First, Let's Kill All The .PSTs


Let's face it, from an e-discovery perspective, having email stored in local .PST files on individual users' hard drives is risky. You don't want them around, because:


  • The end user's hard drive might fail, resulting in the loss of potentially valuable email that often isn't backed up (or the backup is stale).
  • The process of capturing and discovering information that is stored in .pst files is labor-intensive and expensive because .pst files must first be located on user computers and then the contents must be processed by legal personnel.
  • Potentially significant messages might be missed during the initial e-discovery gathering process, only to turn up much later in the litigation, causing harm to your case.

Exchange 2007 SP1 can help. Generally, we suggest a two-step approach to managing stray .PST files on the network:


  1. Start by making the .PST files read-only, so users can still access their data, but not make the problem any larger. There is a registry key called "PSTDisableGrow" that can accomplish this


  1. Once users have reduced their dependence on PST files, you can disable local PST files, and load the existing PST files into Exchange Server 2007 SP1. The "DisablePST" registry key accomplishes this.


Of course, all this is happening within the larger context of using Managed Folders and Message Records Management (MRM) to gain control of your email and implement your retention policy.


Here's a great clip from our documentation that explains the whole process, from how to make .PSTs read-only, to providing a nice n overview of deploying MRM:


And here's a great blog posting on how to load PST files into Exchange Server 2007 SP1 using the Import-Mailbox cmdlet