Can the new Exchange PST Capture tool be used on non-domain computers/networks?

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Hallo,

 

I have a lot of questions regarding the just release PST capture tool:

- It would seems this tool only works on domain/AD networks, is this true?

- Also there is something mentioned about the need of Outlook 2010 x64, but it's unclear to me if MS means I need a 64-bit version of Outlook on the console computer, or if they mean the host computer on which the PST Capture console & service runs needs to be a x64 machine (which can run 32-bit Outlook 2010)?

 

I'm interested in using the import functionality, as I hope this will be more robust than the manual 'PST import' method (or dragging & dropping). Also, usually my clients are on small home networks and will migrate directly into O365 so they do not typically have AD onsite.

 

If the PST are big (>2GB) I find the manual import and drag/drop methods unreliable & there is no reporting if everything was indeed migrated etc. I'm really interested in a 'officially santioned' method of uploading to Exchange Online. (the whole PST migration thing for smaller networks is imho a big time consuming headache).

 

Thansk for any advice.

 

Best,

Bavo Bostoen

 

Kind regards,

Bavo

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Verified Answer
  • Hello Bavo,

    Your assumptions are correct. PST capture can only work in Active Directory environment. The computer which has PST Capture Console installed must have 64 bit windows operation system and required Outlook 2010 64 bit installed. It’s not required to install extra Outlook client on the computers which have PST Capture Agent installed.

    Based on my tests, the installation will finish for both workgroup computers which have PST Capture Console and PST Capture Agent, but when create a new search from PST Capture Console, the computers have PST Capture Agent cannot be found. So Active Directory is a requirement.

    Thanks,
    Lester Zhang

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  • Hi Bavo,

    From the further tests and consulting, I can conclude that PST capture required to be run on a domain-joint computer.

    You may copy the PST files to a domain computer and perform the importing.

    For detailed information about PST capture, you may check the technet guide, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh781036.aspx

    Thanks,
    Lester Zhang

     

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All Replies
  • Hello Bavo,

    Your assumptions are correct. PST capture can only work in Active Directory environment. The computer which has PST Capture Console installed must have 64 bit windows operation system and required Outlook 2010 64 bit installed. It’s not required to install extra Outlook client on the computers which have PST Capture Agent installed.

    Based on my tests, the installation will finish for both workgroup computers which have PST Capture Console and PST Capture Agent, but when create a new search from PST Capture Console, the computers have PST Capture Agent cannot be found. So Active Directory is a requirement.

    Thanks,
    Lester Zhang

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  • Hallo Lester,

    Based on your answer can I assume that it might work on a non domail joined computer, for the local PST file ONLY if:

    - that computer runs Windows 64-bit

    - Outlook 2010 64-bit is installed on that computer

    - console + agent are installed on that comuter

    If I then copy the different PST's from all users (< 10) on the local network to this PC, would this work?

    Remark: I can confirm that searches do not work in this tool without AD, however I also seem to have trouble to specify the O365 account in the 'Set Destination Mailbox' dialog?  Or is this related to the fact I do not have Outlook 64-bit installed? (the message 'The Central Service is retrieving the mailbox data, try again in a moment' is displayed, but nothing happens)

    Thanks,

    Bavo

    Kind regards,

    Bavo

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  • Hi Bavo,

    I have tested in my lab. I have been able to install PST Capture Agent on the same computer successfully, but the new search is still unable to find the local computer. Based on the error message, I can assume it requires Active Directory to discover the computers that have PST Capture Agent installed.

    Outlook 2010 64 bit is a requirement, which used for PST discover and import. I am not surprised you failed to import PST file. So please install the Outlook 2010 64 bit and import again, if any error, please post in this thread so we can troubleshoot further.

    Thanks,
    Lester Zhang

     

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  • I'm currently on Office 2010 32-bit, running on Win7 64-bit.

    Are there any issues I should be aware of transitioning to 64-bit Office? Like: should I only upgrade Outlook to 64-bit (and mix 32 & 64 bit versions of the apps) or the whole suite ; any incompatibilities etc.

    If no issues, then I'll test it, because I really want this tool to work on non-domain systems/networks.

    That said I'm still not sure if the fact that I cannot select a destination mailbox in the cloud is due to the fact that i don't run Outlook 64-bit or that I haven't any AD onsite...

    Thanks.

    Kind regards,

    Bavo

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  • Hi Bavo,

    Office cannot be upgrade from 32 bit to 64 bit nor can be coexistence in the single computer. The only feasible way is remove the Office 32 bit and install Office 64 bit.

    Although it's available to manually add PST file into the import list through Add From Folder link, based on my test, when click set mailbox, it still does not show the online mailboxes list. So just asume Active Directory is required.

    I will do some tests and consulting to get this confirmed.

    Thanks,
    Lester Zhang

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  • Hi Bavo,

    From the further tests and consulting, I can conclude that PST capture required to be run on a domain-joint computer.

    You may copy the PST files to a domain computer and perform the importing.

    For detailed information about PST capture, you may check the technet guide, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh781036.aspx

    Thanks,
    Lester Zhang

     

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  • Hi Bavo,

    Just checking in to see whether the information was helpful. Please let us know whether you would like additional help regarding this issue.

    Thanks,
    Lester Zhang

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  • Well, for me it's not ideal for the time being.

    What I would like to see changed in the short term:

    - drop the Outlook 64-bit requirement (a lot of plugins don't like 64 + as you say it cannot coexist with 32-bit ***)

    - include a file search for smaller LAN's without need for agents (everybody can be instructed to share their drives for the duration of the migration) - or if you really do need agents, have a really simple way to distribute/remove them via Intune

    - ideally: also provide an export to PST (from online Exchange) funtionality

    So basically make it SMB friendly :-).

    Thanks for you research & help!

    Best,

    Bavo

    *** If MS wants to push 64-bit office (I'm all for it) they should simply stop selling the 32-bit version for PC's, which would force ISV's to comply...

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  • Hi Bavo,

    The 64 bit Outlook is a pure technique requirement, as some components are required to inter-operate with Exchange Online. It's not a sales strategy.

    I believe it's easy to get rid of the agent, but image the scenario that a single console can do so much in your network, worm, virus, network storm? For distribution, since it's in MSI file, it can be easily distributed through Group Policy or System Center Configuration Manager product.

    It very nice you can provide the requirement from your perspective, and your request is valuable to Microsoft. We would appreciate if you could provide the request information through feedback, your feedback will be handled properly and highly appreicated.

    Thanks,
    Lester Zhang

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  • I used feedback, hopefully anyone reads it... (we should get a confirmation of our feedback mailed to us).

    Best,

    Bavo

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  • Hi Bavo,

    Appreciate your feedback and the suggestion.

    The feedback will be handled properly.

    Thanks,
    Lester Zhang

     

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  • had the same issue where PST-capture was stuck looking for mailboxes. Really silly since (like in your case) we have no AD integration. The mailboxes are 'in the cloud' but the PST capture tool was looking for our various DC and getting hung.

    The tool seems to be overkill for the simpler cases where a user has access to the PSTs and can import them all from one computer into the cloud. Don't need 'capture-agent' or AD/DC. Just need the office-365 admin account.

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  • Indeed, my point exactly :-).

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  • I just installed a windows 7 professional x64, joined it in our domain hmc.intra, installed outlook 2010 x64 and PST Capture tool. I started the tool, configured my office 365 account, which is an admin, started a new cloud import list and added a local pst file. When clicking set mailbox I'm still not able to select a mailbox, it solely says "The Central Service is retrieving mailbox data, try again in a moment".

    Do we need to install the agent too? or is the console enough?

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