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Recover deleted Outlook profile (Exchange)

Posted on 2008-06-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
Hello Experts!

I have a user whose Exchange profile was deleted.  Their domain is being moved to a new host and the old host isn't being very cooperative about making the move or providing files.  But I'm pretty sure the profile files were being stored on the local server.  I was going to try and recover tem from our backup.  The profile was deleted on Monday (yesterday) and the server was last backed up on Thursday.  I've just recently begun working with this company so I'm not very familiar with their network or their server yet.

What I need to know is what file to restore.  I dont know what the filename is for outlook exchange data.

Thanks for your help!

thedslguy
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Question by:thedslguy
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by:raptorjb007
ID: 21756080
If the account is deleted or no longer has exchange related tabs the mailbox may still be available. In this case the mailbox may be marked for deletion and be removed after the exchange mailbox retention period expires.

If the mailbox is still in exchange it will be visible in exchange system manager under the mailboxes listing, possibly with a red x in the icon. If the mailbox is listed and has a red x icon, you can simply right-click he mailbox and choose "reconnect" to re-associate the mailbox with the user's account. If the mailbox is not listed in the mailboxes listing, it is no longer stored in exchange and will have to be restored by whatever backup/recovery solution you have implemented for exchange.
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by:thedslguy
ID: 21756257
raptorjb007:

I'm assuming you mean the maill box is in our local server.  If so, what would be the parh, or how would I get to the mailbox to reconnect it?

Thanks for the suggestion.

thedslguy
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by:raptorjb007
ID: 21756282
On the exchange server, open Exchange System Manager. Expand the Administrative group, expand servers, expand the servername, expand mailbox store, and click on mailboxes.

This should bring up the listing of mailboxes currently in the Mailbox Store. If you see the mailbox in question in this, it may have a red x in the icon. Simply right click the mailbox, choose reconnect and choose the account you would like to connect the mailbox to. If the account was deleted, you will need to either create a new one first.

Once attached, you should be able to use outlook under that user account to reconnect to the mailbox.

The default retention period for deleted mailboxes is 30 days. After this period the mailbox would be deleted from the server and would require a restore from your backup solution.
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by:thedslguy
ID: 21756300
raptorjb007:

the exchange server is no longer available.  The owner is changing web hosts and we are stillwaiting for the old host to transfer the service to the new host.
So back to the original question:

The profile is apparently backed up on the local server.  What path would I take to what file to restore the profile?

thanks

thedslguy
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by:raptorjb007
ID: 21756383
So, to clarify my understanding of your situation.

You have a valid backup of the exchange server, however the exchange server itself is no longer accessible. You would like to restore this individuals mailbox to some alternate location? (i.e. a PST file)

Your end goal is to simply have local access to the individuals mailbox data.

I am assuming that by "exchange profile data" you are in fact referring to the exchange mailbox.

Is this correct?
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by:thedslguy
ID: 21756438
raptorjb007:

That's correct.

Thanks

thedslguy
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raptorjb007 earned 500 total points
ID: 21756506
thedslguy,

If the user had his outlook client set to use exchange cached mode, there may still be available a cached copy of the mailbox on the user's PC in:
c:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

If by chance this is available, you may be able to simply log into the pc as the user, open outlook, and export the data to a PST file for future access. Else you have to convert the OST to a PST via other means, there are tools available to do this but none that I know of are free. You can try convertost from http://www.convertost.net. However there are alternative software solutions available.

If the OST does not exist or is not available, then you are stuck trying to restore from backup, which without the exchange server available can get complicated. There are software solutions and services that will convert an exchange database (.edb and .stm) files to PST files. None of which I have ever user used or tested so I am unable to recommend one.

You may be able to replicate the original exchange server by installing exchange a new one (virtual machine might work), you would have to name the server, administrative group, and storage group the same as the original. If you can get a replica up and running in an isolated environment, you may be able to restore to a mailbox recovery group. and use the exmerge utility to extract the mailbox to a PST file.

Although, if it comes down to that, it may just be easier to bug the old host's IT department until they give you the data.
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by:thedslguy
ID: 21789928
raptorjb007:

I'm in a bit of a quandary over this question.  I found out the data is on the local server (not what I was told initially) and was able to restore the profiles without having to do any file work.  Now that the users have their data, we've moved it all to each local machine and turned Exchange off.

Unfortunately the effort you put into this was all for naught.  Still I believe in rewarding for correct answers (and I believe your answers to be correct for the question, even though the question turned out to be misleading).

I'm going to award you the points and offer my gratitude.  If the overseers dispute it I'll argue.  And I'm not sure who has the final say or what the ruling might be, but I want you to know I do appreciate your efforts.  And I apologize for my mistake in the initial question.

My next post will accept a solution.

Thanks again,

thedslguy
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Author Closing Comment

by:thedslguy
ID: 31467415
I found out the data is on the local server (not what I was told initially) and was able to restore the profiles without having to do any file work.  This being the case, my question was potentially a waste of raptorjb007's time and talent.  In an effort to properly reward, I have awarded raptorjb007 the points, even though the solution was elsewhere.  Had the data been on the ISP's server, I would have used raptorjb007's suggestions and recovered the profiles.  
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