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Retrieving public calendar entries

Rich
Rich asked
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I am running Windows SBS2003R2 and using Exchange to manage my public calendar. I had several years of calendar entries, but today noticed that all data prior to November 24, 2007 was gone! I can only guess that this must have happened when I set up my Blackberry to sync with the calendar public folder. Anyway, is there any way to retrieve this data through exchange, or is it lost forever.
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Top Expert 2008

Commented:
You can get things back, without going to backup, if you have a little luck (and if this has only just happened)

http://www.amset.info/outlook/recoverdeleteditems.asp

Scroll down to the bit where you can get public folder data back using OWA

Kieran

Author

Commented:
That looked promising at first, but for some reason, only a handful (11 of several thousand) entries are there, and they were deleted within the last couple of days. Also, when I select them and press Recover, I get an error saying "Some items can't be delted. They were either moved, already delted, or access was denied." I am logged in as Administrator.
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Top Expert 2008
Commented:
Next plan, pfdavadmin

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/924044

If that fails, then I would be warming up the tape drive...

Author

Commented:
Thank you for your help!

Author

Commented:
Thanks Kieran, I tried the pfdavadmin, and saw the same small amount of deleted data as with the trick with OWA. Thanks for the info on both those techniques/tools. So, I went back to Backup Exec, found a backup near the time of the missing data, and told it to restore the Calendar Public folder. Much to my suprise, it worked! (I have almost never successfully been able to restore from bkf files, especially Exchange data.) Anyway, one small issue is that all the Calendar entries are back, but twice, as though the originals were never deleted. Although I can deal with this, do you know of any way to remove duplicates?
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Top Expert 2008

Commented:
>>do you know of any way to remove duplicates?

Set the view so that you are viewing events, then add a column of "modified date" you can sort by that and should see all the duplicates.

Good to here you got it back, but I am worried that you don't trust your backups.  What happens when the server blows all it's hard drives at once?

Author

Commented:
Good idea! I am not sure what I was thinking, but for some reason, never thought that calendar entries could be viewed row-by-row, like emails and taskes, etc. Anyway, it looks as though I must have gotten two restore jobs running, since the modifed times were only about 15 minutes apart. Just goes to my lack of backup (or actually restore) experience.

Actually, my lack of restore confidence is primarily from lack of having to do it very often. My clients are small enough that only two of them, and myself, use Exchange. I have been doing the backups to tape with Backup Exec, and have selected the Exchange data, in addition to the Company and User files, and System State (whatever that is!) but other than testing an occational restore (of the files, not Exchange data), I have not had to restore an Exchange server. I have had to restore complete systems due to hard drive failures, but those were not using Exchange, and there were only a couple of users, so I recreated them manually and got them back their company and user files, and reinstalled apps, etc. Probably not the most efficient way...

Well, again, thanks for your support on this issue. And at least I learned something!

Rich
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Top Expert 2008

Commented:
>>I have not had to restore an Exchange server.

Experience is the one thing you get just after you need it the most.  Take the opportunity now to try and rebuild your exchange server to a Virtual Machine test environment - if it works, great - if it doesn't format everything and start again.

I have been (un)fortunate enough to go through some horrible losses with data, and it has made me exceptionally good a disaster recovery planning and actual recoveries - I urge anyone reading this to test their restore practices NOW before they have no choice.

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