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Undelete Mailbox after it has been deleted and the cleanup agent has been run!

Okay, i have a mailbox that has been deleted. The person that did this has then run the cleanup agent and completely removed the deleted mailbox.

Is there any way i can restore the mailbox (we don't have a backup for this as the tape drive has been broken for a month!)

Please help!
Okay, i have a mailbox that has been deleted. The person that did this has then run the cleanup agent and completely removed the deleted mailbox.
 
Is there any way i can restore the mailbox (we don't have a backup for this as the tape drive has been broken for a month!)
 
Please help!

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audiopleb
Asked:
audiopleb
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1 Solution
 
ckimball99Commented:
The cleanup agent would have removed the mailbox depending on settings on the Store.  On the Properties of the store, on the Limits tab, under the Deletion settings section it will list how long the mailboxes are kept for after deletion in days.

If your errant admin actually purged the mailbox before that time was up, or you have already past that time and he ran the cleanup agent, I'm afraid you won't be able to get that mailbox back.  

It might be possible to send it off to a professional to try to grab the data off the disk in some way, but its a long shot.
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ryansotoCommented:
If the mailbox is gone from the mailbox store your done for
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange_Server_2003_Mailbox_Recovery.html
That link shows the difference between the cleanup agent (which just checks a mailbox against an active directory user account) If there is none then it makrs it for deletion.
The deletion period (called retention) is 30 days.
If someone deleted the mailbox from the mailbox store you need a backup!
You can try going to that local machine the user was on and seeing if there is a .pst offline file

By default, Outlook places each Offline Folders (.ost) file and Personal Folders (.pst) file that it creates in the %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder.
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audioplebAuthor Commented:
So the cleanup wizard essentially overrides the retention period?
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ryansotoCommented:
The cleanup wizard runs to check for unconnected mailboxes.  
Lets say you delete a user in AD today and then the cleanup agent runs tomorrow.  The agent then flags the mailbox as not being connected to a user in AD.  Then the countdown begins for the retention period you set in exchange.  If its 30 days then the mailbox will stay in exchange for 30 days.  You can go in a manually delete it by right clicking and then delete otherwise it will be deleted automatically by the retention period date.
Once gone its gone from exchange.
But like I put earlier you should still have a .pst on that client machine.  Go look in
%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder.
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audioplebAuthor Commented:
Well this only happened yesterday, so is the mailbox still there waiting for the 30 day countdown to happen?
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ryansotoCommented:
It should be there still unless - you have no retention or someone manually deleted it.
Go into exchange system manager>administrative groups>first admin group>servers>exchange server name>mailboxes
Look on the right hand side.  Do you see your mailbox?
If its there it probably has a red x over it signaling its been flagged for deletion.
If its not there then my guess is someone manually went into the exchange system manager here and deleted it.
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audioplebAuthor Commented:
No it is not there.

Are you sure there is nothing else i can do?
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ryansotoCommented:
Go to the machine the user sat at there is most likely a copy of their .pst there.
Go to my computer then up top click on tools>folder options>view tab
and check show hidden files and folders
Now go to %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder
There is probbaly the .pst sitting right there.
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audioplebAuthor Commented:
There is a pst there but it is from 2005. I couldn't find any offline files either.
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ryansotoCommented:
The .pst though may be from 2005 - that may just be the creation date.  Have you opened it up to check the contents
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ckimball99Commented:
I'm sorry, but if the client was not running in cached mode, then there is no offline files (.ost) and if they weren't storing mail in .pst's, those won't be there either.

Chances are, if you can't find the mailbox in Exchange MMC, under the store it was in with a little red x by it, as referenced above, it is gone.  Be sure to refresh the mmc, just in case it isn't showing up for some reason.
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ryansotoCommented:
Correct.  I thought I would give it a shot but I also concur its gone
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audioplebAuthor Commented:
Thanks very much for your help, i really appreciated it.
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