At my company, I need to convert email messages in various mail file formats—such as Microsoft Outlook .pst files, Mozilla .msf files, Eudora Mail .mbx files, and even UNIX .mbox files—so that I can import them into our email archiving and compliance system. I'm sure that many other administrators have this same requirement due to recent laws, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 240 Section 17a-4 directives.

Various high-cost software packages are available to support this type of conversion. My email archiving vendor was also willing to assist by charging me for high-priced consulting time. However, through an Internet search, I discovered Fookes Software's Aid4Mail (http://www.aid4mail.com). I downloaded and purchased the Professional version, which costs less than $50 for one licensed copy. You can download a free trial, which I did initially to make sure that the utility actually worked.

Using this utility, I'm able to convert email messages, usually from the .pst format to the generic .eml format that our email archiving and compliance system uses. You can also convert to other file formats, including Outlook .msg. For Outlook 2003, you can't convert directly using Aid4Mail but need to use Outlook 2003 to save the .pst file in Outlook 2000 format first. (For more information about how Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2000 .pst files differ, see the Microsoft article "Use an Outlook 2003 .pst with earlier versions of Outlook" at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HA011190371033.aspx.) Alternatively, you can create an Outlook 2002 or Outlook 2000 .pst file and copy the mail messages to there from your Outlook 2003 pst file.

Aid4Mail really came through for me in solving my email dilemma. If you need to convert email messages before you can archive them, I suggest that you check out this utility.

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