Thankfully for me I performed the ultimate fubar while performing a test migration from NT4.0 + Exchange 5.5 to SBS 2003 Premium back when SBS 2003 first came out. That's right, I managed to blow away the majority of the Public Folder store in one fell swoop, simply because I wasn't following my own instructions properly and wasn't used to the new Exchange System Manager interface.
Thankfully, I had just been getting familiar with the new capabilities of Outlook Web Access and had used the Recover Deleted Items feature to get familiar with it and to be able to instruct clients on how to use it.
I didn't really want to have to spend the time re-copying the Public Folder store from the Exchange 5.5 install, so I looked for the Public Folder equivalent of the Recover Deleted Items feature for the mailbox. It appeared to be missing. Or was it?
I had noticed that the Recover Deleted Items window had essentially opened the Deleted Items folder in the mailbox and had set a URL variable. The variable and its setting was:
Being the lazy kind of guy I am - as well as being inquisitive - I thought I would give some link hacking a try. I opened up the Public Folders link, navigated to the parent folder of the folder I deleted, right-clicked on the parent folder and selected Open in new... This opened the folder in a new window. The URL of this folder was of the form:
I then replaced contents with showdeleted. The URL then looked like:
Ta da! The folder I trashed was now visible and capable of being recovered, which saved me additional copying time. Sometimes screwing up a test environment is a great way to learn a new, lazy technique :-)