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How do I restore a folder that was deleted in Exchange 2003?

Posted on 2009-05-04
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
One of our users deleted a folder full of emails and other folders in her Exchange account.  The folder was not actually in the inbox but was still in her mailbox file.  I have tried finding the messages through OWA but to no avail.  I'm not sure if deleting a folder is different than messages out of the inbox.  We use the built-in SBS backup program.  I also have exchange set up to retain deleted messages for 7 days.  

Any suggestions on what to do?  Everything I find seems to encompass restoring everyone's mailbox which could be a hassle, considering our backup is from a week ago.  Thanks!
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Question by:cvonrabe
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Expert Comment

by:flyingsky
ID: 24298601
Deleting a folder from her mailbox is no different than deleting from her inbox, unless it is on PST file.
You will need brick level backup in order to restore just that folder.
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Expert Comment

by:tntmax
ID: 24298884
So was it a permanent delete or a partial delete? IE, is it still in deleted folders? If it is past the date of recovering the deleted files period, then you can do a Recovery Storage Group from backup. This is still a full restore, but you can exmerge the users mailbox out, and it does not require building a full server. See here:

http://www.petri.co.il/restoring_exchange_mailbox_recovery_storage_group_part1.htm

http://www.techlog.org/archive/2004/07/07/howto_exchange_recovery_storag/archives

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/824126

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823176


Alternatively, if you can recover just the users mailbox from backup, then you're better off with that. But you'd have to explain a bit more about your environment first.
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Author Comment

by:cvonrabe
ID: 24299037
It is not in her deleted Items folder for some reason.  I suspect when you delete a whole folder it may be a hard delete and does not move the contents to the deleted items.  I could be wrong, either way though it is not in her deleted items.  

My confusion is how to restore this folder.  Yes I have a full mailbox store backup from last week on my backup hard drive.  If there is an option for exchange to keep deleted files for 7 days though how do I recover the files it keeps for 7 days?  Shouldn't I be able to do this without my backup drive?
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Accepted Solution

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tntmax earned 500 total points
ID: 24299054
Yes, in Outlook, click on the Deleted Items folder, then click Tools -> Recover Deleted Items. That will give you a list of what you can recover.

It does not hard delete unless you tell it do. It defaults to Deleted Items first.
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Expert Comment

by:Rajith Enchiparambil
ID: 24299257
Edit the registry of the user's cient machine to add the functionality to restore emails deleted from any folders, even hard delete ones.

Follow the MS KB http://support.microsoft.com/kb/886205

Rajith.
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Author Comment

by:cvonrabe
ID: 24299322
Thanks tntmax, the recover deleted items thing ended up working, although that is the first thing I tried.  I didn't realize though that I had to have the deleted items folder open when I did it.  When I originally tried it I had the inbox open and nothing showed up. Kind of strange Microsoft would do it that way, but as soon as I did it with the deleted items folder open everything worked.
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Expert Comment

by:tntmax
ID: 24299329
Cool, glad to hear it!
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