Export Exchange 2003 Mailboxes Greater than 2GB

This content 6 years old. Please, read this page keeping its age in mind along with the fact technology changes fast and the information on this page me be outdated, not best practice, or plain wrong.

I’m preparing for a project that involves upgrading an existing Microsoft Exchange 2003 infrastructure to Exchange 2013.

There are about 50 mailboxes all varying in size. 70% of the mailboxes are less than 2GB. 15% of the mailboxes are 10GB or more, with that biggest being 30GB. The rest fall somewhere between 2-10GB.

ExMerge supports exporting of mailboxes up to 2GB in size. This will work for about 70% of the infrastructure. The remaining mailbox exports will require some workarounds.

Microsoft states the following for working around this issue:

Microsoft KB916085

  • Request that the mailbox owner delete all e-mail messages that are not required. Alternatively, request that the mailbox owner create a .pst file on the local computer and then move all messages that are not required to that local .pst file. This is to bring the mailbox size to less than 2 GB before you run ExMerge against the mailbox. Note Because the Exchange Server single instance storage benefits are lost when you convert the mailbox to a .pst file by using ExMerge, the mailbox must be less than 2 GB.
  • Export the mailbox to a .pst file by using Outlook 2003 instead of by using the ExMerge tool.
  • Use ExMerge to export individual folders or groups of folders from the mailbox into individual smaller .pst files instead of exporting the whole mailbox to a single large .pst file.

Mailboxes Larger than 2GB

To address these mailboxes, my plans are to use bullet point 3 from the above Microsoft KB article workaround notes.

If this was a mixed environment, meaning if I had Exchange 2003 and 2007 or 2010 in the infrastructure, I could use the PowerShell cmdlet to export the mailboxes. Darn.

Once these are exported, I plan to use PowerShell to import the mailboxes into Exchange 2013 using the New-MailboxImportRequest cmdlet provided in PowerShell.

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