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this server is from a network that not been use for 3/4 years. It is running windows small business 2003 and thus exchange 2003.

I need to put a copy of the email on a memory stick. I searched on the machine and I could not find it. I am wondering what do I need to do and where to go to find the email.

I am tech savey but I have little experience/knowledge in server administration so I don't how much or little information is needed so if this not enough information please say in the comments and I will update the question as needed.


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Having a copy of the Exchange database (if that's what you mean) won't do you a lot of good as you'll need specialized, expensive tools to extract the email from the database. My suggestion would be to use exmerge to export the email from the Exchange database into pst files.

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I did look at this. I was not sure if it would solve my problem. Would it just export all the email into a folder, full of .pst's? – sebey Feb 1 '11 at 19:21
Sebey, in my answer I assumed that exchange wasn't functional. If it is then joe's answer is probably the best. You might get one or more .pst files out of exmerge but I assume you know at least roughly where the email is, so you should be able to find it easily enough this way. – RobM Feb 1 '11 at 19:44

Recovering email from an old Exchange server is a specialist job - exchange stores all user account data in a database, so the email doesn't exist as a simple file that you can find and copy.

There are tools available, such as this one from ontrack, which can mount the database and let you search for emails, but this is expensive and - with all due respect - still probably best done by an experienced person.

Your other alternative to tools of that kind is essentially to bring the exchange server back to life which would mean a 'disaster recovery' of both the exchange server and an associated domain controller, which is far from a trivial job even for an experienced person.

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right then maybe I should look for the client computer that had the emails pushed to that computer. Outlook was used, does outlook store in a database structure as well? – sebey Feb 1 '11 at 19:19
There are two ways of using Outlook - with a local store as as, essentially, a viewer onto the exchange database with no locally stored data. Hope that makes sense. If it was configured as a database viewer then you need to go back down the exchange database route, and if it was configured to store data locally then you can either just run outlook and connect to the local data store (probably a .pst file) or if not then data recovery tools for these files are both cheaper and easier to use. – RobM Feb 1 '11 at 19:42

If the server is up and functional, and you know which users mailbox you need to get mail from you are already in good shape. If possible, connect a machine using Outlook to that users mailbox and attempt to retrieve your mail.

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