Coming Soon: PST Capture Tool

As we like to say here on EHLO, we’re always listening for feedback on what we're doing well and what we could be doing better for you. As more and more of you evaluate and deploy the email archiving, retention and discovery capabilities of Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Online, we understand that Personal Folders (.pst files) remain a challenge for you. You have told us that having the ability to search your network to discover and then import .pst files across your environment is critical, and that you need an admin-driven and straightforward tool for doing these things.

We're excited to announce that later this year we'll be adding a new tool to our already rich portfolio of planning and deployment tools. This new tool, PST Capture, will be downloadable and free, and will enable you to discover .pst files on your network and then import them into both Exchange Online (in Office 365) and Exchange Server 2010 on-premises. PST Capture will be available later this year. It doesn’t replace the New-MailboxImportRequest cmdlet that exists already for importing known .pst files into Exchange Server, but instead works in parallel to enable you to embark on a systematic search and destroy mission to rid yourself of the dreaded .pst scourge <*pirate growl*>.

We'll make more details available as we approach the release of the tool, but given the high demand for this capability, we wanted to let you know that we are working on this for you.

As always, keep the feedback coming!

Ankur Kothari
Exchange Team

Comments (31)
  1. John Weber says:

    Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Matey!  Let's have it!

  2. Gulab says:

    Great news, hoping to get hand on it soon!

    Any idea when it's coming?

  3. Bharat Suneja [MSFT] says:

    @Gulab: As indicated in the post – "later this year" :)

    We'll post here as we have more details to share.

  4. Paul Bendall says:

    Great news this will be a worthy addition to the toolset. Hopefully we'll also see more options in the archiving and retention policies as we either get SP3 or Wave 15 of Exchange

    For those looking for a solution of how to get emails out of a stub based archiving solution and back into Exchange mailboxes have a look at Vault Solutions. We spent months trying to find a solution to the situation and even reaching out to Microsoft drew a blank. Then we found this small company. Evaluate it yourself and make your own conclusion

  5. Matt E says:

    Time will tell to see if it can actually compete with some of the third party tools out there? PST Accelerator is definitely the best tool out there for this at the moment. We've used it to clear up terabytes of PST's in our org. Really recommended.

  6. Mzerma Amine says:

    We are waiting for it … With pleasure ..! if your need "testers" put it on Connect and I'll be with You all the Hollidays, working … Interresting subject i'd like to work on :)

  7. This is great news, looking forward to seeing it.

  8. Doron says:

    Most of my customers are asking for a tool that will be able to search client machines and report PST files.

    Any thoughts on that?

  9. Neil B says:

    Sounds like a great tool.

    Will it allow discover and import with Exchange 2007 or will it only support Exchange 2010?

  10. Robert Anderson says:

    Sounds good but will it find all PST files?  Those stored on users machines are just as important.  We used a free utility called "PST Manager" to help on this front.

  11. This is great news, but is it going to repair corrupted PST files? This is the biggest problem in our case, as PSTs were stored on file shares (unsupported, I know…) and the process of syncing made some corruptions within the files so the new-mailboximportrequest is failing.

  12. Paul Hawkins says:

    Big thumbs up to the PST Capture Tool!

  13. Ratish Nair says:

    Search for PST's

    Give an output containing LOGON Name | PST Name | PST Location | Size in GB

    Copy the folder structure in PST and automatically create in Archive mailbox

    Import all contents and Outlook rules (move to PST type) to Archive mailbox

    Close the PST Gracefully and enforce the GP to block PST's

    This is my dream PST product… :-)

    Ratish Nair

  14. David G. says:

    Thats a great news :-)

  15. DavidJCarr says:

    This is good news for us who still have to deal with PSTs

  16. Ken P says:

    How's about just getting rid of the PST file format on Windows systems.  OL2011 for Mac uses a file system based mail archive like so many other tools.  It's fine on the server using a DB of your choice, but on local computers the PST file becomes so big it makes it difficult for backups, indexing, corporations that want to use cloud based backup tools / virtual desktops, etc.

    If it was file based it can fix some of these problems…if people still happen to use PST's.  

    Any chance something like that is coming in the future?

  17. HereToHelp says:

    Bravo to Exchange Team!!

    You guys are just making exchange more and more irresistible :)

    this is one tool I have been looking for a while. thank you!!

  18. Ashwini Kumar says:

    Yeah, This is gonna to be really great, & reducing administrator job !

  19. This is great news!  Will we see this in Exchange 2010 SP2 or (hopefully) sooner?

  20. @Robert Anderson – PST Capture will do network discovery of PSTs on your users' machines. We know this is one of your biggest challenges with data archival and backup, so it was a top priority for this tool.

    @Jeff – This tool will not ship as part of an SP but rather as a separately downloadable tool, freely available on Download Center.  We'll update you on availability as soon as we are confident in our schedule.

  21. John Quinn says:

    I tried posting this earlier but not sure why it would not go up. Here goes again. We searched and found a tool that does network and desktop PST's and it has been working for us. It is called Mail Attender from Sherpa and has allowed us to get to all of our tough to reach desktop PST's. Try for yourself and make your own conclusion.

  22. Great, keep posting…

  23. Jason says:

    We implemented Email Retention (Ex 2007) in 2010 and immediately set all PSTs to Read-only.  The plan was to purge PSTs in 2012.  Any chance you could add the purge functionality in this tool, or possibly allow copy of PST to another location?  We want to eliminate PSTs completely.


  24. Eric says:

    Any updates on the availability of this tool? I'm doing a Server Std -> SBS migration in a couple of weeks and this would save me a lot of time

  25. Greg H says:

    Will this feature include an option to disable creation of new PSTs once all PSTs have been exported to Exchange (similar to other PST import tools).

  26. Bharat Suneja [MSFT] says:

    @Greg: You can disable creation of PSTs using
    group policy setting, available in
    Office 2010 Admin Templates
    , or using a registry entry. Details in
    Plan for compliance and archiving in Outlook 2010

  27. SL says:

    Stop teasing us! When can we have it? It would greatly help during our mail migration.

  28. nick says:

    Will it be able to copy PSTs at certain times? It would be nice to specify times when you know are free from reboots, backups, busy periods etc and then have them ready for import later quickly. Also can you specify multiple credentials for multiple and individual computers for discovery/access?

  29. Rahulscm says:

    When we can aspect on portal.

  30. PST H8TR says:

    Nice, only like 10 years late.

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