Moving from POP3 (.PST) to Exchange Server.

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Ken Le Gall, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Ken Le Gall

    Ken Le Gall Guest


    Having spent my Christmas installing a brand new server (SBS-2003) in the
    office, I am now enhancing everyones capability.

    The current set-up for eMail, is that ours is hosted externally, and we all
    use Outlook, to send/receive via POP3 and the .pst files are on the network
    (for backup purposes).

    Now I really would love to start using Exchange.

    Does anyone have a list of 'Steps' or link(s) to guides or manuals on how I
    would go about moving the Server, eMail and Clients from local POP3 to
    Exchange ?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Ken Le Gall, Jan 7, 2005
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  2. I'll give you the condensed version and you can post back if necessary. I'd
    recommend doing your own workstation/mail profile first so if anything gets
    messed up, your other users will not be affected (not that anything should
    get messed up). This is pretty easy and all the steps are undo-able if

    1. On the SBS, make sure everything to do with Exchange is running and
    configured (CEICW).
    2. In Outlook on your workstation, clear out the pop settings so Outlook is
    not trying to retrieve mail from the ISP.
    3. On your workstation, in Outlook, go to tools/e-mail accounts. Select
    Add a new e-mail account, and add Exchange Server to your existing profile.
    This should be pretty self-explanatory. IMPORTANT: make sure the "deliver
    new e-mail to" option is set to deliver new items to Mailbox-Username, NOT
    personal folders or anything similar. Finish the wizard. Restart Outlook.
    4. Open the Folder List in Outlook. You should see your server mailbox in
    the format Mailbox-Username, and under that Personal Folders. If so,
    everything's set up correctly.
    5. Now go to the File menu and choose Import and Export. Import the PST
    into the empty server mailbox, making sure you choose all the subfolders,
    deleted items, etc - everything.
    6. Go back to the Folder list. You'll see that all the folders (Inbox,
    Calendar, etc.) appear under both Mailbox - Username and Personal Folders.
    Satisfy yourself that everything in the PST is also in the Mailbox by
    clicking on each folder and comparing the number of items it contains.
    7. R-click on Personal Folders and close the PST. Shut down Outlook, and
    do something to make the PST unavailable - rename or move it for example.
    (Don't delete until you're sure of success). You want to make sure that no
    messages intended for the server mailbox can accidentally end up in the PST,
    remembering that the PST contains all the folders contained in the mailbox,
    so confusion is possible if you skip this step.
    8. On the server, configure the POP connector to retrieve your mail from
    the ISP mailbox and deliver it to your Exchange Server mailbox.
    9. Test everything, including the sending and receiving of internal and
    external e-mail.
    10. At your leisure, you can do this for everyone else in your
    11. Once you're completely comfortable that you've done all this
    successfully, I'd get rid of the personal folders and remove the Personal
    Folders service from the Outlook profiles.
    Dave Nickason [SBS MVP], Jan 7, 2005
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  3. Ken Le Gall

    John Harris Guest

    Definately do #11! You would not believe the hassles it caused me when I
    failed to do that!!
    John Harris, Jan 7, 2005
  4. Ken Le Gall

    Ken Le Gall Guest

    Thanks to you both- this is awesome - I have been hunting around the web for
    this stuff for 4 hours now.

    A couple of additional questions.

    If I wanted to run Exchange without the POP3 connector, but directly into
    Exchange (moving away from external eMail hosting):

    (a) What else would I need to do or have ?
    (b) Is this OK to do, or better to use the POP3 Connectors ?
    (c) If I keep POP3 Connectors can I also then run all of the OWA and the
    Remote Server/Desktop stuff too ?
    (d) Is there a limit on the number of eMail addresses/mailbozes on Exchange
    Server ?

    I dont really mind staying with the eMail hosting people, but if it gives me
    enhanced funcationality and administration to have a 'full-blown' Exchange
    running then I will.

    Many Thanks for your previous quick response, and I hope you can answer
    these too.

    If there is a way of eMailing alcoholic beverages to you both I will try and
    find it.

    Ken Le Gall, Jan 7, 2005
  5. Ken Le Gall

    JV Guest


    a) If you want mail to come directly to your server, you need to to have DNS
    configured to send mail to your server instead of your ISPs server. This
    means a change in the MX (mail exchanger) record in DNS. So the solution
    depends on who's hosting your DNS. There's a good chance that your ISP is
    hosting DNS for you. Are you continuing to host your web site with them?
    If so, then they should continue to host your DNS and you can ask them to
    make the change to start pointing mail to your server. Give them your
    outside IP address and make sure your firewall is configured to forward all
    SMTP traffic to your SBS server. Another possibility is that your domain
    registration company (, networksolutions, etc.) might be hosting
    your DNS and you can use the web based tools to make the change.
    Unfortunately, some of them don't let you set up a reverse DNS entry, which
    can cause problems in some cases for your users sending mail. This is
    because some administrators feel that they can control a certain amount of
    spam by not allowing incoming mail from servers that don't have a proper
    reverse DNS entry. We have this problem with, but that's a
    whole other story. Once you get DNS changed though, all mail traffic will
    come to you, so you need to be prepared to handle it.

    b) We've never been super pleased with the POP connector. It seems flaky.
    It will only go out and grab mail every X minutes, and you can't set it real
    low. I think the minimum might even be 15 minutes (someone can correct me
    here). I quite often deal with people who send me something while we're
    talking on the phone and they expect me to get it in a few seconds so I can
    open it and discuss it with them. This could be a problem.

    c) Yes, you can use OWA and remote even if you use pop3 connectors

    Be aware that if you use pop connectors to connect to several pop accounts,
    they will all come in, but all outgoing mail will always originate from the
    one you set as the primary address. This really stinks IMHO because a user
    can't send mail from two "identities" by simly choosing which one to send
    mail out on like you can if you just use straight outlook and pull from two
    pop accounts with different addresses by selecting the "accounts" drop down
    when sending a message.

    JV, Jan 7, 2005
  6. A and B: You can use SMTP mail by simply having your ISP or hosting company
    point the MX record for your domain to the external IP address of your
    server. Then just re-run the CEICW to change your configuration from the
    POP connector to SMTP. SMTP is generally preferred over POP for a variety
    of reasons, including that it's probably more reliable, and there's no delay
    in receiving messages (the POP connector can retrieve messages at most every
    15 minutes).

    C: Yes, everything else will work normally regardless of how your mail's

    D: There's probably a limit, but you won't run into it in an SBS-sized
    network (you need the appropriate number of CALs, but this is not directly
    related - for example, I use a User CAL but I can have as many e-mail
    aliases as I wish).

    I'll have a Bass Ale on you later, and you can owe me the money until next
    time I'm in the UK ; -)
    Dave Nickason [SBS MVP], Jan 7, 2005
  7. I haven't read the thread well, but this might be useful:

    You can run the pop3 connector *and* have your SBS configured as the mail
    host, at the same time. Once the DNS records are alive, the mail will simply
    start arriving at your exchange server, and there'll be no mail at the pop

    I quite often use this method for the transition. Once there is no more mail
    at the pop boxes, I just remove them from the pop3 connector.
    Les Connor [SBS Community Member - SBS MVP], Jan 7, 2005
  8. Ken Le Gall

    Ken Le Gall Guest

    Oh Man........

    Well this is all too true - many thanks to all of you.

    Dave - I am in New York not UK, I am English hense the bit .... :)

    Have a great weekend all.

    Ken Le Gall, Jan 7, 2005
  9. Ken Le Gall

    Joe Guest

    It is extremely flaky. It's difficult to see why, since if you collect
    mail by POP3 on another machine and poke it into SBS on SMTP, routing is
    absolutely solid. Why the SBS POP3 connector can't do this is anyone's
    Bear in mind you can't guarantee this with SMTP, unless the sender does
    indeed send the mail directly to you, machine-to-SBS. I've known SMTP
    servers take anything up to four hours to relay mail, presumably under
    high-spam conditions. If you want *now*, use fax.
    Joe, Jan 8, 2005
  10. Ken Le Gall

    Ken Le Gall Guest

    Hi All of you who andswered my post - and many thanks indeed.

    I have just re-read everything and wanted some confirmation of my
    understanding of the procedd to move from individual .PST files (NON
    Exchange) to full Exchange - and wondered if any of you could confirm I am
    on the right page as all of you. ??

    (1) Configure Exchange on my server, get all updates etc... configure users
    (2) Get my ISP to Change the DNS (MX Record) routing to my server for
    incoming eMail - do I need to do something for outgoing ????
    (3) The I guess I import (migrate) each users .PST files into Exchange and
    configure their workstations to use Exchange ??

    Given that I only have 10 users, with an average mailbox side of 50MB each,
    how long would you allow for this process - so I can decide on which weekend
    to do it .. as now Jennifer Aniston is single again, I need to keep some
    spare time free for her ..... !!!!??

    Many Thanks

    Ken Le Gall, Jan 10, 2005
  11. Ken Le Gall

    Artuero Guest

    The moving of the .PST files to the user's exchange mailboxes does not take
    long. I have only done it once, and not sure if I did it the "right" way,
    but manually logging into each user's account, opening outlook and selecting
    all the files and importing them into exchange from .pst took a very short
    amount of time per user, maybe 15 minutes.

    Getting your ISP to change your MX might take awhile (they have to do it and
    then the change has to propegate, as I understand it) but it is not like you
    are required to do something other than ask them. I think when I did it
    everything was up to speed in 24 hours or so if not less.

    I don't think you will have to do anything to get SMTP/outgoing going.
    Exchange will send via SMTP to wherever your DNS servers (the DNS servers
    that your ISP had you point to in the internet set up wizard) tell it to.

    By the way, this is a very useful thread. One of you folks who run an SBS
    site might want to cut and paste it.

    Artuero, Jan 10, 2005
  12. Ken Le Gall

    Ken Le Gall Guest

    Thanks for your input Artuero - most useful.

    I am pleased to be such a dumb-ass that this information may assist others -
    I agree though - I spent hours looking for info like this on the web and
    found nothing... you guys have been extremely helpful....


    Ken Le Gall, Jan 10, 2005
  13. importing the mail to Exch is not something I'd miss lunch with Jennifer
    for. Walk around the office during normal hours taking a couple of minutes
    for each WS.

    SuperGumby [SBS MVP], Jan 10, 2005
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