Forensically recover deleted mail from Exchange server

Hi there,

I have a query more than a pressing problem but I'm interested to know the answer.

Exchange 2003 on server 2003. If email is deleted from a mailbox, the recover deleted items retention period has expired, a backup isnt available. Is it possible using anything, commercial forensic software if required, to ever retrieve that mail?  Basiclaly wondering how does the exchange database handle deleted items? Are they gone gone or ever traceable again? ( as a file on a hard disk might be if the sector hasnt been written over).

Bear in mind the server is still running fine, just can specific old deleted mail be tafgeted in any way for recovery.

Also, hat about a pst? Can indivual mail deleted from a pst be traced?
LVL 1
BGilhooleyAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

pmaribeiroCommented:
If the retention has expired and you dont have backups of that mailbox then you´re screwed.
Sad but true.
 
0
andyalderCommented:
They're not overwritten by zeros or anything when they expire but it's very likely that new emails have overwritten them by now or that the nightly online defrag has shuffled something on top of them.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
andyalderCommented:
Forgot to mention, OnTrack PowerControls is the tool for recovering exchange, but probably not worth even trying if the emails were deleted a while ago, http://www.ontrackpowercontrols.com/
0
BGilhooleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks Andy, yea was wondering how the database treated the disk space once mail deleted,
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Storage

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.