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Using Virtual Drive for Exchange Mailbox Restore

Prerequisites

Download and install the Virtual Drive.

After the installation, you must restart your workstation.

After the restart, a drive will be added to "My Computer"/"This PC" - B: drive.

 

Exchange Databases and Backups

The Online Backup Client uses Microsoft VSS (Volume Shadow Copy) technology for backing up Exchange mailbox databases. For these purposes, Exchange Server has a special built-in Exchange VSS Writer that guaranteed that the mailbox database being backed up will be in a consistent state.

However, the writer puts the database in a so-called dirty shutdown state which means that the database log files (usually named E00000xy.log) are required along with the database file (*.edb).

The opposite term is clean shutdown state - the database is fully functional as a single .edb file and no log files are required.

 

Putting Database into Clean Shutdown State

Exchange server installation includes a program called eseutil.exe (Extensible Storage Engine Utility) specially created to check the state or manipulate Exchange database and log files.

There is a special command to check the state of the database file:

eseutil /mh "<Path to EDB file>"

It produces output where you can check out the state of the database.

The eseutil command also provides a way to put the database from dirty shutdown state into a clean shutdown state. It will copy the contents from log files into EDB file making the database independent from log files.

Let’s suppose here that Virtual Drive is mounted as B: volume:

eseutil /r Exy /i /a /s "<Path to LOG folder>" /l "<Path to LOG folder>" /d "<Path to EDB folder>"

Here, 'Exy' is the base log file name. It can be found out from database log files folder. There should be a checkpoint file Exy.chk, its name is used as an input parameter in this command.

 

After that, the log files are committed to the .edb file and it should be in a clean shutdown state. It may be verified with executing eseutil /mh once again.

 

In Exchange 2007, mailbox restore is done with the help of so-called Recovery Storage Group. They are created via Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant (ExTrA.exe).

To perform a mailbox restore in Exchange 2007:

  1. Put the required mailbox database on a B: drive into a clean state with eseutil. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use it for mailbox restore.

  2. Launch ExTrA ('extra.exe' from command prompt).

  3. Click on Select task hyperlink.

  4. Select Database Recovery Management from the functions list.

  5. Click on Next.

  6. Select Create a recovery storage group.

  7. Select a storage group – the one that owns the database to be restored and click Next.

  8. In Recovery Database Path specify a path to the edb database on a B: drive and click Create the Recovery Storage Group.

  9. ExTrA will create a recovery storage group and show result screen specifying the errors occurred (if any). In case everything went fine – select the Go Back to Task Center link.

  10. In the task center, select Mount or dismount databases in the recovery storage group.

  11. On the next screen, check the database to be restored in the list of databases and click Mount Selected Database.

  12. ExTrA will show results screen, click on Go back to task center hyperlink.

  13. In the task center, select Merge or copy mailbox contents.

  14. Click Gather Merge Information on the next screen.

  15. Select desired mailboxes and click Perform pre-merge tasks on the next screen.

  16. Exchange will restore selected mailboxes and present result screen. 

After that, the database should be dismounted and recovery storage group removed.

 

Unlike in Exchange 2007, in Exchange 2010 there is no concept of “Recovery Storage Group”. Mailbox restore is done with the help of “Recovery Database”.

 To perform a mailbox restore in Exchange 2010:

  1. Put the required mailbox database on a B: drive into a clean state with eseutil- see Putting database into clean shutdown state (first step). Otherwise, you won’t be able to use it for mailbox restore.

  2. Launch “Exchange Management Shell”.

  3. To create a Recovery Database, use the following command:

    New-MailboxDatabase -Recovery –Name <Recovery database name> -Server <Exchange server name> -EdbFilePath <Path to EDB file>

    -LogFolderPath <Path to log folder>

  4. Launch Exchange Management Console, go to Organization Configuration > Mailbox > Database Management, select the recovery database that you've just created and click Mount Database in the popup menu.

  5. Now go back to Exchange Management Shell. To get the list of all the mailboxes in the recovery database, use the following command:

    Get-MailboxStatistics -database <Recovery database name>

    It will show the list of the mailboxes in the recovery database.

  6. To restore a single mailbox from the recovery database, use the following command:

    Restore-Mailbox <Mailbox name> -RecoveryDatabase <Recovery database name>

    It will prompt you for confirmation.

After mailbox restore is complete, the recovery database should be dismounted and removed from Exchange Management Console.

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