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How to Repair Corrupt Exchange database?

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Bharat Bhushan
Expert in disaster management in data recovery in Exchange Server,Outlook and SQL Server.
Are you an Exchange administrator employed with an organization? And, have you encountered a corrupt Exchange database due to which you are not able to open its EDB file. This article will explain all the steps to repair corrupt Exchange database.

Are you an Exchange administrator employed with an organization? And, have you encountered a corrupt Exchange database due to which you are not able to open its EDB file and access the stored data items, such as emails, contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, journals, and others?

Well, if this is the scenario then it becomes necessary for you to repair corrupt Exchange database as soon as possible. This is because with the Exchange Server down for a long duration; the ongoing or regular workflow is hampered while the users are unable to access their mailbox data. However, before delving into the several ways for repairing damaged Exchange database (EDB) files it is better that you know by what means the database becomes corrupt. And this is because it will help you to prevent database corruption be it physical or logical. This, thereby, will assist you to keep the server up and running.

Reasons for Exchange database corruption

The Exchange database corruption can occur at the application level in folders, mailboxes, emails & attachments and any Exchange version including Exchange 2010, 2007, and lower versions. The various reasons for corruption in Exchange database are as follows:

  1. User errors
  2. Failed booting
  3. Attack by viruses, malware, etc.
  4. Failed server or server malfunction
  5. Database size beyond permissible limit
  6. Improper or sudden accidental system shutdown
  7. Old version of anti-virus programs installed on system server
  8. Damaged or missing database objects such as database engine failure, storage corruption, etc.


Methods to repair damaged Exchange database

Exchange database corrupt? If this is the situation the different methods that can be used to for repairing damaged Exchange database (EDB) files based on different versions of Exchange Server are as follows:

1. Eseutil utility – It is a command line Exchange database repair utility that works with Extensible Storage Engine (ESE), Exchange database (EDB) files, its streaming (STM) files, and its log (LOG) files linked to an Information Store in a given Storage Group.


With command line utility it means that the utility can be run from the command line. At a time, this utility can be run on one database and can be used to perform a range of tasks, such as database repair, offline defragmentation, and integrity checks in Exchange Server 2007, 2003, 2000, and 5.5.


To locate this utility, go to C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Bin folder

Note - This is the location of Eseutil utility in Exchange Server 2003 and 2000 versions.


2. New-MailboxRepairRequest - It is a cmdlet that can identify and fix corruption in the mailbox of Exchange 2016, 2003, and 2010 version. This command can be launched against a particular mailbox or against an entire database. While this command runs, access to the mailbox is disrupted only for the damaged mailbox that is being repaired.


Further, if this command is run against a complete database, only the mailbox that is being repaired is interrupted. On the other hand, the other database mailboxes remain operational. You should also note that after you begin the repair request with this command, you cannot stop it before you dismount the database.


The types of Exchange mailbox corruptions that this cmdlet can identify and then fix them are as follows:

 

  • Corruptions in Search folder(SearchFolder)
  • Aggregate counts on folders that do not reflect true values (AggregateCounts)
  • Views on folders that do not return accurate contents (FolderView)
  • Provisioned folders that are not pointing correctly to parent folders that are not provisioned (ProvisionedFolder)


Note – If you wish to use this cmdlet, you would have to take permission before running it. This is because you may not have access to some parameters if they are not included in the permissions already granted to you.

Also, to avoid any performance issues, there are restrictions put on the number of repair requests that can be submitted per server concurrently. For a database-level repair, only one request can be active whereas for a mailbox-level repair per server up to 100 requests can be active.

 

  • Its Syntax:

3. Third-party software – The next thing that you can try is bringing in use a third-party software that can successfully repair corrupt Exchange database in one go. One such software is Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery that easily repairs damaged Exchange (EDB) files and allows to save the recovered mailbox data in multiple file formats. Its distinct features are as follows:

  • Recovers Dismounted & Offline EDB files
  • Provides option to repair corrupt EDB files that are exceedingly large
  • Offers option to repair several Exchange EDB files in one go
  • Offers to move retrieved mailboxes into Live Exchange Server and Office 365
  • Offers to save retrieved emails in popularly used file formats that can be PST, MSG, EML, HTML, RTF or PDF document.
  • Works with Exchange Server 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2000, and 5.5 versions.


Working of Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery

Here, the working of Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery has been explained along with screenshots. Go through the repair process of damaged EDB file in a step-by-step manner explained below:

1. Download, register, and run the software.


2. Select EDB dialog box comes up. In this box, select the damaged EDB file to be repaired. To do so, click Open EDB or Find EDB button.




Note – The former option can be chosen if the EDB file location is known whereas the latter can be chosen if the location is not known i.e. if you have lost or forgotten.


3. The Find EDB File dialog box comes up if Find EDB button is clicked.


(a) The software searches EDB files saved on your system’s drive. The search is based on the drive you select through ‘Look’ in drop down menu and ‘File Type’ as EDB or by a click on ‘Look in’ button.

(b) Next, click ‘Start’ button so that the tool starts searching the EDB files.

(c) From ‘Find Results’ section, choose the EDB file to be repaired and click ‘OK’ button.


4. From the two scan options that are Quick Scan and Extensive Scan, choose one and click ‘OK’ button. Select ‘Quick Scan’ if scan results are desired quickly whereas ‘Extensive Scan’ if in-depth result is desired.


 

5. A progress of ‘Scan’ process is displayed.


6. All recoverable Exchange mailbox data is exhibited in the preview window. The window has a three-pane structure.


 

7. Click Save button so that Save As dialog box comes up. In this box, select any one from PST, MSG, EML, HTML, RTF, PDF, and Office 365 in which you wish to save the recovered Exchange mailbox data.


 

The process to repair corrupt Exchange database is over and as well as the mailbox data is restored without changes!

The Concluding Lines

Exchange database corrupt? Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery is the best solution! This is because the Exchange inbuilt utilities such as Eseutil utility and New-MailboxRepairRequest cmdlet require users to have technical expertise and consumes your precious time. On the other hand, the Mailbox Exchange Recovery being a user-friendly tool is an easy way to repair damaged EDB files in no time.

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