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Is this possible?

I (attempt to, at least) maintain our SBS2003 box, which uses POP3 Connector to retrieve email. I am regularly asked to add/remove several accounts at once, usually for the same domain, and it is a laborious process to type in the details one at a time - since the only thing that varys across the accounts is the username/password/mailbox, it would be nice to be able to import from CSV or something.

Obviously, there is no way to do this through the standard interface (if there is I shall be annoyed that I missed it) but could it be done by manipulating the details directly wherever they are stored? Come to that, where are they stored? It must be somewhere in AD, in an ini file, or in the registry I guess - if someone could point me in the direction of this I could do all the legwork myself...

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Unfortunately the POP3 collector config in SBS 2003 is stored in two encrypted binary files:

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Networking\POP3\IMBData.dat
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Networking\POP3\IMBData.bak

There is no tool available to edit these

If you use the POP3 collector tool quite heavily I would suggest in investing in something like MapiLab's Native POP3 Connector as it's a lot more flexible. I've used this in the past as the standard one shipped with SBS is incredibly unreliable and flaky.

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Many thanks for this, I will have a look at trying to reverse engineer the file you have pointed me to and if I cannot I will probably use AutoHotKey as suggested by @Starfish. I would like to avoid paying for anything to sort this problem out, so probably won't go for MapiLab's software, but thanks for the advice. Now that I have the location of the file it seems that my Google-fu was not up to the job when I initially looked at this, I can find many references to it. FYI, while the file is not just text based it is largely UTF-16, so I am hopeful that I can still script this. – DaveRandom Jan 16 '12 at 10:57

Although I'm not familiar with SBS2003, I have been in similar situations where I had to manually edit or enter a batch of nearly identical items. If someone else doesn't provide a solution to directly edit the files, I recommend using AutoHotKey to automate the data entry as a workaround. It's a tool to record and play back mouse and keyboard events. It includes a script recorder which will let you run through the process once and output a script to reproduce your keyboard and mouse events. Then you can edit the script to read values from a CSV file and loop through the actions to do the data entry (see Loop command docs).

AutoHotKey also can create GUIs, so I recommend creating a simple GUI that shows all of the items read from the CSV file along with a button to click to process the selected entry. This is dead simple in AutoHotKey's language and only takes a few lines of code. Using the GUI will let you run through the process one by one in case something goes wrong in the middle of processing your entries.

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I have looked at AutoHotKey for doing stuff like this before, although I have never yet actually had to use it. Now that I have the file where the data is stored I am going to attempt to reverse engineer it and build something that will allow me to script the manipulation of the file, rather than scripting the GUI. If I cannot do this with a reasonable amount of effort/time I will use AHK, so enjoy this delicious +1 I have bestowed upon you :-) – DaveRandom Jan 16 '12 at 10:53

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