Error message while using the Exmerge tool to retrieve a list of mailboxes from a RSG in Exchange Server 2003

Shyjin VaraprathCloud Technical Architect
* You receive an error message when you use the Exmerge tool to retrieve a list of mailboxes from a recovery storage group in Exchange Server 2003. The error message as stated below:

An error was encountered with one or more users when retrieving the list of mailboxes homed in the selected databases on server 'Server_Name'. Please refer to the log file, 'ExMerge.log', for more information.

* There is a solution to this problem and also the cause of it defined at the Microsoft's Knowledge base (

* This article aims at reducing the number of steps that is needed to achieve with what is stated in the KB Article.

* So in the given scenario as mentioned in MS KB article, after creating the RSG and adding the database to it from which the mailbox has to be Exmerged, instead of creating a new storage group as mentioned in "Step 3: Create a new storage group", we can follow the below steps.

* Using ADSIEdit.msc tool, change the behavior of the RSG so as to make it act as a normal Storage Group. Then from there select the disconnected mailbox that you wanted to recover or exmerge and right click it and select the option to "Reconnect" it to the active user account.

* Finally you can move the mailbox to its original group as described in the Step 7 of the KB article:

Step 7: Move the affected mailbox back to its original mailbox store

   1. In the right pane, right-click the affected mailbox, and then click Exchange tasks.
   2. In the Exchange Task Wizard that appears, click Next.
   3. On the Available Tasks page, click Move Mailbox under Select a task to perform. Then, click Next.
   4. On the Move Mailbox page, click the appropriate server in the Server list. Then click the original mailbox store in the Mailbox Store list.
   5. Click Next.
   6. Configure a method to use to handle any corrupted messages that are found during the move. Then, click Next two times.
   7. Exit Exchange System Manager.

* To change the RSG into a normal storage group using the ADSIEdit tool, below are the following steps:

   1. Launch ADSIEdit and browse through the "Configuration" Partition uptil the following path:

--CN=Microsoft Exchange
---CN=Your Org Name
----CN=Administrative Group
---------CN=Recovery Storage Group

   2. Once there, open properties of the database store that you have added to this RSG. In that properties window, in the "Attribute Editor" tab select the check box "Show only attributes that have value"

   3. In the list of attributes, you would find, the attribute "msExchRestore" whose value would be "True". Double click the attribute to edit it and set it as "NOT SET". Apply the change and confirm.

   4. Similarly, right click the "Recovery Storage Group" container and repeat the steps as in step 3.

   5. Finally right click the "Configuration" Partition container right on the top level and say "Update Schema Now".

P.S: Using the ADSIEdit tool and editing the Schema could be really dangerous if not handled properly (so even though not a major change that we are doing, make sure you don't change anything else, unknowingly)

* Once you are done with all the recovery, you can always delete the RSG.

Good Luck (^_^)
Shyjin VaraprathCloud Technical Architect

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