Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm working with a nonprofit on implementing some IT solutions for them. They are running an SBS 2011 with Exchange. I'm trying to figure out a way to do mailbox level backups for them.

I am aware of the ability to use Export-PST from a 32 bit computer with the Exchange tools, but we don't have any 32 bit computers! They're all running 64 bit Windows 7.

By the way, the reason I'd like to do mailbox level backups is so that I can rsync them off site for redundancy.

Any suggestions?

Thanks kindly. :-)

share|improve this question

The built in 'Windows Server Backup' utility can backup Exchange - take a look at this guide.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the suggestion Chopper3, we are currently using the Windows Server Backup for on site backup. However, I am hoping to do a mailbox level backup (hopefully to PST or similar files) that I can rsync off site. – justin0 Jul 31 '12 at 20:10

Keep it simple stupid.

Microsoft's DPM tool does the trick. Allows for Exchange backups and per-mailbox recovery. You can buy either a fully loaded box to take the backups or get a DPM license as part of the Action Pack.

Lastly, there are several methods to backup to a virtual tape library that you can then store in another location or even upload to Amazon or Azure.

share|improve this answer
Good answer, but I don't think that a fully blown DPM backup recovery environment classifies as "simple stupid", does it? – Mark Henderson Jul 31 '12 at 20:33
Dunno, it was pretty much plug it in and configure when we bought one from Dell. The off-site stuff is a bit more work, but when you get an all-in-one box its pretty simple yes. – Brent Pabst Jul 31 '12 at 20:34
Is it cheap though? – Chris McKeown Jul 31 '12 at 20:37
An Action Pack License is $300 or so, minimum hardware is under $2k. We purchased our box from Dell with discounts for $1500. Of course it goes above and beyond the Exchange backup question as it can do all Windows, File Server and SQL backups as well. So in my opinion yes it is cheap for what you get. – Brent Pabst Jul 31 '12 at 20:39
I see where you're coming from in terms of the value for money, but considering the original question is talking about a nonprofit organisation I wonder if they would be prepared to spend even that sort of money. +1 from me though, I think it's a good solution. – Chris McKeown Jul 31 '12 at 20:48

Not a terribly elegant solution, but if you set your clients to use Cached Exchange Mode, you could back up the .OST file (i.e. the offline copy of each user's mailbox) from each machine. This assumes that all of the Windows 7 clients are connected to the network all the time and you may run into problems if the OST file is locked, but it's food for thought anyway.

share|improve this answer
I thought that OST's weren't portable. i.e. they were tied to that account on that computer? – Mark Henderson Jul 31 '12 at 20:26
@MarkHenderson It's not pretty but you can get into them, but only if you store a complete offline cache. You have the option not to. – Brent Pabst Jul 31 '12 at 20:29
I thought they were basically PST files in disguise - or can at least be converted to something that can be opened like a PST file. – Chris McKeown Jul 31 '12 at 20:30
To restore an OST a bodge that often works is to login on a client machine as the user to be restored then open outlook and let it start syncing email, then turn it off and move the hd to another machine, replace the freshly generated OST with your backup, then return the HD to the original machine and boot without network cable and I've found I can normally access the OST in outlook in order to move data to PST's. Backup the backup OST before trying this though. – Robin Gill Aug 1 '12 at 1:19

You could cerainly write some scripts to do full mailbox exports to pst files. This wouldn't be a very elegant way to do it, but it would be possible.

Export-Mailbox -Identity –PSTFolderPath C:\Temp\joe.pst

share|improve this answer
Unfortunately, this command must be ran from a 32Bit PC. As stated in the initial question, there are no 32 Bit PCs to do this from. :-( – justin0 Aug 1 '12 at 21:47
You could from XP mode. – Bad Dos Aug 1 '12 at 23:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.