Easily Archiving and Restoring GroupWise Accounts using GroupWise Archive

What I want to achieve is to copy a GroupWise account to offline storage, CD or DVD, so that it can be easily restored just from that media. Particularly, I want to take a copy of accounts before I delete them. I do not want to be fiddling about, restoring Domains or Post Offices. Most of us will know that there is an add on program that will do this, but that costs – and I was keen to find a way to do it for free, if possible. Here's how it works.

This works easily on GroupWise 6 SP2 and later. This is because GroupWise 6 SP2 agents do not verify the GUID (Globally Unique IDentifier), so it is possible to recreate a GroupWise user with just the same FID (File IDentifier) as the one deleted. If you have GroupWise 6 SP1 or earlier and need to recreate a GroupWise user with the same FID and GUID, then I suggest referring to the excellent article in ‘Cool Solutions’ aptly named ‘Re-Create a GroupWise User with the Same FID and GUID’ – (http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/tip/9536.html).

You will also need the GroupWise import/export facility. If you do not have it, it is on the Novell website; look for gwport32.exe. Installation instructions are at http://support.novell.com/docs/Readmes/InfoDocument/2960897.html.

Gathering Information

We need three, pieces of information about the GroupWise account before we proceed, all easily obtainable from ConsoleOne. From the properties of the user, General tab we need the last name, and we also need the name of the NDS object (in the title bar, following ‘Properties of’.) So in this example, the last name is ‘Lowe’ and the Object is ‘kenl’. Lastly, and most importantly, we need the FID. In the GroupWise tab in the same User Properties, this is displayed as File ID.

So in this example it is ‘hv9’.

Archiving the Account

To archive the user,

1. Go to Tools > Options > Environment in the GroupWise client.

2. In Archive Directory specify the location where you want to create your archive.

3. If there is already an archive location specified, then an archive already exists for that user. In that case, note the location of the old archive, then enter the location where you want to create your archive.

A directory will be created in this location based on the FID. The name of the directory will be ‘ofxxxarc’ where xxx is the FID.

4. Open each folder in the GroupWise client, select all of the contents, then right-click and choose ‘Move to archive’. In the calendar, make sure you are selecting the details view, otherwise you will have some difficulty.

The transfer will take several minutes per folder, so be patient. The folder structure will be maintained in the archive, You do not need to create folders in the archive; the facility will do this for you.

It is not possible to select folders or even sub-folders to be archived – you have to open each folder and select all the content. If your users have intricate filing systems in their GroupWise folders then consider buying the add-on mentioned earlier.

Creating the Import File

1. Once all of the content has been transferred to archive, check it by switching to the Archive view. To do this, click on the archive entry that has now appeared in your proxy list.

Now, remember the three pieces of information I mentioned right at the start? Well you need them now.

2. Open a text editor and type them in in the following format: “last name”,”object”,”fid”

There are no spaces in this format. Be sure to put a carriage return at the end of “fid” in this file also, or it will not work.

3. Save the file as something meaningful, such as “import file for kenl GroupWise Account.txt”

Sending it Offline

Copy the archive directory, the import file and (if applicable) the original GroupWise archive that you may have discovered in step 2 away to offline storage, CD, DVD, pen drive, or whatever. Once you are sure that it is all safe, then you can delete the user’s NDS account and GroupWise account if you want.

Bringing it Back, Step 1: Recreating User with Same FID

There are a few ways to do this. If you know one already, then carry on; otherwise, here is my way. This way needs the gwport32 utility mentioned earlier. If you have not installed it yet, now is the time.

1. In ConsoleOne, select the Tree you want to bring the user back into.

2. Select Tools > GroupWise Utilities > Import.

The import facility may take a while to open, so be patient.

3. When it opens, select NDS/GroupWise Class.

4. Select ‘user‘ from the drop down list.

5. Select your GroupWise Post Office from the drop down list.

6. Select the container into which you want to restore the user in ‘Starting Destination Context’.

The file fields you need to import are: Last Name, (Object Name) and NGW: File ID.

7. Select these fields in the Attributes window.

8. Right-click the right arrow to add them to File Fields – in the order specified.

The import window should now look a lot like the one below (but with your Post Office and context specified).

9. Finally, specify the location of the import file that we created in step 3.

10. Click Run, allowing it to create any associations it sees fit. The user should now be recreated.

11. Set the passwords in ConsoleOne for both GroupWise and NDS. Now you should be able to log in to the GroupWise client.

Bringing it Back, Step 2: Reattaching the Archive

In the GroupWise client, as in step 2, set the location of the archive directory. Be sure to select the directory containing the archive, not the archive itself. That is, do not select the folder ‘ofhv9arc’ but the folder that contains it, or else GroupWise will just create a second (blank) archive directory within the real one – causing surprise and confusion to all.

Now you should be able to switch into the archive, and all the archived content is there. You can re-populate the user fields in the user object in ConsoleOne if you want. You can return items to the real GroupWise account (not the archive) by simply going into the archive, selecting the content to be restored and right-clicking to remove the ‘move to archive’ tick – in a reverse of how we put it in there.


Now, of course, I do not need to tell you to test this and familiarize yourself with it before you use it in anger – but I feel better for having at least mentioned it. You have now saved your Financial Director a great deal of money for not buying another software utility. Do let him know – he may put some of it in your bonus.


How To-Best Practice
Comment List
  •   in reply to MigrationDeletedUser
    So you don't have to create a GW user...

    Change the FID of the old user's archive user.db so it is the same as an existing user, usually an IT Admin. Then when the IT Admin wants to access that old user, simply change the Archive path to where those files are, usually on a different drive.

    This is also an excellent way to move all email from one user to another, while maintaining cabinet folder structures.

    To edit the FID on an existing archive to be opened by a user with a different FID you may use the following tools:
    Download the Archive FID editor from Novell, gwafe510.exe
    Then Read TID 10014261
    Just make sure you get the syntax correct and the actual change takes 5 seconds.
    Yes, you can select all email at once. Just use the Find-icon and press OK. This will select all email and calender-items in one Window (you can also only check the Mail item to select only all email).
    Then press Ctrl-A to select al items, right-click on just one item and select Move to Archive.
    This is OK but you still have to create GW user. Is there some way to archive all of Mail box on cd or Dvd and run Groupwise from the Cd or DVD. That would be convient and cool.
    Now, what I want to achieve is a copy of a GroupWise account to offline storage, CD or DVD, so that it can be easily restored just from that media. Particularly I want to take a copy of accounts before I delete them. I do not want to be fiddling about, restoring Domains or Post Offices. Most of us will know that there is an add on program that will do this, but that costs – and I was keen to find a way to do it for free, if possible. Here’s how it works.