Why Does One Need to Export EDB Files to PST Files?

In today’s dynamic world, businesses live and breathe through mailboxes and no one can deny the importance of data security. Therefore, the export and backup of mailboxes from Microsoft Exchange Server is as crucial and critical as the mailbox data itself, since businesses can get into a lot of trouble if there is any loss of data. In cases where an upgrade needs to be tested, Exchange Servers face downtime, EDB reaches its file size limit, an employee leaves the organization or the Exchange mailbox data needs to be accessed offline, Exchange Administrators are the responsible party to export or backup the data contents of employee mailboxes. The contents of the mailbox i.e. EDB (Exchange database) files should be exported to offline PST (Personal storage table) files to ensure granularity and all-time access, however, the process can be quite technical and tricky.

Requirements of the Mailbox Export Process

The export process requires an Exchange Server Administrator, and a 32-bit client (to support Outlook client) machine with Exchange 2007 SP1 (or later version) installed. The client machine should also have Outlook 2003 or 2007 installed on it. While there are several ways to export Exchange EDB files to .PST files, the most used methods include performing the process manually through PowerShell commands or the more reliable and automated method of automatic export with the help of 3rd party EDB to PST converters. Let’s take a closer look at each method.

Manually with the help of PowerShell Command – Export-Mailbox

PowerShell, a Microsoft .NET framework, consists of a command-line shell with scripting level commands. The most easy and basic cmdlet used to export an Exchange mailbox to a PST file is Export-Mailbox. Be sure to have the rights for mailbox import/export. Proceed to add PSsnapin library files before you begin this method by running the below PowerShell command:

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.E2007

The main parameters for the command are the FilePath, which is the exact network share path to the PST file and the Mailbox display name that needs to be exported. If the destination PST file already exists, the contents of the mailbox in question will be merged into it. The following command is run using the EMS (Exchange Management Shell) followed by entering “Y” for confirmation:

Export-Mailbox –Identity <Exchange Admin> -PSTFilePath <pathToSavePST>

One can also pipe in the identities of multiple mailboxes to export them all to their respective .PST files at the same time. Therefore in bulk export of EDB files, the FilePath should point to a directory of PSTs. This can be done as shown below:

Get-Mailbox -Database 'D1' | Export-Mailbox - PSTFilePath D:\PSTs

The successful export of EDB files into PST files can be confirmed by navigating up to the set destination. PowerShell commands prove to be very handy when it comes to exporting mailboxes while excluding/including specific folders or filtering mailbox content according to content types such as dates (11-08-2012) or keywords (“FWD” in the email Subject).

Why Avoid Using PowerShell Commands?

For a layman, PowerShell commands are a no go since they require technical know-how and expertise. One has to be very careful with the above as even the tiniest of mistakes during execution may lead to errors. It should also be noted that PowerShell commands take considerable amounts of time and only export healthy non-corrupted EDB files, which leads to the loss of corrupted EDB data files during an export. PowerShell commands fail to help when it comes to exporting offline, encrypted or password-protected EDB files. Not to mention, the method also requires a lot of space in storage media.

The Superior Alternative – Stellar EDB to PST Converter

Since the above-mentioned method of using cmdlets may seem technical to many, the more easy (GUI equipped) and reliable method is to use professional EDB to PST converter tools such as the Stellar EDB to PST Converter. This method is the most proficient tool to ensure smooth and seamless conversion to PST files as well as EML, MSG, HTML, RTF, and PDF formats. These files can then directly be imported into Microsoft Outlook. Not only this, the converter can also export to Live Exchange or Office 365 directly.

The method extracts and converts all mailbox data including but not limited to emails, contacts, and notes from online, offline, single or multiple EDB files as well as archive mailboxes. Another advantage one gets from Stellar EDB to PST converter is that it also recovers Exchange mailboxes that were accidentally deleted. To top it off, the Stellar EDB to PST converter supports MS Exchange versions ranging from 2000 to 2017 and 5.5 versions.

You can download Stellar EDB to PST converter from the below link for free:

Download Stellar EDB to PST Converter

Final Word – Is PowerShell Even Worth it?

There is no denying that using PowerShell to export EDB files to PSTs seems like a great option, but one must also keep in mind the serious limitations associated with it. No manual solution is hassle-free. Unless you have hands-on technical experience and know what you’re about to jump into, PowerShell commands shouldn’t be meddled with. The method is not only lengthy but also takes its sweet time, which most businesses can’t afford to lose. When it comes to making critical business decisions, the way to go is to keep it sleek simple and hassle-free.

So is Exchange 2007 mailbox export with PowerShell commands worthy of a business’s investment, time and attention? We think otherwise. Where many manual 3rd party export tools exist, Stellar EDB to PST converter seems to be the easiest and reliable solution you’ll come across from the plentitude of mailbox export solutions.  

PowerShell Commands: Exchange 2007 Mailbox Export to PST

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