Use drive shipping to import PST files to Office 365

This article is for administrators. Are you trying to import PST files to your own mailbox? See Import email, contacts, and calendar from an Outlook .pst file

Use the Office 365 Import service and drive shipping to import PST files to user mailboxes. Drive shipping means that you copy the PST files to a hard disk drive and then physically ship the drive to Microsoft. When Microsoft receives your hard drive, data center personnel will copy the data from the hard drive to a storage area in the Microsoft cloud. The Office 365 Import service copies the PSTs from the storage area to user mailboxes. Using drive shipping to import PST files to user mailboxes is one way to migrate your organization's email to Office 365.

Additionally, drive shipping is an effective way to import large amounts of archival mailbox data to Office 365 to take advantage of the compliance features that are available to your organization. After archival data is imported to user mailboxes, you can:

  • Enable archive mailboxes to give users additional mailbox storage space for the data.

  • Place mailboxes on hold to preserve the data.

  • Use Microsoft eDiscovery tools to search the data.

  • Apply retention policies to control how long the data is retained.

  • Search the Office 365 audit log for events related to this data.

  • Protect your organization against data loss.

Here are the steps required to use drive shipping to import PST files to Office 365 mailboxes:

Step 1: Download the PST Import tool and secure storage key

Step 2: Copy the PST files to the hard drive

Step 3: Create the PST Import mapping file

Step 4: Create a PST Import job in Office 365

Step 5: Ship the hard drive to Microsoft

What happens next

View a list of the PST files uploaded to Office 365

Important: You have to perform Step 1 once to down load the tool and secure storage key. After you perform these steps, follow Step 2 through Step 5 each time you want to copy PST files to a hard drive and ship it to Microsoft.

Before you begin

  • You have to be assigned the Mailbox Import Export role to import PST files to Office 365 mailboxes. By default, this role isn't assigned to any role group in Exchange Online. You can add the Mailbox Import Export role to the Organization Management role group. Or you can create a new role group, assign the Mailbox Import Export role, and then add yourself as a member. For more information, see the "Add a role to a role group" or the "Create a role group" sections in Manage role groups.

    Additionally, you have to be a global administrator in your Office 365 organization to access the Import page (under Data governance) in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center.

  • You need to store the PST files that you want to copy to a hard drive on a file server or shared folder in your organization. In Step 2, you'll run the WindowsAzure ImportExport tool (WAImportExport.exe) that will copy the PST files that are stored on this file server or shared folder to the hard drive.

  • Only 3.5 inch SATA II/III internal hard drives are supported for use with the Office 365 Import service. You can use hard drives up to 10 TB. For the import jobs that you create in Step 4, only the first data volume on the hard drive will be processed. The data volume must be formatted with NTFS. When copying data to your hard drive, you can attach it directly using a SATA connector or you can attach it externally using an external SATA II/III USB adaptor. We recommend using one of the following external SATA II/III USB adaptors:

    • Anker 68UPSATAA-02BU

    • Anker 68UPSHHDS-BU

    • Startech SATADOCK22UE

    • Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC

    If you have an adapter that's not listed, you can try using your adapter to copy the PST files to the hard drive in Step 2 to see if it works before purchasing a supported adapter.

    Important: External hard drives that come with an built-in USB adaptor aren't supported by the Office 365 Import service. Additionally, the disk inside the casing of an external hard drive can't be used. Please don't ship external hard drives.

  • The hard drive that you copy the PST files to must be encrypted with BitLocker. The WAImportExport.exe tool that you run in Step 2 will help you set up BitLocker. It also generates a BitLocker encryption key that Microsoft data center personnel will use to access the drive to upload the PST files to the Azure storage area in the Microsoft cloud.

  • The cost to import PST files to Office 365 mailboxes using drive shipping is $2 USD per GB of data. For example, if you ship a hard drive that contains 1,000 GB (1TB) of PST files, the cost is $2,000 USD. You can work with a partner to pay the import fee. For information about finding a partner, see Find your Office 365 partner or reseller.

  • You or your organization must have an account with FedEx or DHL.

    • Organizations in the US and Europe must have FedEx accounts.

    • Organizations in East Asia, Southeast Asia, Japan, and Australia must have DHL accounts.

    Microsoft will use (and charge) this account to return the hard drive back to you.

  • The hard drive that you ship to Microsoft might have to cross international borders. If this is the case, you're responsible for ensuring that the hard drive and the data it contains are imported and/or exported in accordance with the applicable laws. Before shipping a hard drive, check with your advisors to verify that your drive and data can legally be shipped to the identified Microsoft data center. This will help to ensure that it reaches Microsoft in a timely manner.

  • This procedure involves copying and saving a secure storage key and a BitLocker encryption key. Be sure to take precautions to protect these keys like you would protect passwords or other security-related information. For example, you might save them to a password-protected Microsoft Word document or save them to an encrypted USB drive. See the More information section for an example of these keys.

  • After PST files are imported to an Office 365 mailbox, the retention hold setting for the mailbox is turned on for an indefinite duration. This means that the retention policy assigned to the mailbox won't be processed until you turn off the retention hold or set a date to turn off the hold. Why do we do this? If messages imported to a mailbox are old, they might be permanently deleted (purged) because their retention period has expired based on the retention settings configured for the mailbox. Placing the mailbox on retention hold will give the mailbox owner time to manage these newly-imported messages or give you time to change the retention settings for the mailbox. See the More information section for suggestions about managing the retention hold.

  • You can import PST files to an inactive mailbox in Office 365. You do this by specifying the GUID of the inactive mailbox in the Mailbox parameter in the PST Import mapping file. See Step 3 for more information.

  • In an Exchange hybrid deployment, you can import PST files to a cloud-based archive mailbox for a user whose primary mailbox is on-premises. You do this by doing the following in the PST Import mapping file:

    • Specify the email address for the user's on-premises mailbox in the Mailbox parameter.

    • Specify the TRUE value in the IsArchive parameter.

    See Step 3 for more information.

  • For frequently asked questions about using drive shipping to import PST files to Office 365, see Office 365 Import Service FAQ. For more information about importing data to Office 365, see Overview of importing PST files and SharePoint data to Office 365.

Step 1: Download the PST Import tool and secure storage key

The first step is to download the tool and secure storage key that you will use in Step 2 to copy PST files to the hard drive.

  1. Go to https://protection.office.com.

  2. Sign in to Office 365 using the credentials for an administrator account in your Office 365 organization.

  3. In the left pane of the Security & Compliance Center, click Data governance and then click Import.

  4. On the Import page, click Go to the Import service.

  5. On the Import data to Office 365 page, click New job Add Icon , and then click Ship data on physical hard drives.

  6. On the New job page, click Download tool.

  7. In the pop-up window, click Save > Save as to save the WAImportExport.zip file to a folder on your local computer.

  8. Extract the WAImportExport.zip file.

  9. Back on the Ship files to Microsoft on physical hard drives page, under Copy the secure storage account key, click Show key.

  10. Copy the key that is displayed in the box and save it to a file. Be sure to copy the entire key. As previously stated, take precautions to protect the file that contains this key.

  11. Click Cancel to close the Ship files to Microsoft on physical hard drives page.

    You'll come back to the Import data to Office 365 page when you create the import job in Step 4.

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Step 2: Copy the PST files to the hard drive

The next step is to use the WAImportExport.exe tool to copy PST files to the hard drive. This tool encrypts the hard drive with BitLocker, copies the PSTs to the hard drive, and creates a journal file that stores information about the copy process. To complete this step, the PST files have to be located in a file share or file server in your organization. This is known as the source directory in the following procedure.

Important: After you run the WAImportExport.exe tool the first time for a hard drive, you have to use a different syntax each time after that. This syntax is explained in Step 4 of this procedure to copy PST files to the hard drive.

  1. Open a Command Prompt on your local computer.

    Tip: If you run the command prompt as an administrator (by selecting "Run as administrator" when you open it) error messages will be displayed in the command prompt window. This can help you troubleshoot problems running the WAImportExport.exe tool.

  2. Go to the directory where you installed the WAImportExport.exe tool in Step 1.

  3. Run the following command the first time that you use the WAImportExport.exe to copy PST files to a hard drive.

    WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:<Name of journal file> /t:<Drive letter> /id:<Name of session> /srcdir:<Location of PST files> /dstdir:<PST file path> /sk:<Storage account key> /encrypt /logdir:<Log file location>

    The following table describes the parameters and their required values.

    Parameter

    Description

    Example

    /j:

    Specifies the name of the journal file. This file is saved to the same folder where the WAImportExport.exe tool is located. Each hard drive you ship to Microsoft must have one journal file. Every time you run the WAImportTool.exe to copy PST files to a hard drive, information will be appended to the journal file for that drive.

    Microsoft data center personnel will use the information in the journal file to associate the hard drive with the import job that you create in Step 4, and to upload the PST files to the Azure storage area in the Microsoft cloud.

    /j:PSTHDD1.jrn

    /t:

    Specifies the drive letter of the hard drive when it's connected to your local computer.

    /t:h

    /id:

    Specifies the name of the copy session. A session is defined as each time you run the WAImportExport.exe tool to copy files to the hard drive. The PST files are copied to a folder named with the session name specified by this parameter.

    /id:driveship1

    /srcdir:

    Specifies the source directory in your organization that contains the PST files that will be copied during the session.

    /srcdir:\\FILESERVER01\PSTs

    /dstdir:

    Specifies the destination directory in the Azure storage area in the Microsoft cloud where the PSTs will be uploaded. Use the value ingestiondata/. Be sure to surround the value of this parameter with double-quotation marks (" ").

    Optionally, you can also add an additional file path to the value of this parameter. For example, you can use the file path of the source directory on the hard drive (converted to a URL format) , which is specified in the /srcdir: parameter. For example, \\FILESERVER01\PSTs is changed to FILESERVER01/PSTs. In this case, the value for the /dstdir: parameter would be "ingestiondata/FILESERVER01/PSTs". One reason to add the additional file path is if you have PSTs files with the same filename.

    Note: If you include the optional pathname, the namespace for a PST file after it's uploaded to the Azure storage area will include the pathname and the name of the PST file; for example, FILESERVER01/PSTs/annb.pst. If you don't include a pathname, the namespace is only the PST filename; for example annb.pst.

    /dstdir:"ingestiondata/"

    Or

    /dstdir:"ingestiondata/FILESERVER01/PSTs"

    /sk:

    Specifies the storage account key that you obtained in Step 1. Be sure to surround the value of this parameter with double-quotation marks (" ").

    "yaNIIs9Uy5g25Yoak+LlSHfqVBGOeNwjqtBEBGqRMoidq6/e5k/VPkjOXdDIXJHxHvNoNoFH5NcVUJXHwu9ZxQ=="

    /encrypt

    This switch turns on BitLocker for the hard drive. This parameter is required the first time you run the WAImportExport.exe tool.

    The BitLocker encryption key is copied to the journal file and the log file that is created if you use the /logfile: parameter. As previously explained, the journal file is saved to the same folder where the WAImportExport.exe tool is located.

    /encrypt

    /logdir:

    This optional parameter specifies a folder to save log files to. If not specified, the log files are save to the same folder where the WAImportExport.exe tool is located.

    /logdir:c:\users\admin\desktop\PstImportLogs

    Here's an example of the syntax for the WAImportExport.exe tool using actual values for each parameter:

    WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:PSTHDD1.jrn /t:f /id:driveship1 /srcdir:\\FILESERVER01\PSTs /dstdir:"ingestiondata/" /sk:"yaNIIs9Uy5g25Yoak+LlSHfqVBGOeNwjqtBEBGqRMoidq6/e5k/VPkjOXdDIXJHxHvNoNoFH5NcVUJXHwu9ZxQ==" /encrypt /logdir:c:\users\admin\desktop\PstImportLogs

    After you run the command, status messages are displayed that show the progress of copying the PST files to the hard drive. A final status message shows the total number of files that were successfully copied.

  4. Run this command each subsequent time you run the WAImportExport.ext tool to copy PST files to the same hard drive.

    WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:<Name of journal file> /id:<Name of new session> /srcdir:<Location of PST files> /dstdir:<PST file path> 

    Here's an example of the syntax for running subsequent sessions to copy PST files to the same hard drive.

    WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:PSTHDD1.jrn /id:driveship2 /srcdir:"\\FILESERVER01\PSTs\SecondBatch" /dstdir:"ingestiondata/"

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Step 3: Create the PST Import mapping file

After Microsoft data center personnel upload the PST files from the hard drive to the Azure storage area, the Import service will use the information in the PST Import mapping file, which is a comma separated value (CSV) file, that specifies which user mailboxes the PST files will be imported to. You will submit this CSV file in the next step when you create a PST Import job.

  1. Download a copy of the PST Import mapping file.

  2. Open or save the CSV file to your local computer. The following example shows a completed PST Import mapping file (opened in NotePad). It's much easier to use Microsoft Excel to edit the CSV file.

    Workload,FilePath,Name,Mailbox,IsArchive,TargetRootFolder,ContentCodePage,SPFileContainer,SPManifestContainer,SPSiteUrl
    Exchange,FILESERVER01/PSTs,annb.pst,annb@contoso.onmicrosoft.com,FALSE,/Inbox,,,,
    Exchange,FILESERVER01/PSTs,annb_archive.pst,annb@contoso.onmicrosoft.com,TRUE,/Inbox,,,,
    Exchange,FILESERVER01/PSTs,donh.pst,donh@contoso.onmicrosoft.com,FALSE,/Inbox,,,,
    Exchange,FILESERVER01/PSTs,donh_archive.pst,donh@contoso.onmicrosoft.com,TRUE,/Inbox,,,,
    Exchange,FILESERVER01/PSTs,pilarp.pst,pilarp@contoso.onmicrosoft.com,FALSE,/Inbox,,,,
    Exchange,FILESERVER01/PSTs,pilarp_archive.pst,pilarp@contoso.onmicrosoft.com,TRUE,/Inbox,,,,
    Exchange,,tonyk.pst,tonyk@contoso.onmicrosoft.com,TRUE,/Inbox,,,,
    Exchange,,tonyk_archive.pst,tonyk@contoso.onmicrosoft.com,TRUE,/Inbox,,,,
    Exchange,,zrinkam.pst,zrinkam@contoso.onmicrosoft.com,TRUE,/Inbox,,,,
    Exchange,,zrinkam_archive.pst,zrinkam@contoso.onmicrosoft.com,TRUE,/Inbox,,,,

    The first row, or header row, of the CSV file lists the parameters that will be used by the PST Import service to import the PST files to user mailboxes. Each parameter name is separated by a comma. Each row under the header row represents the parameter values for importing a PST file to a specific mailbox. You will need a row for each PST file that was copied to the hard drive. Be sure to replace the placeholder data in the mapping file with your actual data.

    Note: Don't change anything in the header row, including the SharePoint parameters; they will be ignored during the PST Import process.

  3. Use the information in the following table to populate the CSV file with the required information.

    Parameter

    Description

    Example

    Workload

    Specifies the Office 365 service that data will be imported to. To import PST files to user mailboxes, use Exchange.

    Exchange

    FilePath

    Specifies the folder location in the Azure storage area that PST files will be copied to when the hard drive is shipped to Microsoft.

    What you add in this column in the CSV file depends on what you specified in for the /dstdir: parameter in the previous step.

    • If you used /dstdir:"ingestiondata/", then leave this parameter blank in the CSV file.

    • If you included an optional pathname for the value of the /dstdir: parameter (for example, /dstdir:"ingestiondata/FILESERVER01/PSTs", then use that pathname (not including "ingestiondata") for this parameter in the CSV file. The value for this parameter is case sensitive.

      Either way, don't include "ingestiondata" in the value for the FilePath parameter. Leave this parameter blank or specify only the optional pathname.

      Important: The case for the file path name must be the same case that you specified in the /dstdir: parameter in the previous step . For example, if you used "ingestiondata/FILESERVER01/PSTs" for the subfolder name in the previous step, but then usedfileserver01/psts in the FilePath parameter in CSV file, the import for the PST file will fail. Be sure to use the same case in both instances.

    (leave blank)

    Or

    FILESERVER01/PSTs

    Name

    Specifies the name of the PST file that will be imported to the user mailbox. The value for this parameter is case sensitive.

    Important: The case for the PST file name in the CSV file must be the same as the PST file that was uploaded to the Azure storage location in Step 2. For example, if you use annb.pst in the Name parameter in the CSV file, but the name of the actual PST file is AnnB.pst, the import for that PST file will fail. Be sure that the name of the PST in the CSV file uses the same case as the actual PST file.

    annb.pst

    Mailbox

    Specifies the email address of the mailbox that the PST file will be imported to.

    To import a PST file to an inactive mailbox, you have to specify the mailbox GUID for this parameter. To obtain this GUID, run the following PowerShell command in Exchange Online: Get-Mailbox -InactiveMailboxOnly <identity of inactive mailbox> | FL Guid

    Note: In some cases, you might have multiple mailboxes with the same email address, where one mailbox is an active mailbox and the other mailbox is in a soft-deleted (or inactive) state. In these situations, you have specify the mailbox GUID to uniquely identify the mailbox to import the PST file to. To obtain this GUID for active mailboxes, run the following PowerShell command: Get-Mailbox - <identity of active mailbox> | FL Guid. To obtain the GUID for soft-deleted (or inactive) mailboxes, run this command Get-Mailbox - <identity of soft-deleted or inactive mailbox> -SoftDeletedMailbox | FL Guid.

    annb@contoso.onmicrosoft.com

    Or

    2d7a87fe-d6a2-40cc-8aff-1ebea80d4ae7

    IsArchive

    Specifies whether or not to import the PST file to the user's archive mailbox. There are two options:

    • FALSE   Imports the PST file to the user's primary mailbox.

    • TRUE   Imports the PST file to the user's archive mailbox.

    If you leave this parameter blank, the PST file is imported to the user's primary mailbox.

    Note: To import a PST file to a cloud-based archive mailbox for a user whose primary mailbox is on-premises, just specify TRUE for this parameter and specify the email address for the user's on-premises mailbox for the Mailbox parameter.

    FALSE

    Or

    TRUE

    TargetRootFolder

    Specifies the mailbox folder that the PST file is imported to. If you leave this parameter blank, the PST will be imported to a new folder named Imported located at the root level of the mailbox (the same level as the Inbox and the other default mailbox folders).

    Tip: Consider running a few test batches to experiment with this parameter so you can determine the best folder location to import PSTs files to.

    /Inbox

    ContentCodePage

    This optional parameter specifies a numeric value for the code page to use for importing PST files in the ANSI file format. This parameter is used for importing PST files from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) organizations because these languages typically use a double byte character set (DBCS) for character encoding. If this parameter isn't used to import PST files for languages that use DBCS for mailbox folder names, the folder names are often garbled after they're imported.

    For a list of supported values to use for this parameter, see Code Page Identifiers.

    Note: As previously stated, this is an optional parameter and you don't have to include it in the CSV file. Or you can include it and leave the value blank for one or more rows.

    (leave blank)

    Or

    932 (which is the code page identifier for ANSI/OEM Japanese)

    SPFileContainer

    For PST Import, leave this parameter blank.

    Not applicable

    SPManifestContainer

    For PST Import, leave this parameter blank.

    Not applicable

    SPSiteUrl

    For PST Import, leave this parameter blank.

    Not applicable

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Step 4: Create a PST Import job in Office 365

The next step is to create the PST Import job in the Import service in Office 365. As previously explained, you will submit the PST Import mapping file that you created in Step 3. After you create the new job, the Import service will use the information in the mapping file to import the PST files to the specified user mailbox after the PST files are copied from the hard drive to the Azure storage area.

  1. Go to https://protection.office.com.

  2. Sign in to Office 365 using the credentials for an administrator account in your Office 365 organization.

  3. In the left pane, click Data governance and then click Import.

  4. On the Import page, click Go to the Import service.

  5. On the Import files to Office 365 page, click New job Add Icon , and then click Ship data on physical hard drives.

  6. On the New job page, click the I‎'ve prepared my hard drives and have access to the necessary drive journal files and I have access to the mapping file check boxes, and then click Next.

  7. Type a name for the PST Import job, and then click Next.

  8. On the Upload the drive files page, click Add Add Icon , and then go to the same folder where the WAImportExport.exe tool is located. The journal file that was created in Step 2 was copied to this folder.

  9. Select the journal file; for example, PSTHDD1.jrn.

    Tip: When you ran the WAImportExport.exe tool in Step 2, the name of the journal file was specified by the /j: parameter.

    Each hard drive you ship to Microsoft must have a corresponding journal file. Add additional journal files if applicable.

  10. After adding a journal file for each hard drive that you will ship to Microsoft, click Next .

  11. Click Add Add Icon to select the PST Mapping file that you created in Step 3.

  12. After the CSV file is uploaded, click Next.

  13. On the Contact information page, type your contact information in the applicable boxes.

    Note that the address for the Microsoft location that you will ship your hard drive to is displayed. This address is auto-generated based on your Office 365 data center location. Copy this address to a file or take a screenshot.

  14. Click Next .

    A page is displayed with a summary of your contact information and the Microsoft location that you will ship your hard drive to

  15. Click Finish.

    A page is displayed with information about the next steps of the drive shipping process.

  16. On the Import data to Office 365 page, click Refresh Refresh icon to displayed the new drive shipping import job in the list of import jobs. Notice that status is set to Waiting for Tracking number.

    New drive shipping job displayed on the Import data to Office 365 page

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Step 5: Ship the hard drive to Microsoft

The last step is to ship the hard drive to Microsoft, and then provide the tracking number for the shipment and return shipment information for the drive shipping job. When the drive is received by Microsoft, data center personnel will upload your PST files to the Azure storage area for your organization.

Ship the hard drive

Keep the following things in mind when you ship hard drives to Microsoft:

  • Don't ship the SATA-to-USB adapter; you only have to ship the hard drive.

  • Package the hard drive properly; for example, use an anti-static bag or bubble wrap.

  • Use a delivery carrier of your choice to ship the hard drive to Microsoft.

  • Ship the hard drive to the address for the Microsoft location that was displayed when you created the import job in Step 4. Be sure to include "Office 365 Import Service" in the ship-to address.

  • After you ship the hard drive, be sure to write down the name of the delivery carrier and the tracking number. You'll provide these in the next step.

Enter the tracking number and other shipping information

After you've shipped the hard drive to Microsoft, complete the following procedure on the Import service page.

  1. Go to https://protection.office.com.

  2. Sign in to Office 365 using the credentials for an administrator account in your Office 365 organization.

  3. In the left pane, click Data governance and then click Import.

  4. On the Import page, click Go to the Import service.

  5. On the Import files to Office 365 page, select the job for the drive shipment that you want to enter the tracking number for.

  6. In the details pane, click Enter tracking number.

    The Shipping Details page is displayed.

    Enter the tracking number and other shipping information for your drive shipping job
  7. Provide the following shipping information:

    1. Delivery Carrier   Type the name of the delivery carrier that you used to ship the hard drive to Microsoft.

    2. Tracking Number   Type the tracking number for the hard drive shipment.

    3. Return Carrier Account Number   Type your organization's account number for the carrier that listed under Return Carrier. Microsoft will use (and charge) this account to ship your hard drive back to you. Note that organizations in the USA and Europe, must have an account with FedEx. Organizations in Asia and the rest of the world, must have an account with DHL.

  8. Click Save to save this information for the import job.

    On the Import data to Office 365 page, click Refresh Refresh icon to updated the information for your drive shipping import job. Notice that status is now set to Drives in transit.

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What happens next

After your hard drive is received by Microsoft, the status for the import job on the Import data to Office 365 page will change to Drives received. Data center personnel will use the information in the journal file that you submitted when creating the import job to upload your PST files to the Azure storage area for your organization. At this point, the status will change to Import in-progress. After PST files are uploaded to Azure, the Import service uses the information in the PST mapping file to import specific PST files to specific user mailboxes.

At any point during the import process, you can click View details in the details pane for the selected import job to see detailed information and the current status. This includes information about individual PST files and if applicable skipped items in those PST files. When the import is complete and PST files have been imported to user mailboxes, the status will be changed to Completed.

View a list of the PST files uploaded to Office 365

You can install and use the Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer (which is a free, open source tool) to view the list of the PST files that we're uploaded (by Microsoft data center personnel) to the Azure storage area for your organization. You can do this to verify that PST files from the hard drives that you sent to Microsoft were successfully uploaded to the Azure storage area.

Note: The Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer is in Preview.

To install the Azure Storage Explorer and connect to your Azure storage area:

  1. Perform the following steps to get the Shared Access Signature (SAS) URL for your organization. This URL is a combination of the network URL for the Azure storage location in the Microsoft cloud for your organization and an SAS key. This key provides you with the necessary permissions to access your organization's Azure storage location. You'll use this URL in step 4 to connect to the Azure storage area for your organization.

    1. Go to https://protection.office.com.

    2. Sign in to Office 365 using the credentials for an administrator account in your Office 365 organization.

    3. In the left pane, click Data governance and then click Import.

    4. On the Import page, click Go to the Import service.

    5. On the Import data to Office 365 page, click New job Add Icon , and then click Upload email messages (PST files).

    6. On the Upload files over the network page, in step 2, click Show network upload SAS URL.

    7. After the URL is displayed, copy it and save it to a file. Be sure to copy the entire URL.

    Important: Be sure to take precautions to protect the SAS URL. This can be used by anyone to access the Azure storage area for your organization.

  2. Download and install the Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer tool.

  3. Start the Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer, right-click Storage Accounts in the left pane, and then click Connect to Azure storage.

    Right-click Storage Accounts and then click Connect to Azure storage
  4. In the box under Connect to Azure storage, paste the SAS URL that you obtained in step 1, and then click Next.

    Paste the SAS URL  in the box on the Connect to Azure Storage page
  5. On the Connection summary page, you can review the connection information, and then click Connect.

  6. Under Storage Accounts, expand the (Service SAS) node, and then expand the Blob Containers node.

  7. Right-click ingestiondata, and then click Open Blob Container Editor.

    Right-click ingestiondata and then click Open Blob Container Editor

    The Azure storage area, with a list of the PST files that were copied from your hard drive and uploaded to Azure, is displayed.

    Azure Storage Explorer displays a list of the PST files that you uploaded
  8. When you're finished using the Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer, right-click ingestiondata, and then click Detach to disconnect from your Azure storage area. Otherwise, you'll receive an error the next time you try to attach.

    Right-click ingestion and click Detach to disconnect from your Azure storage area

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More information

  • Here's an example of the secure storage account key and a BitLocker encryption key. This example also contains the syntax for the WAImportExport.exe command that you run to copy PST files to a hard drive. Be sure to take precautions to protect these just like you would protect passwords or other security-related information.

    Secure storage account key: yaNIIs9Uy5g25Yoak+LlSHfqVBGOeNwjqtBEBGqRMoidq6/e5k/VPkjOXdDIXJHxHvNoNoFH5NcVUJXHwu9ZxQ==
    
    BitLocker encryption key: 397386-221353-718905-535249-156728-127017-683716-083391
    
    COMMAND SYNTAX
    
    First time 
    WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:<Name of journal file> /t:<Drive letter> /id:<Name of session> /srcdir:<Location of PST files> /dstdir:<PST file path> /sk:<Storage account key> /encrypt /logdir:<Log file location>
    
    Subsequent times
    WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:<Name of journal file> /id:<Name of new session> /srcdir:<Location of PST files> /dstdir:<PST file path> 
    
    EXAMPLES
    
    First time
    WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:PSTHDD1.jrn /t:f /id:driveship1 /srcdir:"\\FILESERVER1\PSTs" /dstdir:"ingestiondata/" /sk:"yaNIIs9Uy5g25Yoak+LlSHfqVBGOeNwjqtBEBGqRMoidq6/e5k/VPkjOXdDIXJHxHvNoNoFH5NcVUJXHwu9ZxQ==" /encrypt /logdir:c:\users\admin\desktop\PstImportLogs
    
    Subsequent times
    WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:PSTHDD1.jrn /id:driveship2 /srcdir:"\\FILESERVER1\PSTs\SecondBatch" /dstdir:"ingestiondata/"
  • As previously explained, the Office 365 Import service turns on the retention hold setting (for an indefinite duration) after PST files are imported to a mailbox. This means the RentionHoldEnabled property is set to True so that the retention policy assigned to the mailbox won't be processed. This gives the mailbox owner time to manage the newly-imported messages by preventing a deletion or archive policy from deleting or archiving older messages. Here are some steps you can take to manage this retention hold:

    • After a certain period of time, you can turn off the retention hold by running the Set-Mailbox -RetentionHoldEnabled $false command. For instructions, see Place a mailbox on retention hold.

    • You can configure the retention hold so that it's turned off on some date in the future. You do this by running the Set-Mailbox -EndDateForRetentionHold <date> command. For example, assuming that today's date is July 1, 2016 and you want the retention hold turned off in 30 days, you would run the following command: Set-Mailbox -EndDateForRetentionHold 8/1/2016. In this scenario, you would leave the RentionHoldEnabled property set to True. For more information, see Set-Mailbox.

    • You can change the settings for the retention policy that's assigned to the mailbox so that older items that were imported won't be immediately deleted or moved to the user's archive mailbox. For example, you could lengthen the retention age for a deletion or archive policy that's assigned to the mailbox. In this scenario, you would turn off the retention hold on the mailbox after you changed the settings of the retention policy. For more information, see Set up an archive and deletion policy for mailboxes in your Office 365 organization.

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