Exmerge and NT

So, lesson for y'all!

When you are running exmerge on an NT box with Exchange 5.5, here's how it works:

You give it the list of boxes you want out, and it then exports each box to a PST file wherever you want it to go.

The hidden catch is: It removes the data from the Exchange store, and creates a PST file! So say you just want to test the utility, but not do anything, while it's functioning users are losing Outlook data left right and centre! Crazy fun times.

Also, when you try to exmerge a user's mailbox that is larger than 2GB, exmerge crashes. If you restart exmerge, everything you took out prior to that will be overwritten (since you say 'sure, why not start from scratch'), but since you didn't know that exmerge removes the data from the Exchange store, you are effectively deleting all their emails. It's awesome.

So then, after you've tried restarting the exmerge process a few times (deleting all users' emails earlier in line than the 2GB+ user), you give up and move on with a new exmerge starting after that user.

This is fine, except then you find out all the users are losing their mailbox content and decide to reverse the process, and discover the above. Fancy!

Anyways, in summary:

- Exmerge for 5.5 does not allow for duplicate copies of the mailbox, so deletes the source once exported.
- You cannot have a PST file larger than 2GB, even when exmerging.
- Users will continue to send/receive email even though their mailbox has been effectively deleted from the store, making your restore process much more complicated than it needed to be two days out from a major migration.

To note, the 2003 exmerge creates copies when it exports to PST, hence the confusion when this happened.


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