Exchange 2003 Extract mailboxes from backup

AMULAC used Ask the Experts™

I have two questions regarding a problem I just had with our mailing system, the problem basically is with the extraction of two mailboxes of a backup.

One of the guys, I work with messed up an user mailbox and required to restore user mails, since I had yesterday backup I said no problem, I just mount the backup, extract the mailbox with ExMerge and no big deal. But there is a saying, "Appearances can be deceiving ..."

To make the long story short, I could not mount the backup due to a dirty shutdown flag on the database.  I had to perform the painful recovery process and then mount the database on the production mail server, and when run the ExMerge tool, I received the error on the image attached. According to MS, the error is because I am using the EXMERGE version for Exchange 2000 (, but I have download the right version from their site and the same story. Q1. How can have EXMERGE extracting mailboxes from this Mail Store?

And then I thought, plan A failed, let try mounting the another Exchange server (attached image2) and mount the Mail Store and extract mailboxes from there and then I had problems again with the following Exchange errors:

Event Type:      Error
Event Source:      MSExchangeIS
Event Category:      General
Event ID:      1088
Date:            1/26/2010
Time:            3:22:40 PM
User:            N/A
Computer:      HRSRV6
The information store could not be loaded because the distinguished name (DN) /O=XXXXX/OU=FIRST ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP/CN=RECIPIENTS/CN= of message database "Recovery Back\BK" does not match the DN of directory /O=XXXXX/OU=FIRST ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP/CN=RECIPIENTS/CN=.

 The database may have been restored to a computer that is in an organization or site different than the original database.

and this error

Error 0x4fc starting Storage Group /DC=org/DC=xxxxx/CN=Configuration/CN=Services/CN=Microsoft Exchange/CN=xxxxx/CN=Administrative Groups/CN=First Administrative Group/CN=Servers/CN=HRSRV6/CN=InformationStore/CN=Recovery Back on the Microsoft Exchange Information Store.
MDB failed to start.

Q2: How can I mount a backup from a X Exchange to Y Exchange and extract mailboxes?

Ideas, and comments are welcome!.

Best regards,

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I think your problem may be a mismatch between the database names between your recovery storage group and your production database. Read this article for an explanation of how the recovery database links to the original database:
Here are the steps to change the distinguished name attribute so that the recovery database can link to the original database. This is one way to fix this, if this seems to be applicable to your situation:
To change the msExchOrigMDB attribute using ADSI Edit:
1.     Install ADSI Edit on a workstation or server that is a domain member. ADSI Edit is not installed by default with Microsoft Windows®. It is part of the Support Tools for Windows Server.
2.     In ADSI Edit, expand the Configuration container until you find the database to which the mailbox was moved. (For help in navigating the tree of the Active Directory® directory service, refer to the distinguished name examples in the "msExchOrigMDB" section of How the Recovery Database Links Back to the Original Database.)
3.     Open the properties of the database object, and find the distinguishedName attribute. Select and copy the entire Value field to the Windows clipboard.
4.     In the Configuration container, find the recovery storage group database object.
5.     Open the properties of the database object, and find the msExchOrigMDB attribute. Click Clear, and then delete the distinguished name from the Edit Attribute text box. Paste in the distinguished name from the other database, click Set, and then click OK.  


Hello Hypercat,

Thank you for your reply, reading you post and I have other questions. If I do the changes above described the my production Exchange will get confused, right?... since I have change the point of my recovery database to match the production server.

Is there a have to have another Exchange machine to do this?, I am not very confortable playing with a production server....


The change you are making affects the recovery database only. You aren't actually changing anything on the production database.  But the answer to your question is yes - you could install Exchange on another server (same AD domain and Exchange org but no active mailboxes) and use that server to do the recovery. It has to have an active Exchange database, but it can be a blank database with no mailboxes except the default system objects that are created when you install Exchange.


Hello Hypercat,

Thank you for you reply, it has help me a lot to clear my issues I have encountered during the recovery process. I have made a terrible mistake by installing a new Exchange with a different domain. Now I understand the  why it did not worked!...

Thanks a lot....



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