Jan 16, 2012

What do you do when MS Exchange servers go down and your backup is corrupted?

A power transformer blew a block away from our office and the spike cooked our UPS, taking down the MS Exchange server. Unfortunately, it was at the end of the day yesterday, and the back-up was almost a day old at the time, so the emails from the entire day were not yet backed up. What is the best thing to do to try to recover the lost data, which includes messages and discussions with both customers and vendors, the loss of which would be very bad indeed?

However there are some inbuilt utilities of Exchange (ESEUTIL) , but looking over situations like yours, I would recommend you to try out Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery Software to extract pst from corrupt EDB file of Exchange . It is a powerful Exchange repair software that will help you to restore the inaccessible mailboxes by repairing the corrupt or damaged Exchange Server database files. The software recovers mailboxes, which can be directly imported and used in the Outlook as PST file.Moreover, you can also restore all accidentally deleted mailboxes. You can get more info from :http://www.stellarinfo.com/edb-exchange-server-recovery.htm

For the recovery of Exchange from backup all you need to have is log files. Follow these commands: 

Detect the State of Database: 

eseutil /mh <path of database>


If database is in clean state then its ok, but it not then Repair Dirty Shutdown error: 

exeutil/r <path of log file>


Now the database is clean shut down, now run Restore-Mailbox command to restore the mailbox. But if still problems exists like, server is crashed, log files are corrupted, edb file is offline then get helpful information from: http://exchangeguides.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/recover-exchange-server-when-the-log-file-is-corrupted-or-deleted/



Such types situations are very critical and sometimes leads to serious data loss in Exchange databases. Although, hard repair /p can help users to bring databases into consistent and mountable state. But, sometimes it can cause data loss because it removes the unreadable database pages to maintain the integrity and bring the databases in consistent state.


Here are following to troubleshoot dirtyshut down:-


These steps helps you convert it to a clean shutdown state and bring out you from dirty shut down.

 Take backup of all Exchange Database files including private, public, log and STM files to a different location and make free space for the repair process on your hard drive.

Check consistency of mentioned database by running “Eseutil” with /mh:

[ eseutil /mh “path of the priv.edb"]

After check consistency check verify the Database state, It should be Dirty Shutdown.

Get Soft Repair by replacing the log files of the corrupt Database system. Execute ‘Eseutil /r’ command from the database log folder :

c:\dblog>eseutil /r E00

Again have to run consistency check for your database, If still inconsistent state is showing the in the database , go to the next step Eseutil /p “c:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\priv1.edb” and run this command.

Run ‘Eseutil /d’ command to defrag the database . Now,run ‘Isinteg’ command to perform Store-level check as given below:

[isinteg -s "servername" -test alltests]

Run this command until no errors are found.


Use ‘Eseutil /mh’ to examine the state of your database again. Now you will find the system should be in Clean shutdown state.  


To read more about dirty shut down error please visit http://exchangedirtyshutdownerrors.edbtopstutility.net/

Perhaps this is a good argument for multiple backups? Seems like that might be a way to guard against the damage by this sort of situation.


Sad to say, your only option might be to do an OST restore.  Since each Exchange server user is running Outlook in cached mode, you can probably make use of employees' poor security practices.  If they left their computer logged on and running then Outlook will have a locally cached copy of each mailbox.  You'll have to create a new database where you can assign new mailbox space to users.  It's going to be a time consuming task, and it depends on those local caches being there, so it is one of those rare time you had best hope your employees are not following best practices for security.  You will also need a tool for OST to PST conversion.  There are a number of choices, a well known one being from Nucleus Technologies.

Exchange ships with eseutil, which you might also want to explore.  Eseutil is a command line utility that you can use to repair databases.  You might want to check out this link for a list of eseutil modes that might be useful in your recovery efforts.  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996953(EXCHG.65).aspx 


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