Recovery of single mailbox from .bak in Exchange 2007

Posted on 2008-10-07
Last Modified: 2010-04-07
So I have a user who claims folders are "missing" from their mailbox, and have been missing for longer than the deleted items retention (Over 30 days)

So, I currently have a windows backup .bak of the mailbox store, and only one server.

What would be the best way to make a copy of this users mailbox so that we can see exactly whats in it from the .bak file that I have.

I have already restored the mailbox store to a recovery group.  Now I just want to get into that mailbox to see what is in it.
Question by:NINE
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 22662870
Use the tool ExMerge to extract the info of his mailbox (restored) from RSG to PST. Now, start the comparison game.

Accepted Solution

emanteuf earned 500 total points
ID: 22663123
Use the database recovery management tool in the console to merge the mailbox into a dummy mailbox.  You'll need to create a new dummy account first so that you can recover the mailbox from the RSG into this new mailbox.  Then you can log in with that user and forward the messages to that user, or just give that user access to the dummy mailbox for a week or so.
LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 22663731
Correct me if i am wrong - if you restore a mailbox - you cannot bring it live by simply reconnecting the mailbox SINCE there already exists a mailbox with SAME MAILBOX GUID value - you might have problems working with the above solution of having dummy user account.

That is the reason why i suggested to work with ExMerge

Expert Comment

ID: 22666077
You do have the option of merging the contents of a mailbox in the RSG into an alternate mailbox.  You're only merging the contents or messages, not the mailbox itself.  Normally you would match the mailboxes with the original mailbox.

I prefer to recover mail into a different mailbox so as not to contaminate the live mailbox.  Then you don't end up with a bunch of old deleted messages poping back into the users mailbox.  On Exchange 2003 I would agree that using the ExMerge tool would be the normal method of recovering the mail items.  In Exchange 2007 the recovery storage group makes the recovery process more convenient by allowing recovery of the backup into a live mailbox database that we can then export items from into the production database.

We can actually perform the recovery procedure using powershell commands, but the GUI make the process easier.  And the GUI is actually sending the powershell commands to the system anyways.

The command:
Restore-Mailbox -Identity Scott -RSGDatabase MyRSGDatabase -RSGMailbox John -TargetFolder Recovery
restores John's mailbox content into Scott's mailbox under the Recovery folder.

Full documentation on the Restore-Mailbox command is available here:
LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 22666651
Now, that makes sense - since what i was thinking on the lines to have the mailbox "associated" with another user - and this would mean that having two mailbox GUID existing at the same time.

Merging contents into different mailbox definitely makes sense - cheers.

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