Microsoft PST Capture Tool (Part 2)

by [Published on 3 May 2012 / Last Updated on 3 May 2012]

In this article series we are exploring the new PST Capture Tool from Microsoft. The author will now look into how to install and configure it to work with an on-premise Exchange environment and Office 365.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

Installation

As I mentioned in the first part of this series, 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.

  1. In the folder where you downloaded the .msi files for the PST Capture tool, double click PSTCapture.msi. This opens the Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Setup wizard.
  2. On the Welcome screen, click Next.


Figure 2.1: Console Installation - Welcome

  1. On the End-User License Agreement screen, tick the “I accept the terms in the License Agreement” box and then click Next.


Figure 2.2:
Console Installation - End-User License Agreement

  1. On the Destination Folder screen, chose the folder where you want to install the PST Capture Console and then click Next.


Figure 2.3:
Console Installation - Destination Folder

  1. 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 2.4:
Console Installation – Service Account

  1. On the Ready to install Microsoft Exchange PST Capture screen, review your installation choices and then click Install.


Figure 2.5:
Console Installation – Ready to Install

  1. When the installation completes, click Finish to close the Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Setup wizard.


Figure 2.6:
Console Installation Completed

You should now see a new Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Service service installed:


Figure 2.7:
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?

If you administer a large organization, it will be hard to manually install the agent on all your clients. Because the installation file is packaged within an MSI file, you can use tools such as System Center Configuration Manager, Group Policy or scripts to easily deploy it. As it allows for silent installation, you can use the following command to automatically deploy agents:

MSIexec /i \\<file_share>\PSTCaptureAgent_x86.msi /q CENTRALSERVICEHOST=<server_ip> SERVICEPORT=6674

Just make sure you replace <server_ip> with the IP address of your PST Capture host computer and use the correct package depending on the CPU architecture of your clients (86 or 64 bits).

To manually install agents, follow these steps:

  1. In the folder where you downloaded the .msi files for the PST Capture Tool, double click PSTCaptureAgent.msi or PSTCaptureAgent_x86.msi. This opens the Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Agent Setup wizard.
  2. On the welcome screen, click Next.


Figure 2.8:
Agent Installation - Welcome

  1. On the End-User License Agreement screen, tick the “I accept the terms in the License Agreement” box and then click Next.


Figure 2.9:
Agent Installation - End-User License Agreement

  1. On the Destination Folder screen, chose the folder where you want to install the agent and then click Next.


Figure 2.10:
Agent Installation - Destination Folder

  1. On the PST Central Service screen, specify the following and then click Next:
  • Server: type the name or FQDN of the host computer where the PST Capture Console is installed. In this case, I will be installing it on a Windows 7 workstation;
  • Port: type the port that the PST Central Service is configured to use (6674 by default). If you want to use a different port, you will have to modify the PST Central Service configuration (we will see how later in this article).


Figure 2.11:
Agent Installation – PST Central Service computer

  1. On the Ready to install Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Agent screen, review your installation choices and then click Install.


Figure 2.12:
Agent Installation – Ready to Install

  1. When the installation completes, click Finish to close the Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Agent Setup wizard.


Figure 2.13:
Agent Installation Completed

You should now see a new Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Agent Service service installed.


Figure 2.14:
PST Capture Agent Service

Configuration

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 2.15:
PST Capture Console main window

The first options screen available refers to Online Connection Settings - how we connect to BPOS or Office 365:

  • Username: this is the username the tool will use to import PSTs to your mailboxes. Remember, if importing to Office 365, this account must be assigned the Organization Management role and if importing to BPOS, Exchange Online Administrator permissions;
  • Password: type the password for the account mentioned above;
  • Grant delegate access to this mailbox: this option allows the PST Capture to grant the specified user account Full Access permissions to the mailboxes to which PSTs will be imported to (be aware that these permissions are not removed after the import!). If you don’t select this option, you will need to grant Full Access permissions manually;
  • Server: this is the server the tool will connect to for importing PST files. To determine what your server is in Office 365, login to Outlook Web App and then click in Options > See All Options > Account > My Account > Settings for POP, IMAP, and SMTP access;
  • The above is an Office 365 server: select this option if you are importing data into mailboxes in Office 365. If you are importing into BPOS, clear this check box.
  • Check password and connectivity: use this to verify that you can successfully connect to BPOS/Office 365. If all goes well as in the screenshot below, the OK button will be enabled:


Figure 2.16:
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 2.17:
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 behaviour of the tool when a user is not enabled for archiving):


Figure 2.18:
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 2.19:
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 2.20:
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 2.21:
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 2.22:
Settings – General

Conclusion

In this article we saw how to install the PST Capture Console and Agents, and how to configure the tool. In the next part we will start searching and importing PST files.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

Featured Links