Category Archives: Microsoft

How to: Crop filenames with Powershell

Sometimes you would create some scripts to work with files and for example SQL creates backup files and it adds _backup_timestamp so it’s not easy to work with them in a script.

The below script will crop how much characters you want from the back. Simply change the $location (location of files) $extnsion (file extension) and $characterstoremove (number of characters to remove). This will crop the files to the length you need using Powershell.

$location = "C:\test"
$extension = ".bak"
$characterstoremove = -37
$filelist = (get-childitem $location | Where-Object {$_.mode -match "a"} | foreach-object {$})
foreach ($file in $filelist)
$len = $file.length
$len = $len+" "+$characterstoremove
$newname = $file.substring(0,$len)
$newname = $newname + $extension
$newfilename = $location+"\"+$file
Rename-Item $newfilename $newname
clear-variable newname, len


How to: Remove Exchange mailbox export requests

After a number of exports or imports, you might need to clean up the failed, completed or other status when running the get-mailboxexportrequest report in PowerShell. To clean these open the Exchange PowerShell and run the below.

Clean Export requests
Get-MailboxExportRequest -Status Completed | Remove-MailboxExportRequest
Get-MailboxExportRequest -Status Failed | Remove-MailboxExportRequest

Clean Import requests
Get-MailboxImportRequest -Status Completed | Remove-MailboxExportRequest
Get-MailboxImportRequest -Status Failed | Remove-MailboxExportRequest


How To: Disable AD Autodiscover for Office 365 migration

When having a local setup of Exchange and you want to migrate to Office 365 while leaving the local Exchange in place, you will have problems with autodiscover still pointing users to the local Exchange setup. If you don’t do the below, Outlook will still try to connect to the old Exchange server.

To stop the Autodiscover, open ADSIEDIT.MSC from the Active Directory server and delete the below entry so that the local SCP entry is skipped.

Select the “Configuration” naming context
CN=Microsoft Exchange\
CN=Administrative Groups\
CN=Exchange Administrative Groups\
And delete the CN= of class serviceConnectionPoint

Since Outlook uses SCP as well, you might want to run this registry update on the local machines.

(The version number varies depending on your Office application version)
– Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover
– Create new DWord ExcludeScpLookup
– Set the DWord as 1

After this, try to ping to ensure that it’s pointing to the Office 365


You can also do the following maybe it will help more. These should be created under the AutoDiscover Key



Fix: PowerShell does not wait before starting the next command

When creating a Powershell script and executing something in the middle of the script it does not wait until that process finishes and continues executing the script.

This can be a pain since you might have something executing after the script which depends on the executable you run.

So, when you are executing the file and you want Powershell to wait before continuing you must add the following for it to wait until it finishes.

&Myfile.exe | Out-Null

By adding the Out-Null after your script, it will wait until the MyFile.exe finishes before continuing executing.

This method can be used for the Start-Process as below

Start-Process MyFile.exe -NoNewWindow -Wait

Or you can use this to the Wait For Exit parameter

$proc = Start-Process -NoWindow


How to export mailboxes to PST in Exchange 2010

A new set of PST export cmdlets, introduced in Exchange 2010 SP1, make it easier for Exchange administrators to export primary and archive user mailboxes to Outlook Data Files (PST). Though not recommended for storing large amounts of enterprise data, Exchange administrators use the Outlook Data Files to back up individual user mailboxes in certain scenarios – such as an employee leaving the business. This can help meet regulatory compliance mandates without having to back up the entire database. Additionally, a PST file can serve as an easy destination for exporting user mailboxes from corrupt databases in order to later import them to a healthy one.

Which users are permitted to export mailboxes to PST?

All users, including administrators, need to be assigned Mailbox Import Export role in order to export mailboxes to PST. This can be done via the Exchange Management Shell. To assign Mailbox Import Export role to a user, run the following cmdlets in the Exchange Management Shell:

New-ManagementRoleAssignment –Role "Mailbox Import Export" –User <user name>

For example:

New-ManagementRoleAssignment –Role "Mailbox Import Export" –User Administrator

lepide_1Figure 1.Assign Mailbox Import Export role to a user

To assign Mailbox Import Export Role to a security group, run the cmdlets:

New-ManagementRoleAssignment -Role "Mailbox Import Export" -SecurityGroup <Security group name>

For example:

New-ManagementRoleAssignment -Role "Mailbox Import Export" -SecurityGroup MailboxExportImportGroup

Figure 2. Assign Mailbox Import Export role to a security group

To check which users have the rights to export mailboxes, run:

Get-ManagementRoleAssignment -Role “Mailbox Import Export” | Format-List RoleAssigneeName

lepide_3Figure 3. Check for users who have the rights to export mailboxes

The location of destination PST

The destination PST file for the mailbox export needs to be in a shared folder that is accessible from Exchange. Share the destination PST folder and provide Read/Write permissions for the Exchange Trusted Subsystem over it.

How to export mailboxes to PST

Mailboxes are exported to PST by creating mailbox export requests. To create an export request for a user mailbox, run:

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox <mailbox name> -FilePath <network share path to the target PST file>

lepide_4Figure 4. Export mailboxes to PST

Note: You can create as many requests as required; but a unique name need to be given for every request after the tenth one (after which Exchange will not generate unique names for requests). To name a request, use the parameter ‘–Name’.

To export an archive mailbox, use:

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox -FilePath –IsArchive

Note: To include or exclude specified folders in the export, use –IncludeFolders or –ExcludeFolders parameter.

Getting the details

To get details about the mailbox request, run:


lepide_5Figure 5. Get the details about mailbox export

A better way to export mailboxes to PST

Exporting mailboxes to PST using the Exchange Management Shell is not a quick process, and many IT teams find that it is not a viable method when faced with strict deadlines. Specialised Exchange recovery management solutions, like Lepide Exchange Recovery Manager, provide powerful PST export facilities and simplify the whole process of data recovery. Lepide Exchange Recovery Manager also works with all versions of Exchange to ensure maximum compatibility with your Exchange environment.

Figure 6. PST export options in Lepide Exchange Recovery Manager

The solution’s Export Mailboxes dialogue displays some of the important features included:

  • Select mailboxes to export in PST allows easy selection of one or more mailboxes for export
  • Filters provide granular filtering options that can be done according to a date range or item types
  • This solution allows users to browse for the destination, split the Outlook PST file and create Unicode PST

Getting user-friendly details about items, folders and mailboxes exported to PST

With Lepide Exchange Recovery Manager, getting item, folder, and mailbox details exported to PST is easy and the reports provided are simple to understand. The solution shows you information on the export operation, mailbox (es) exported, folders in the exported mailboxes and the messages in the exported mailboxes folders. The screenshot below shows a sample of the operation logs created when multiple mailboxes are exported to PST:

lepide_7Figure 7. Details about the mailboxes exported to PST


Microsoft Exchange (from 2010 SP1 onwards), uses a new set of cmdlets to facilitate exporting mailboxes to PST. The user that performs this operation must be assigned Mailbox Import Export role and the destination PST folder must be accessible from Exchange. If you’re looking for an easier and quicker way to export mailboxes to PST, Lepide Exchange Recovery Manger is a powerful, cost-effective and user-friendly option.


How to: Setup Import Export role in Office 365

I went to upload the PST files on a tenant to use the Office 365 Import service by uploading the PST files using the AzCopy.exe. After I was done, I started the import and after 60 minutes I get a failed error. I made some research and then restarted the import, but now I noticed a message saying “Please add Mailbox Import Export role for use running import and check back in 60 minutes“.

To do this,

– Login in Office 365 portal
– Click on Exchange
– Click on Permissions
– Click on Admin Roles
– Add a new role with Mailbox Import Export Role
– Add the user you are using to import as part of the group

Screenshot below



Fix: AzCopy.exe Could not finish the operation within specified timeout

When uploading files or PST files to Office 365 using AzCopy.exe, during the upload using Microsoft’s PST Import service you might have the frustrating error saying “The client could not finish the operation within specified timeout“. On the command prompt it will be seen as stuck on saying 0 files uploaded with a transfer speed of 0 KB/s. I literally spent hours trying to find out why my PST files do not upload to Office 365.

This can be fixed by lowering the concurrent operations with the import services. After looking at the option which is /NC option to either 2 or 1 depending on the internet connection upload speed. To be safe, in my case I have setup the NC as 1.

Here’s an example of how the command prompt will look like.

AzCopy.exe /source:\\My-Server\PST /dest: /destkey:jhdfasdfnasdnflasjkdfnjklsdanflasdfn/nfasdjkfnasdjklfnsjkladnfasjkldfnsdjklf== /S /V:d:\PST_Upload\upload.log /NC:1


Fix: Azure RemoteApp GPO login scripts not working

When setting up your template and publishing your apps, if you setup a Group Policy Object (GPO) for your users, this does not work. After some research and testing I found out that to solve the issue, you must do the following:

Add the Explorer application to the Published apps

Start by publishing the command line interface (cmd.exe). In the Publishingtab, select cmd, and then click Publish > Publish program using path.

Enter the name of the app and the path. For our purpose, use “File Explorer” as the name and “%SYSTEMDRIVE%\windows\explorer.exe” as the path.

In my case this worked, hope it does for you.


Fix: Azure AD Connect unexpected error on sign in

You setup the domain, verified and you are in the process of configuring the Azure AD Connect Tool, you will be asked to enter the username and password for the tool to connect to the Azure AD.

The connector immediately stops with an error at the first step under the Express/Custom settings page titled “Connect to Azure AD” with the below error.

Unable to validate credentials. An unexpected error has occurred


This error most probably will show because you are using a user which ends with and the connect tool will not work with an service-bound Outlook username. To fix this issue and work successfully simply create a new ‘Global Admin’ user on the AD which ends @yourdomain.

In my case this worked like a charm.



Fix: Windows Server Backup The process cannot access the file

When running Windows Server Backup to another location and you get the error “The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process”.


To fix this you would need to look on the backup logs from the location %windir%\logs\windowsserverbackup.

In the error log file you will find

Error in deletion of [C:\System Volume Information\001.dat] while pruning the target VHD: Error [0x80070020] The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

In my case, what I have done is that I deleted all the files in the target folder of the backup, re-run the backup and it worked.