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Recover Mail from overwritten mailbox Exchange 5.5

Hi,

There was a problem with the mailboxes on a 5.5 Exchange server, and I was given the information that all users used PST files to remove the mails from Exchange, so I was pretty confident I could go with a process, where I would delete the users mailbox in the server, and then create it with the same details.

This solved the problem they were, and since the user had a PST on it's desktop, no info would be lost.

I found out, to my surprise that the information I got was incorrect, most users actually didn't have PSTs... Result, I deleted all their e-mails.

Now, I have the EDB file, but when I open it with Ontrack PowerControls, I can only see e-mails they received since the operation was done, yet the database size is still the old size, giving me hope that maybe the old e-mails are there somewhere, and maybe I could retrive them.

Any suggestions?
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Menshen
Asked:
Menshen
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1 Solution
 
MicrotechCommented:
The size of the database is actually only white psace, the data has been removed. Do you have a backup of the store? If not you may have to bite the bullet.
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amaheshwariCommented:
You can use exmerge to create pst from Exchnage 5.5 mailbox.
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MenshenAuthor Commented:
To make things better, I believe they don't have recent backups...

This is an Exchange 5.5 with Outlook 2003, I guess Outlook wouldn't have OST files where I could recover the e-mails on this situation?
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MicrotechCommented:
depends, if you were using outlook 2003 in cached mode and have not reconnected the users to the server then you can open their outlook in offline (cached) mode and export the e-mails to pst files.
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MenshenAuthor Commented:
They reconnected :(...
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MicrotechCommented:
ok then find the ost file on each client machine (if they were using cached mode) then use this program to turn your ost file into a pst file.

ost2pst.exe  http://www.xcopy32.com/email.htm

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MicrotechCommented:
just checked and a broken link, i will look for recent copy
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MenshenAuthor Commented:
Hum... The ideia is to use some tool to recover deleted emails from the PST?
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MicrotechCommented:
Hopefully from the .ost file the problem is that the tool does not work in 2003 format, so you will have to convery the ost to a 2002 pst file for successful import.

1. Backup ost file(s) from C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
2. Rename "outlook.ost" to "repair.pst"
3. Use scanpst.exe from Outlook 2002 (if you have not got a copy mail me details in profile) (in C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033) to repair "repair.pst"
4. Rename repair.pst back to outlook.ost
5. Run OST2PST which will then convert the file successfully to outlook.pst
6. Outlook can then open the outlook.pst file
7. Import the mail back into your exchange server.

The other way I have seen it work which may be worth a try is delete the user's outlook profile and create a new one
While creating the outlook profile click on More Settings in this dialog box, click on the Advanced Tab and Click on Offline Folder File Settings. You should see the browse button choose the appropriate ost file.

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MenshenAuthor Commented:
My concern is that I believe the OST file is only created when Outlook 2003 is used with Exchange 2003, in this case the Exchange version is 5.5
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MicrotechCommented:
Cached Exchange Mode is supported on Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 and later, it just depends on whether you enabled it or not.
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MenshenAuthor Commented:
But when the user opens up it's outlook, and Exchange has a new and empty mailbox... What happens on the client, to the e-mails it had previously? They are deleted on the OST? A new OST is created?
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MicrotechCommented:
I believe a new ost is created, ie outlook1.ost  can you check on a client machine? under C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
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MenshenAuthor Commented:
Your solution worked like a charm, I was unlucky with the first user, for some reason it's OST file was in a non-default location, so I thought I had no chance, but a more in-depth search solved the problem. Thanks ;)
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MicrotechCommented:
no problem, the cached mode is a last line of defense, glad it worked for you.
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