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Connecting outlook to an older exchange database

Posted on 2009-04-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I had a problem last night with one of our exchange 2003 servers, basically we were getting an error that the database was inconsisitent and the mail store was failing to load. I tried to restore from the backup generated a couple of days ago using ntbackup but somehow the backup was corrupted and we were unable to load it up.

We do weekly disk cloning on the exchange servers and luckily we had a cloned hard drive available which was done about 7 days ago. When restoring everything will the clients connect to the exchange server and upload the emails that they have stored during the last 7 days thus updating the database on the server or it does not work that way ?

In case not what steps should we take to ensure that the database on the server will be updated with the data from the clients.
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Question by:Biju708
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by:lamaslany
ID: 24257781
To be honest I am not 100% sure but as a first step you could get your users create a PST backup of their locally cached content.  What version of Outlook are they using?
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by:jawad1481
ID: 24257795
HI!

I am very sorry i couldnt undestand your problem.

let me explain what i understood. you want to connect the cloned harddrive to the exchange server ?
or you want to import the PST onto the Outlook clients.

if you are connecting the old harddrive then you have to create RSG and mount the old database file into RSG and do a merge operation. merge operation itself will recover the old items and clients will be able to see the old emails once the merge is done.
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Author Comment

by:Biju708
ID: 24257798
it's outlook 2003 with 3 of them using outlook 2007.

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JoWickerman earned 2000 total points
ID: 24257801
Hi Biju708,

No, it does not work that way. You can try the following:

* Use eseutil to try and repair the database that failed last night:
  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998249.aspx

First run the /G switch and then the /P - 90% of the time, this will sort the issue for you. Only downside is that it can take quite a while to complete, depending on your database size.

* The other option is to use the backup you're using now, but copy the transaction log files to this database and replay them. Much faster option.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997761(EXCHG.65).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996189(EXCHG.65).aspx

I hope this helps.

Cheers
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Author Comment

by:Biju708
ID: 24257837
HI jawad,
   I think you are on the right track. Yes what happend is that the current hard drive developed some problems and we were unable to load up the mail from it. So we took another harddrive which was cloned 7 days ago and put it in the server. Now the server came up but off course it only contains the emails received up until 7 days ago. What should I do now to have the database on the server in sync with the databases on the cient machines ?
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Author Comment

by:Biju708
ID: 24257879
Will try both options JoWickerman. My only concern is that the transaction logs seem to be corrupted hopefully then the eseutil will fix the issue.
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by:jawad1481
ID: 24257906
ok, you have emails for only seven days. are the users in cached mode ?

are the users connected online to exchange server ? if the users are in cached mode and not connected to online than you can import PST from their mailboxes. once the users are online the outlook client will sync with exchange server and users will be able to see only emails for 7 days.
afterwards we can import PST back to the respective clients outlook.
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Author Comment

by:Biju708
ID: 24257960
jawad thanls for your comment,  I have only missing emails of the last seven days. We clone the drive where exchange is saved every week so that if something happens we have an identical copy of it.

So last week we did a clone of the drive and stored it, this drive contains all the information up to seven days ago.

Because of the crash we removed the present drive and inseted the cloned one, started the server and the exchange came up. Only problem is that it's showing mails till 7 days ago off course the mails of the last 7 days are not on the server but they are on the client machines.

Yes the clients use cached mode but they are all scattered in remote locations so it's quite an issue to chase them all and export their mailbox to pst and import it again.

I will go with the eseutil and see if that works out. If it does I will use exmerge on the sever to get all the mailboxes to pst and then use exmerge again to import them to the cloned drive. hopefully it should work I think, or not ?
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Expert Comment

by:jawad1481
ID: 24259220
hi!
i am sorry for delay in reply there is schedule power cuts in my area.

so, as we discussed i am not clear how are you going to exmerge out the PST ?
bcz we dont have emails in the database. if you have old database than you can directly mount it in RSG. and instead of exmerging PST you can do merge operation.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Biju708
ID: 31575807
Did the eseutil /p and it worked out perfectly fine for me. Thanks a lot
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