Tips To Perform a Successful Exchange Recovery

Server administrations departments all over the world deal with performance related errors, application malfunction issues, and database corruption, on an everyday basis. More than any centralized communication system, Microsoft Exchange is used at all levels of businesses. Starting right from the small and medium scale business and expanding to the large-scale enterprises, Exchange Server offers suitable services for everyone. Coming back to the point, rigorous usage of the server has also led to a rise in demand for Exchange recovery. The demand has risen because; performing the recovery EDB recover repeatedly with the help of manual techniques neither helps nor suits the convenience level. Therefore, the following section acts as a guide on consequences that lead to the need of performing database recovery for Exchange and brings into light the background requirements for doing the same.

exchange recovery


Possible Measures to Perform Exchange Database Recovery

Exchange is a platform as vast as you go into it. There is always a new update, upgrade, or bug fix/service pack introduced, if nothing. Therefore, the arrival of new issues every now and then is very common for a server administrator. Being technically well versed with the technology in trouble, we generally try to deal with it on our own.

Microsoft itself has made some provisions that make it possible for administrators to resolve certain issues at their end - without software or expert assistance required.

  • Backup Approach: Backups are the ultimate support system of server administrators. When nothing works, that is where you will find all the admins. Therefore, maintaining a backup or a DR (in the case of Exchange Server) is the common part of an Exchange admin’s profile. Thus, in case of database failure in mounting, connectivity, integrity, or whatsoever, the first approach for Exchange EDB recovery is to go look for the recent backup and restore database from it, in times of crisis.

NOTE: Backups are meant for situations where a massive damage has been caused and recovering is not an option, then the entire database is restored.

  • ESEUTIL Program: Another approach made when the damage is minor enough to be not dealt with a backup and major enough to crash the database is - ESEUTIL. This is a built-in utility provided officially by Microsoft to help admins deal with certain issues at their end itself. This is done so that neither do they have to restore the entire database for just one portion of corruption and nor do they have to invest on commercial programs.

NOTE: Databases of server applications used at enterprise level are the centralized storage system. Therefore, the file size is evidently massive and backup restoration cannot be an option every time a portion of the database is found damaged.



Before jumping to the conclusion of implementing suggested techniques to recover Exchange mailbox, it is important to know the requirements that need to be fulfilled beforehand:

  • A. For backup restoration, you simply need to have ample of storage space that can be used for keeping the restored data.
  • B. Performing recover using ESEUTIL, you must have rights over all the mailboxes and the primary database (as an administrator, you have them all).
  • C. The database restored or recovered in the process must be in a clean shutdown state. Database in a dirty shutdown state cannot be mounted on the server successfully.


Challenges of Performing Exchange Recovery

When using manual approaches for performing database recovery on Exchange Server, technological hurdles tend to surface. The following challenges are probable to be surfaced when dealing with recovery of Exchange database (ESEUTIL, especially):

  • 1. You must understand the process completely. In order to execute a utility that is based on commands, parameters, and switches. Therefore, you must understand it in order to distinguish between what is relevant and what is not for a certain condition.
  • 2. The ESEUTIL recovery solution is completely dependent on Server. In order to run ESEUTIL, one must have live Exchange Server environment available. In case the damage is caused due to a crashed server then it must probably be under maintenance which leaves no way to perform recover.
  • 3. Entire storage needs to be backed up; database, logs, and STM (if applicable). Before carrying out recovery procedure on your own, you must understand the risks of it. Anything can go wrong at any point of time. Therefore, always avoid performing on the principal database without having its backup available.
  • 4. Check the consistency first. Before running any EDB recover procedures against your database, you need check its consistency. There are times when the failure in mounting a database is caused due to reasons besides corruption. Thus, you need to make sure that what is causing you all the trouble is the faulty consistency of your database.
  • 5. Determine the database state; dirty or clean. You need to check whether the state of your database is clean or dirty as it determines your next move. If the database is clean you can go ahead, if it’s not then you need to bring it back to a clean state.
  • 6. Integrity check has to be performed. When performing integrity check, you will have to use ISINTEG utility for the purpose. Make sure that at the end, the results show no error. If the ratio of errors doesn’t decrease a bit, then the database cannot be relied upon. Move mailboxes from it to another database.


Overcoming the Hurdles

The hurdles encountered during Exchange recovery are all the technical requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to accomplish desired results. Therefore, these stages cannot be avoided just to ease down the procedure. However, alternatives can be used instead of a manual EDB recovery approach to avoid the inconvenience.

Moreover, ESEUTIL doesn’t guarantee rendering a solution with the usage of switches provided in it. There are conditions where the damage is so severe that it cannot be handled by built-in utilities (built for minor cases of database inconsistency). Thus, completely relying upon such tools would not yield expected results.

Third Party Applications: When talking about alternatives of a manual workaround, the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is - third party tools or commercial solutions. Exchange Recovery software is programmed proficiently with the right kind of options that put all user requirements on top, especially their convenience while performing recovery of EDB files.

  • 1. The software is standalone and does not require Exchange Server environment to perform Exchange database recovery without log files.
  • 2. You can perform database recovery both in the case of minor as well as major cases of corruption.
  • 3. The software also holds the potential to restore deleted items from any/all mailboxes within selected database.
  • 4. Recovered mailboxes can be saved as Outlook Data Files or exported to a live Exchange Server environment.
  • 5. Freeware trial edition available for product testing that enables performing recovery of 25 items per folder successfully for demonstration purpose.



Exchange Server databases consist of an entire organization’s mailboxes. The storage is evidently massive and restoring backups for every big and small inconsistency consumes too much storage and recovery time too. Moreover, the manual approaches are dependent upon environment and prerequisites, which are requirements sometimes impossible to fulfill. Therefore, third party solutions turn up to be the most reliable solution for conditions like these. They are not limited in offering services as the tool used to recover Exchange 2013 database is the same tool used for Exchange 2003 database recovery too. Thus, it is important to do a market research and find a tool that is performance centric and result oriented. When looking for a tool it is always suggested to go for the one that comes with a trial to ensure its usability before investing. Exchange Recovery software is a tool used for the same purpose by providing successful results with conversion and server export offered post recovery for extended accessibility. Additional facilities provided are best for the recovery


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