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2068 posts

Uber Geek

#175513 2-Jul-2015 11:38
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I need to backup multiple users archive.pst to the server (SBS2008)
The plan was to use robocopy to backup that pst to the sever: works in theory but

Some user leave the PC logged in with outlook running ,overnight, so of course the archive.pst is locked
Any ideas on how to backup 'locked' pst's  ?

In an ideal world, they woulnt be archiving to local PC's & wouldnt log off at night, but I want a system that can
deal with bad habits that cant be broken.
Having the archive.pst on the server would solve the backup issue, but doing so isnt recommended & causes issues. I have had to
move archive.psts to the local PC to stop corruption issues.

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239 posts

Master Geek


  #1335623 2-Jul-2015 11:45
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Use pskill to kill any outlook proceses before the backup starts. :)

Or use something like this to copy from the shadow volume...

Recursion: See recursion.
“It is important not to let the perfect become the enemy of the good, even when you can agree on what perfect is. Doubly so when you can't. As unpleasant as it is to be trapped by past mistakes, you can't make any progress by being afraid of your own shadow during design.”

     --Greg Hudson, Subversion developer

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Uber Geek

  #1335625 2-Jul-2015 11:49
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Yep, there is no solution other than force closing outlook/force logging off/rebooting workstations.

PSTs are a nightmare - if you are copying them up to the same server why not just increase mailbox size then disable the ability to create PSTs via group policy?


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Uber Geek

  #1335649 2-Jul-2015 12:10
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You could try use robocopy with the -zb switch. That denotes use restartable copy, and if that fails, use backup mode which I think is shadowcopy.
Either that or use shutdown /r /f /m \\computername to restart the affected computers wink Force a restart to kill any and everything running.

Try Vultr using this link and get us both some credit:

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Uber Geek


  #1335725 2-Jul-2015 13:39
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Is this a business email system? Isn't all your email on the server already? Keeping email on individual workstations is pretty short sighted. Hard drives will fail, in workstations or servers. Operating systems sometimes corrupt, viruses get in, etc. Versioned offsite backups are required, simple mirrors aren't good enough.

Easiest option is to migrate everyone to Google Apps.

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Uber Geek

  #1335726 2-Jul-2015 13:42
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timmmay: Easiest option is to migrate everyone to Google Apps.

I like how you can make that call with little to no information on the business. Cloud solutions are not a one size fits all solution. 

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Uber Geek

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  #1335740 2-Jul-2015 13:56
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We've had that pain on a number of sites.  Managers in particular seem reluctant to let go of old email.  We've used Robocopy as a workaround, but as you are finding it is hit and miss.

A server running SBS2008 may be pretty aged, and the Exchange database will likely be having a significant performance impact in terms of how busy the hard drives are.  Consider migrating the email to Office 365.  We've assisted a number of clients to do this on servers they are not ready to replace for one reason or another, and relieving the server of the email burden assists with performance for remaining functions.  It also frees up disk space on the server.  The Office 365 accounts also allow for 50Gb of file storage @ about $6 per month per email account (charities even cheaper), and you get to keep the excellent Exchange functionality, plus the Webmail is much nicer to use.

Some thought needs to go into planning this to eliminate migration hassle.  Happy to give you some tips via PM on request.

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Uber Geek


  #1335759 2-Jul-2015 14:05
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timmmay: Easiest option is to migrate everyone to Google Apps.

I like how you can make that call with little to no information on the business. Cloud solutions are not a one size fits all solution. 

Believe me I'm well aware of the costs, risks, and challenges, and yes I've made a huge number of assumptions. My assumptions include that this is a small business with limited staff members, because a larger business probably wouldn't have such a poor email setup to start with. To do it properly requirements analysis and options should be developed, and hosted email is just one option.

Email happens to be one of the easiest services to host externally and migrate to.


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Uber Geek

  #1338220 7-Jul-2015 06:56
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timmmay:   ....because a larger business probably wouldn't have such a poor email setup to start with. .

Hehehe .. that made me chuckle! :-)

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Uber Geek

  #1338328 7-Jul-2015 10:07
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timmmay:   ....because a larger business probably wouldn't have such a poor email setup to start with. .

Hehehe .. that made me chuckle! :-)

Yeah - well over a terabyte of PSTs around in various places I have worked.

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Master Geek

  #1339116 8-Jul-2015 09:52
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yeah, we had a project here to convince users to ditch PSTs (these were oldschool users, we had already disabled the ability to create new PST's some time back).  Company has about 500 users

3 years later its still going, some higher up types are set in their ways and dont wish to part with them

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