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I have several former employees in my Exchange 2007 server and I have a few questions.

  1. What is the ideal way to archive or capture emails in their sent, received, or other folders, so that the emails are saved as text or csv documents? I would like the structure to be such: MailArchive\User_Name\Inbox, MailArchive\User_Name\Sent Items etc.
  2. If I disconnect their mailbox after archiving the contents, does it remove all data in their mailbox?
  3. If I disconnect their mailbox after archiving the contents, will I get any error if I re-attach the mailbox to the employee (in case the employee returns to the company)?
  4. Are there any other best practices or issues of which I should be aware when disconnecting mailboxes?
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up vote 3 down vote accepted
  1. It's dead easy to export to PST (the export-mailbox powershell command) which may be more convenient to work with, though I don't know about your practices. THere are utilities out there that will convert PSTs to hierarchical CSV folder-trees.
  2. Exchange will keep disconnected mailboxes around for a defined time. I think the default is 30 days, but it can be configured. During this time, the data is preserved.
  3. We did this all the time when rebuilding user objects. We'd export the mailbox to PST (just in case), detach the mailbox, nuke the AD object, rebuild the AD object, reattach the mailbox, and on they went.
  4. When reattaching them, not all metadata (secondary addresses and the like) comes along, so that will have to be re-added.
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Thanks for your helpful answers, Ben! I do have a clarification: I'm hoping to export the emails from within Exchange 2007, not Outlook 2007 (since the employees are long gone and I don't know which machines they used). Is there a way to export emails for a previous employee from within Exchange 2007 and how would one do it? Also, can I export the emails into a format that's similar to text file or csv file? Thanks for all your help! – Charles Apr 19 '11 at 21:45

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