter because they don’t read the directions:
- When you download the tool from the Microsoft website (here), you will have an exe which will extract the files anywhere you want. You must choose the ExchSRVR/BIN for the destination. It will throw a dapi.DLL error if you don’t.
- If the process runs very quickly, and results in small PST files, then you likely have a permissions error: see MS KB292509
There are a couple of other common, supported and documented purposes for this tool:
- Brick level backup of an Exchange Server (without the added cost of a third party plug in)
- Extracting data from the dumpster
- Extracting folder rules
- Extracting data from a damaged Private Information Store
- Removing particular messages from an Information Store
And a few other uses which are a natural use for the tools, not specifically documented, but easy to figure out:
- Archiving older e-mails (move data from IS to PST for last year, etc)
- Extracting particular messages (by subject line) for litigation purposes
- Importing PST from a previous POP3/IMAP implementation into the Exchange Server as part of a large migration project