Friday, July 21, 2006

Exchange Server 2003 Mailbox Recovery Using Recovery Storage Groups, NTBackup and Exmerge

OK, this is my quick-n-dirty guide to recovering a mailbox from an Exchange 2003 system. I'll tidy it up later.

  • Download Exmerge from Microsoft

  • Follow the instructions in MSKB 292509 to create a group that will allow the Administrator account to read/write mailbox data

  • Open Exchange System Manager, expand Servers. Right-click on <server name> under Servers. Select New > Recovery Storage Group...

  • Enter in a name for the RSG and also the file locations. The defaults are fine. Click OK

  • Right-click on the Recovery Storage Group object.

  • Choose Add Databases to Recover…

  • Highlight the Mailbox Store (the one to be restored).

  • Enable This Database can be overwritten by a restore

  • Run NTBackup, select Restore and Manage Media, find the correct media, expand the Exchange Information Store and select Logs and Mailbox Store.

  • Click Start Restore, Restore to <server name>, and set the Temporary location to the file location used to create the Recovery Storage Group. Enable Last Restore Set.

  • After the database has been restored, mount the Recovery Storage Group database using Exchange Server Manager.

  • Run Exmerge and select Extract or Import (Two Step Procedure).

  • Select Step 1.

  • Enter in <server name> for Exchange Server Name.

  • Select Recovery Storage Group database.

  • Select Mailbox to recover.

  • Select Folder location to save .PST files to.

  • Start ExMerge, click Next

  • Choose Extract or Import (Two Step Procedure)

  • Pick Step 2: Import data into an Exchange Server Mailbox

  • Again type the name of your Exchange server then click Next

  • Mark the mailboxes you want to merge, click Next twice

  • Specify where the .PST files should be merged from and click Next

  • Check mailbox data, then Dismount RSG database and remove files from the RSG file location

  • You're done!


Brown Wise said...

Thanks for this informative and helpful post. Exmerge.exe is undoubtedly a helpful utility to recover Exchange Mailbox from Exchange Server 2003. But, there are some limitation of this tool like this utility is not able to export the selected items based on date or time. Also, the utility ExMerge.exe cannot extract the items from Dumpster. There is also size limitation issue with this application.

In these situations a third party tool can give fruitful results to you. there are several third party Exchange Server recovery tools available in the market to perform instant Mailbox recovery. One of such tools is Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery software that effectively scans the entire database file and exports mailboxes in .pst file of MS Outlook.

Paul Davis said...

Yes Brown !

Sometimes the inbuilt exmerge.exe utility does not work and users fail to gain their original data. In such case only a third party application may help him. One such tool that worked in our case is here:

We successfully repaired and restored our completely failed Exchange Server. The software has been designed with triple scanning modes to recover the lost or damaged data with full accuracy and completely.