I wanted to test out the new PST Capture tool, http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/01/30/pst-time-to-walk-the-plank.aspx, specifically for migrating PST content to an Exchange Online mailbox. I recently setup my lab environment with a Hybrid Office 365 deployment.

First off the documentation for the tool, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh781036.aspx, from the documentation the tool actually has three components:

  • PST Capture Central Service At the heart of PST Capture is the PST Capture Central Service. The Central Service maintains the list of all PST files found in your organization and manages the data as it’s moved to the Exchange servers or Exchange Online.
  • PST Capture Agent Discovery of the PST files is performed by PST Capture agents that are installed on computers in your organization. The agents also send the PST files they find to the host computer when an import operation is started on the PST Capture Console.
  • PST Capture Console The PST Capture Console is the interface you use to configure PST searches, specify the target mailboxes for PST files, and track the status of PST import operations and reports. You can also use the console to import PST files stored on network attached storage (NAS) devices, on which you can’t install PST agents.

I am going to install the PST Capture Central Service and PST Capture Console on my Exchange 2010 SP2 server. Well after reading the requirements for the Central Service and Console, from the download location for the tool: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=28767, it states that Outlook 2010 x64 is required. So I really don’t want to put Outlook on my Exchange server, so why not the DC? J Hey it is a lab so what the hey! Here are my install screen shots, after I installed Office 2010 x64 and patched it up on my DC.

[Note from the Download site: Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise]

Launching the PSTCapture.msi

Ensure you read the EULA fully and agree

Select the installation directory

I created a Service Account, svc-PSTTool and added it as an Organization Management group for full Exchange permissions. This is overkill and will most likely not be needed in my environment as I will be importing the PST contents to an Exchange Online Mailbox but the Documentation states if I am going to import the PST content to an on-premise mailbox the account needs to be added to the Organization Management group. The account also needs to be a local admin on the server that the Capture Central Service is being installed on, since I am installing on a DC I added the group to the Administrators group of the domain. For most installation you will just need to add to the Local Administrators group on the server you are installing on.

Review the installation options and install


So when I hit the Start button I saw the "PST Capture" with a cool icon available to launch (this can also be found by going to All Programs, Microsoft Exchange)


Launching the tool

Selecting the "New PST Search…" I then selected my lone client computer in my domain

At the next screen I left the defaults in place, but was a little amused that a directory d:\myPSTs was an example of a directory to ignore J

The next screen offers the chance to run manually or schedule the scan

So at this screen, I notice that the Service Console will not remotely install the PST Capture Agent on the remote computers.

After reading more from the documentation and going to this link, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh781033.aspx I see that I need to manually install the PST Capture Agent on all machines that I want to scan for PSTs. In an Enterprise Environment I would utilize SCCM to push the client out to all computers, or at a minimum a GPO to push the client. I went ahead and manually installed the PST Capture Agent on my Win 7 Workstation computer, from the download link, http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=28767 PST Capture Agent install steps below:

Launching the PSTCaptureAgent.Msi on the Workstation

Accepted the EULA

Choose the installation directory

Enter in the Capture Central Service Server name, I accepted the default Port so I don’t have to reconfigure in the Console in the future

Review and install


So I went back to the DC where my Capture Central Service is installed and cancelled the "New PST Search…" wizard and started over, Notice now the Green Check Mark for my workstation machine in the Agent Detected column

Again accepted the defaults

Again kept the manual search option

Now I do not see the warning about no client installed

Now back to the PST Capture Tool Console, I highlighted my Workstation machine and selected the Search All Now Button

As you can see below the Search is in progress

So after the scan finished I again selected the server and the PST that was found and then clicked on New Import List and select Cloud Import and went to the new tab created "Cloud Import List"

Prior to uploading the PST to a cloud mailbox you need to configure the settings. Selecting Tools, Settings and then filling out the credentials and the Exchange Server Name, documentation here, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh781032.aspx (for cloud based mailboxes here is how to find the server name, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc188651.aspx#FindTheServerSettings) So I found the information and complete the Online Connection Settings

Reviewing more of the Settings options, here is the Message Import settings

Archive Mailbox settings, this is to directly import the PST to the Online Archive mailbox attached to primary mailbox

The Non-mail Items settings

The Staging area Settings, this configures the location to copy the PST file to the Capture Central Service Server prior to migrating to the mailbox

Import tolerance settings, think of this as a threshold to cancel the migration if too many items fail

And the General Settings, for you know, general things

So I ended the Settings dialog box and back to the main screen

In the main console I clicked on the link to Set Mailbox for the PST (highlighted above). The dialog popup shows the available mailboxes to migrate the contents of the PST, I select James McNeill’s mailbox

Again back to the main screen and you can see now that my discovered PST is associated with the mailbox for importing

Next up, hit the big "Import All Now" Button above and then the Import starts

Above you can see the import is in progress and can be stopped by hitting the "Stop Import" button, below another view during the import process

And below show a completed, successful import. (This took about 2 minutes to complete for my 2.2MB PST)

So I logged into the jmcneill account for Office 365 and launched Outlook (OWA). Below you can see the PST was added as a folder in the first screen shot and in the second the calendar entries available in the Calendar view!


So there you have the tool, and I ensure you no smoke and mirrors tricks were used in the making of this post. I hope this post helps you understand the PST Capture Tool that Microsoft release earlier this week. As always please let me know via the comments if you have any questions or need additional info.