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I am migrating a bunch of mailboxes to google apps. Each user owns several mailboxes each serving different domains (john has,, and so on...)

Currently, those accounts are hosted on (edit:NOT an exchange server) an old SMTP/POP server we want to replace, and I need to edit their outlook 2007 configuration to change the pop, smtp and password parameters.

The hard way to do it is to connect to each outlook session and edit the parameters manually. I want to avoid that. Because that represents over 700 accounts spread between 40 users... :'(

How can I automate this configuration change ? In the active directory ? Using a PRF file ?

note: I'm a linux sysadmin with very little knowledge of windows's black magic.

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I have to agree with Massimo - things like this that sound small can end up being a surprising amount of work. Testing and automating this is something that should have been solved before agreeing to make the switch. Having said that, it might be worth speaking to google and checking their support forums as I doubt you're the first customer to need this kind of help. – RobM Mar 9 '11 at 9:16

If your users are using Outlook as an Exchange client, which really is how they should be using it if they have an Exchange server, then moving to POP3/SMTP requires a complete reconfiguration of Outlook; they will also be in for some really nasty surprise if they are used to sharing calendars and do some of the other many things that Exchange supports.

Anyway, I'm not here to question your choices... but moving Outlook from being an Exchange client to plain POP3/SMTP automatically for all your users is definitely not trivial. Something can probably be achieved using .PRF files, but this is neither trivial, too.

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it's probably more work trying to script the prf changes (on a per user basis, per account basis) than it is to do manually. Pity they couldn't have gone to a hosted exchange. – Jim B Mar 8 '11 at 20:01
Saying it's non trivial is definitely not an answer.... I'm not touching the main exchange account, only the additional onces that don't have shared calendar and such. There will be no side effect, this is already taken care of. Anyway, I already know it's non trivial (I did my research before posting to serverfault), but I'm still looking fr a way to automate it. How can I generate a prf or a reg key for each user that avoid having to change the parameters manually ? – Julien Vehent Mar 8 '11 at 20:14
So what do you exactly want to accomplish? Add a POP3/SMTP account? Modify an existing one? Create a new Outlook profile? You should provide more details. – Massimo Mar 8 '11 at 20:16
"Currently, those accounts are hosted on the local exchange 2003 small business server, and I need to edit their outlook 2007 configuration to change the pop, smtp and password parameters." In other words: I just need to edit the settings in the "accounts" section of outlook. – Julien Vehent Mar 8 '11 at 20:17
Yes, but how many accounts do your users already have? What is the standard configuration for a user? An Exchange account + 1 (2,3...) PO3/SMTP ones? Do they use a single default profile or more than one? – Massimo Mar 8 '11 at 20:25

You are asking too much from Outlook. No there isn't an easy way of doing that. Not to mention even if you could easily modify the Outlook config file to point to another server, (POP3 and Exchange both act completely different in regards to Outlook. Cached Exchange mode doesn't use a PST all of the time, sometimes it is an OST instead, and POP3 always uses PST.)

Let's just say that you could do it, wouldn't you have to edit each user's config file, not saving you from having to touch each machine.

From a 10,000 foot view, I'm going to say you are making a mistake. All of your user's mailboxes are stored on one nice neat little box that can easily be backed up. Once you migrate all of them over to google, you depend on each user to back up their own mail contacts etc.

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Actually, there is an error in my initial question. I thought the accounts where stored in exchange, but there are just basic smtp/pop accounts stored in a third party server we want to get rid of. So it's just a configuration change of pop server, smtp server, password. If modification is impossible, is there a way to automate the creation of new accounts ? – Julien Vehent Mar 9 '11 at 15:25

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