How to use Exchange Server Eseutil Command?

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Bharat Bhushan
Experts in data recovery from corrupt Exchange mailboxes, SQL database, and Outlook emails.
Want to know how to use Exchange Server Eseutil command? Go through this article as it gives you the know-how.

Eseutil is an inbuilt command line tool in Exchange Server that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as to repair damaged database, defragment it, reduce its size, check its integrity, etc. It can also be used in other situations, such as when the server is down, fails to mount, or is in a state of Dirty Shutdown. It works with Extensible Storage Engine (ESE), database (EDB) files, streaming (STM) files, and log (LOG) files that are associated with an Information Store in a given Storage Group.

Almost all Exchange administrators know about the capability of this utility as it has been in Exchange 4.0 and all following versions. However, as an Exchange administrator, you should know how to use Exchange Server Eseutil command so that you can perform the toughest task of repairing damaged Exchange database (EDB) file easily and successfully.

Repairing Corrupt Exchange Database with Eseutil

First and foremost, backup the entire Exchange data before using the Eseutil utility to repair damaged database of Exchange Server. Next, the backup must be saved safely and securely so that it is not lost, deleted, or damaged.

When the database is in ‘Dirty Shutdown’ state, it means that some essential log files are missing. The screenshot displayed below shows the result of the ESEUTIL /MH <database_name> cmdlet:

Result of the ESEUTIL /MH cmdlet

In the ‘result of ESEUTIL /MH’ figure, in the line just below the State header showing Dirty Shutdown, the Log Required header is present that tells you about the necessary log files. Here, it can be seen that the missing log files are from 23 to 27.

(Note - In the hexadecimal format 23 stands for 17 and 27 stands for 1B. It means that the missing log files are from E0000000017.log to E000000001B.log. These logs are essential to repair the database and recover mailbox data without loss of data.)

Now, the Exchange database repair process is over!

Defragmentation of the database with ESEUTIL

Defragmentation can be used in several scenarios, especially when there is a lack of space to create a new database and the free space on the disk having the database is decreasing. 

The steps to defragment the database are as follows:

1. Check the free space that is available in the database. To do so, use the following cmdlet:

Get-MailboxDatabase -Status | ft name,databasesize,availablenewmailboxspace

2. Dismount the database. To do so, use the following cmdlet:

Dismount-Database –Identity <database_name>

3. Run the ESEUTIL tool and /d and /t switches. The cmdlet for it is:

ESEUTIL /D <database_name> /T <UNC_path>

4. Mount the database back using the following cmdlet:

Mount-Database –Identity <database_name>

5. Check the free space that is taken up by the database now. To check, use this cmdlet:

Get-MailboxDatabase -Status | ft name,databasesize,availablenewmailboxspace

(Note - After executing this cmdlet, you will find that the database consumes less space.)

Now, the process of defragmentation is over!

Well, these are the methods to use Eseutil utility for different purposes. However, it has a few disadvantages associated with it. Using this utility requires in-depth technical knowledge of which, where, and how to use the commands in it. Therefore, it is recommended that you use software to repair damaged EDB files instead of Eseutil utility. This is because the software makes the process almost automatic, requires less human intervention, and saves your time.

The Recommended Software to repair corrupt Exchange database

Here, Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery software is recommended as it has a user-friendly interface never fails in repairing the damaged Exchange database and recovers all mailbox data, such as emails, attachments, calendar, contacts, notes, etc. Plus, it retrieves dismounted as well as Offline EDB files successfully, no matter what is the size of EDB file. It also allows you to export retrieved user mailboxes to Office 365, Live Exchange Server, and the restored emails in PST, MSG, EML, RTF, HTML & PDF file formats. Talking about support and compatibility, it supports Microsoft Exchange Server 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2000, and 5.5 version.

The way Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery works

By going through this section, you will know the way in which Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery software functions and the steps that you should follow after you have downloaded, registered, and launched the software to repair damaged Exchange EDB file.

1. The main screen having Select EDB dialog box comes up. In it, choose the corrupt EDB file by a click on Open EDB or Find EDB button.

2. Click Open EDB button if the storage location of EDB file is well-known or click Find EDB button if the storage location of EDB file is unknown to you.

3. Click Start button.

Description: Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery

Figure 1: Selection of corrupt EDB file

4. A dialog box named Find EDB File comes up on clicking Find EDB button in the previous screen.

Description: Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery

Figure 2: Finding EDB files in specific drive

a. Choose a drive through Look in drop down menu, select File Type as ‘EDB.’


Click ‘Look in’ button.

b.Click Start button. When you do this, the software begins to search EDB files saved in the chosen drive of your system. On completion, all the found EDB file are displayed in Find Results segment.

c. Choose the EDB file to be repaired from Find Results segment and click OK button.

5. A dialog box named Select Scan Mode providing Quick Scan and Extensive Scan options come up.

a. Select former for quick results whereas latter for better results.

b. Click OK button.

Description: Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery

Figure 3: Scan type selection

6. The progress of the ongoing Scan process is displayed.

Description: Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery

Figure 4: Ongoing Scan process

7. A preview window with three-pane structure comes up. Here, all Exchange mailbox data that can be retrieved is presented in this window.

Description: Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery

Figure 5: All retrievable Exchange mailbox data displayed

8. Click Save button present in the File menu. A dialog box named Save As shows up. From this box, select PST, HTML, RTF, MSG, EML, PDF, or Office 365 in which you wish to save the retrieved mailbox data of Exchange Server.

Description: Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery

Figure 6: Saving the recovered emails

9. Finally, the EDB database file of Exchange Server is repaired, and all mailbox data items are restored.

The Finishing Lines

As you now know how to use Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery software and that it is a better option than Eseutil utility when it comes to ease-of-use, use it to repair any damaged EDB files regardless of the severity of corruption. On the other hand, having technical knowledge of Eseutil utility, you can use it as well!

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