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Exchange 2003 Restore - Outlook downloading to PST file, lost the PST file .. restore logs ?

Posted on 2007-04-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
hi,

here is the story : we use exchange 2003 with outlook 2003 and OWA for some users.

the user that has the issue is using Outlook 2003.
for some reason he was setup with downloading his emails to a pst file instead of remaining in his outlook mailbox

when his manager cleaned his profile, he accidentally deleted the PST file, making him lose his emails. he lost only 3 days of received emails because he archived everything to a pst archive residing on our file server.

now the question is can i go in the exchange log files or somewhere to restore those three days of emails ?
when we do backups with backup exec we backup both the mailbox and the store files with the logs.
the mailbox backup is nearly empty because everythigng is downloaded to the PST, ...

where should we start ?
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Question by:matanguay
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Expert Comment

by:czcdct
ID: 18875720
You won't be able to do this because the log files will also record the fact that the message was deleted (removed) from the mailbox so restoring into the RSG would just result in that same empty mailbox.
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by:matanguay
ID: 18875904
ok but is there a way to restore all incoming and outgoing emails for a specific user ?
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czcdct earned 500 total points
ID: 18875980
Only if you were journaling at the store level out to a separate mailbox. You could then run an exmerge on that archive mailbox. Are you journaling anything?

Once an item comes into the store it belongs to the store. If a user pulls it out of the store there isn't a way to undo that or recover the information from somewhere else because there isn't anywhere else. You can't pull anything back off the logs becuase the logs record all transactions, in and out, including client based messsage movement.

It is now time to break the news to the user.
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Author Comment

by:matanguay
ID: 18876423
that sucks but that makes sense :)

since we dont backup to a mailbox he lost the whole thing :(

what is the exmerge you are talking about ?
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Expert Comment

by:czcdct
ID: 18876568
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/174197 explains what Exmerge is. It's a way of getting mail out to a PST from the server side rather than having to do it from the client side. It's no good to you at the moment but it might be useful in time to come.

One assumes you've also made sure the users profile is configured to deliver to the mailbox rather than the PST so this unfortunate episode doesn't befall the user again.
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