Can’t Install Exchange 2007 Management Tools on XP

Mark Berry July 10, 2010

The only supported way to import .pst files into Exchange 2007 is to use Exchange Management Tools installed on a 32-bit machine running Outlook 2003 or 2007:  Exchange Team Blog.

However if you download the SP3 version of the 32-bit Exchange Management Tools and try to install them under Windows XP SP3, you get that well-known message, “cannot find the file specified.” (Why is it that they never tell you what file was specified?)

Thanks to this blog post, I found the more details in C:\ExchangeSetupLogs\ExchangeSetup.log. As the blog author suggests, the install failed trying to run C:\WINDOWS\system32\ldifde.exe.

Apparently ldifde.exe is part of Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS). While it may be possible to get that going on a Server 2008 box by turning on the ADDS role, that’s not an option under Windows XP.

I tried the blog author’s suggestion of copying ldifde.exe from my server (SBS 2008) to my XP box, but then it failed because that ldifde.exe is not a 32-bit program.

ldifde.exe is also not available on my 32-bit Windows 7 machine.

Fortunately I still had my decommissioned SBS 2003 machine around, which had a 32-bit version of ldifde.exe. Once I copied that to C:\WINDOWS\system32 on my XP box, I was able to install the Exchange Management Tools and import my .pst file. (Thanks to Alexander Zammit for the helpful tutorial.)

Copying files from a defunct domain controller doesn’t seem like the “best practice” way to install Exchange tools. Anyone know the right way?


  1. John Budden   |  October 01, 2010 at 1:55 am

    I have been struggling with the same thing for a while. Many thanks for publishing this work around.

    It works and allows installation of the management tools – therefore it is the right way to do it :-)

  2. Greg   |  August 02, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Thanks for this, It was doing my head in!

    I can’t believe that microsoft don’t publish the fact that you need the file…

  3. Marco   |  September 09, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Life saver. Thanks!

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