Locating PST files on a network

In order to size any mail archiving solution it is important to understand the amount of archive data currently in use. For many companies this is in the form of Outlook Data Files (PST’s). Unforutnately, the only resource Microsoft provide is a VBScript dating back to 2005 on the technet script center.

I decided to have a go at implementing two methods to locate PST files on the network using Powershell, the two options for locating files I came up with are:

  • Enumerate the Outlook settings on client computers to determine PST files loaded on client computers;
  • Use WMI to call the search APIs on remote computers to locate the files;

In testing the two options, using the search APIs via WMI located twice as many files as just relying on the information located in the windows registry. Both scripts will also read the first 11 bytes of the PST file to determine the file format, whether it’s an ANSI or Unicode PST file.

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