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Importing PST Files Using PowerShell in Exchange 2010 SP1 Overwrites Folder Permissions

Background

Jaap Wesselius has an excellent post explaining how to use PowerShell to import and export PST files using the new functionality built into Exchange 2010 SP1. Jaap’s post can be found here: http://www.simple-talk.com/sysadmin/exchange/importing-psts-with-powershell-in-exchange-2010-sp1/. While testing this functionality for one of my customers, I discovered that importing a PST file into the root of a mailbox resets permissions within the target mailbox. For example, let’s say that your target mailbox has the Default permission for Calendar set to ‘Reviewer’. In addition, say two other users within the organization have ‘Reviewer’ rights to the Inbox of the target mailbox.

Now you enter the following command and import a PST file into the root level of the target mailbox:

New-MailboxImportRequest –Mailbox “Test User” –FilePath \FileServerSharetest.pst

When this command completes the PST data will definitely reside in the target mailbox. In addition, the Default permissions for the Calendar and Inbox will be set to ‘None’. As a result, all users who had access to the Inbox will no longer have access to the Inbox – in fact those users will be removed from the permissions tab of the Inbox and the Default permissions on the Inbox will be set to ‘None’. It’s not clear if the PST import process is working as designed or if this is a bug in the implementation. However, if you’re like my customer, you may not want the permissions on the folders of your target mailbox to be overwritten when importing PST files into a mailbox.

Resolution

The workaround I found to this problem is to avoid importing PST files into the root of the target mailbox. Rather, import the PST file into a subfolder of the Inbox. For example, instead of using the command above, execute this command instead:

New-MailboxImportRequest –Mailbox “Test User” –FilePath \FileServer1Share1test.pst -TargetRootFolder “Inbox/PST Import”

The above command will create a subfolder under the Inbox called “PST Import” and all PST data will be imported into that subfolder. When the PST is finished importing, the Default permissions on “PST Import” folder will be set to ‘None’ but all other permissions set within the target mailbox will remain intact.

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