New In 2010 SP1 – Litigation Hold Exposed In Exchange Control Panel (ECP) And Management Console (EMC)…

More and more features are getting exposed in the Exchange Control Panel and Management Console, paving the way for exchange admins (who are not comfortable with the shell) to manage their 2010 SP1 infrastructure. One such feature that is exposed in the GUI is “Litigation Hold”. This feature preserves deleted mailbox items and record changes made to mailbox items of a user. Deleted and changed items are returned in a discovery search. This feature is really useful to track emails of a rogue staff, useful in legal battles etc.

In Exchange 2010 RTM version, enabling or disabling litigation hold for a mailbox is only possible using the exchange shell cmdlet Set-Mailbox. The full command to enable litigation hold for an account is as follows.

Set-Mailbox –identity “Rajith” –LitigationHoldEnabled $true

While this works in 2010 SP1, the feature has been exposed in both the management console (EMC) and the control panel (ECP).

Let me explain with an example. To enable litigation hold for my account using the console, navigate to Recipient Configuration –> Mailbox. Right click the mailbox and select “properties”. In the mailbox properties, select the “Mailbox Settings” tab, click “Messaging Records Management –> Properties.

Mailbox settings tab

Check “Enable Litigation Hold” to put the mailbox on litigation hold.

Enable litigation hold EMC

Use the “Messaging Records Management Description URL” box to enter the location of the litigation hold or retention hold policy. It can be an internal sharepoint site, where you explain the company policy around litigation hold. Use the “Comments” field to enter the text that you want to be displayed to the mailbox user in Outlook 2010. Filing in the text boxes are optional.

Clicking “Apply” brings a pop up box warning that it can take upto an hour for the changes to take effect.

One hour to take effect

The same can be done using Exchange Control Panel in SP1. Login to the ECP as a user with enough rights. Navigate to “Manage My Organization > Users & Groups > Mailboxes”.

Mailboxes in ECP

From the mailbox list, select the mailbox (mine) to be placed on litigation hold and click “Details”.

Details in ECP

In the “Mailbox” window, expand the “Mailbox Features” section.

Mailbox Features in ECP

From the mailbox features list, select “Litigation Hold and click the “Enable” button.

Enable litigation hold ECP

A new window opens, enabling us to write “Notes” which will be visible in Outlook and a “URL”. Both are optional.

Optional notes in ECP

Reverse the process to disable litigation hold using ECP and EMC. 2010 RTM ECP doesn’t have “Mailbox Features” and “Phone & Voice Features” section.

Legal Hold ECP in 2010 RTM 

The feature was exposed in the console and control panel in SP1 beta & has been retained fully in 2010 SP1 RTM.

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