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Are you frustrated by the lack of a simple command-line tool to perform basic Exchange administration tasks? Introducing ExchMbx -- a free third-party program that offers command-line functionality, and can be run through a batch job or invoked as needed from a script or event sink. ExchMbx supports creating and moving mailboxes, mail-enabling objects (users, contacts, or groups), and forcibly clearing Exchange attributes on an object (i.e., mail-disabling an object).

Because ExchMbx works directly on objects, the program also features several useful command switches that limit the program's ability to do damage. For instance: safety allows you to specify how many objects to modify at once -- the default being 10; the –unsafe switch turns this off completely; –upto allows the program to make up to X successful changes to the directory; and –cont forces the program to continue processing even if errors are encountered with a particular object.

The tool also allows a user to set the default Internet encoding format for mail-enabled object (normally inherited from the Internet Mail Service Settings, but you can force any setting needed), and the ability to show total elapsed time for the entire set of actions performed.

Please note that because of the way permissions work in Exchange, certain functions may not always conclude successfully, so you may need to run the program in the context of another user to accomplish some things. This goes doubly for when the program is invoked from a batch script. I've written elsewhere about doing this through a batch file. (See this tip for more details, including a link to a utility called CPAU, also by the author of ExchMbx.)

ExchMbx runs on Windows 2000, XP and Windows Server 2003. Exchange Tools need to be installed on the same machine as ExchMbx.

You can download ExchMbx here:

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter and a regular contributor to

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This was first published in November 2004

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