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Using Exmerge to recreate priv1.edb in Exchange 2000

Posted on 2010-08-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have a corrupted priv1.edb file that eseutil/p is having problems repairing, and unfortunately no viable backup to restore from.

I'm wondering if, absent a way to sucessfully repair it, I can use exmerge to dump the mailbox data to pst files and then read them back inito a fresh .edb file associated with the same storage group. I am running Windows 2000 SBS and Exchange 2000.

I think I understand how to dump the data to .pst files, but I don't know how to read the data back into a fresh .edb file (and how to associate that with the existing storage group) while keeping my transaction logs intact.

Is there a way to do this experts?
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Question by:Randy_R
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:FDiskWizard
ID: 33534866
I skipped Exch2000, and am using 2003. But I don't think ExMerge has changed much.
Check this article on importing:
http://www.dtidata.com/resourcecenter/2007/05/11/exchange-server-tools-use-exmerge-import-pst-files/
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Expert Comment

by:mp022
ID: 33534915
It is a long and painful process, but it can be done.
It will also take a lot of disk space.

See this page for step-by-step instructions.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/265441
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33534937
I have to spend some time with the article, but I guess the part I'm confused about is how to create a clean database with my existing users without reentering all the info, and similarly, how to keep the transaction logs in place and not lose them.
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33535035
Mp022, from reading this it seems that my pub.edb files and transaction logs stay in place?  Is that true?

Also, the article says "start the information store to create a new priv.edb".  How exactly do I do that, and what do I do with the old priv1.edb and .stm files beforehand?
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33535823
what version of exhcange do you have standard or enterprise
if you have enterprise you can create a new database and move the mailboxes

you would need to create the new database with the identical name to avoid issues if you went the export and import
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33536838
Standard.  Unfortunately.  I'm a home user with 8 mailboxes and a 12G priv1 file.
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33537629
then yes, use exmerge to get everything to PST
I wouldn't bother deleting the database from the console
i would just delete the database and log files
when you attempt to mount the database it will warn you that it is mounting a blank database
then you can import
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33537685
I replaced some hardware (I was gettting event 50 errors) and am now running eseutil /p (painfully slowly), so let me try that first before I resort to an export import strategy.  By way of background, what led me to discover the corruption in the database was that ntbackup aborted with checksum errors (error 1018) (I had previously just been backing up the raw edb and stm files).

In your opinion, what do I do assuming the repair is "successful", meaning eseutil /p finishes without error:

1.  Try and mount the priv1.edb without backing it up first and see what happens;
2.  Try and backup the priv1.edb and log files by trying to see if I can back up the entire "information store" in ntbackup
3.  Just run eseutil /d on the repaired priv1.edb file?
4.  Something else?

Thanks for your help.  I am obviously not an IT pro!!!
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33537710
that is normally a hardware issue (1018)
i would have replaced the hardware and attempted a restore, always restore before a repair
you may want to restore after the /p

1. you must run an eseutil /d to defrag the database, then run an isinteg
2. yes backup after everything is done

you want to move to a new database after running /p (best practice if possible)
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33537824
I have no idea how to do that, so I want to take one step at a time.

1.  The database would mount - it just wouldn't backup using ntbackup with "information store" checked because of checksum errors;
2.   I ran eseutil /k and it said 4 pages had checksum errors;
3.   I ran eseutil /d and it aborted because of checksum errors;
4.   I am now (after a number of false starts due to error 50's) runnding eseutil /p successfuly (hopefullly, I'm not jinxing anything)l
5.   Next you suggest I run ntbackup of the entire information store BEFORE I try and mount the repaired (hopefully) epriv1.edb file and defrag it, or after?

Sorry, I'm just trying to understand...
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33537846
as long as you had a backup and all of the logs since the backup, you could attempt to restore with the new hardware in place

you need to defrag and run the isinteg before mounting the database
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33537854
Just to be clear, I had no ntback of the "information store" to restore because I  (stupidly) backed up only the 4 .ebd and .stm files.  All my backups had the same "checksum" 1018 error in them.  It was only when I realized that I was not backing up proprerly that I discovered the need to repair the database file.  Am I clear?
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33537884
That is exactly my error in backup - I never backed up any logs - just the .edb and .stm files that I store on a USB drive connected to the server.  How do I do that (backup the logs)?  And by "restore" do you mean to mount the repaired data base?  Sorry to be so dense!
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33537929
np, you are on the right path for your situation
finish the repair with the /p, run the defrag and isinteg
you should be able to mount the database at that point

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/259851
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33538126
So no intermediate backups at all?
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33538143
you can pick a backup strategy that best suits your needs
the most popular is a full backup one day with incremental backups the other days
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33538747
Sorry, I am not asking about a general backup philosophy.  I am asking about whether I need to back up at this point in the recovery before I attempt to mount the repaired database, and if so, how?
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Accepted Solution

by:
endital1097 earned 500 total points
ID: 33540951
yes, definitely backup the database

1. finish running the eseutil p
2. run eseutil /d
3. run isinteg
4. mount the database
5. backup the information store selection
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33541011
Thanks.  Will it hurt to add an additional ntbackup between steps 1 and 2 so I have a backup of the current state of the transaction logs, or is that a waste of time?
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33541057
waste of time, look at the article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/259851
you should run the defrag and integrity check before doing anything else with the db
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33544022
I took a look at the priv1.integ.raw file and all /p did was delete 4 pages with bad checksums.  I think it also rebuilt 2 or 3 indexes.  No errors in the stm file at all.  Given that is it really necessary to run isinteg after defrag finishes (each proceedure seems to take about 15 hours to complete!)?
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33544104
yes, how big is the database? the defrag shouldn't be as long as the /p
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33544833
12G.  I wasn't asking about the defrag.  I was actually asking about the ISInteg -fix
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33544893
yes, you need to run each step. it is best practice when repairing a database.
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33544967
Ok.  Got it.  Thanks Endital1097.

One more related question if you don't mind:  When I run NTBACKUP to backup the mailstore, what happens (assuming I overwrite the media) if the backup is interrupted.  Does it first backup to a temp file and then copy that over to overwrite the last successful backup, or does it destroy the first backup before it writes a new one?

Basically, I'm wondering if I do a full backup every day whether I need to rotate backups with one running every other day, and the other running on the days inbetween, so as to always have a spare set if the backup is destroyed before a new one is successfully written.
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33544993
you lose what is on the media with an overwrite, so you should have at least two backup locations (tapes/drives)
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33545003
I lose it BEFORE the new backup completes?
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33545036
yes, it must make room for the new data
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33545054
Is there some kind of batch file I can add as a scheduled task that will copy the old backup to a different location after it is created and before the new backup is started the next day?  If so, how would I do that?

BTW, thanks so much for all your help!!
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33545079
what is your backup media?
you could always have a scheduled task for each day of the week that uses a different backup location (or every other day does)
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33545105
It's an NAS on the LAN.

I'm thinking maybe I should just do a full backup manually monthly (?) and then set a task to do a differential backup each night?

What do you think of that as opposed to one full backup job that does M, W, F and another that does T,Th, and Sat?
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Assisted Solution

by:endital1097
endital1097 earned 500 total points
ID: 33545196
I would try to do a weekly full backup and incrementals the other days
you don't want to run differentials because they won't truncate the logs

when you perform a restore (if you ever need to) after the files are restored all of the log files must be replayed into the database before it will be online
if you do a monthly full you run the risk of replaying between 1-30 days of logs which could take several hours

typically i see Friday fulls and incrementals T-R
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33545237
So only full backups trancate the logs?

And if I restore from a differential, it will replay all logs since the last full backup?
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33545270
an incremental backup does as well, just not a copy or differential

yes, it must play all logs from all restores required to get the database up-to-date

a full backup would have the least of course
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33545304
If I have disk space, what do you think about doing a full backup each night and appending to the existing media rather than overwriting it?

I am just worried if I go away for a week or two, and have two rotating full backups on alternate days, and the backup gets corrupted somehow, I'll have no restorable backup by the  time I get back and am able to check.
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33545339
Or is there a way to get NTBACKUP to keep creating full backups but to number them sequentially (like differentials).  For Example, the original backup would be Mailstore1.bkf, the next night it would create Mailstore2.bkf, etc?
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33545351
i would use two and write a full plus incrementals

but ultimately you should do what you feel most comfortable with
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33545364
you would need to create separate backup jobs to have the different file names
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33545391
Sorry, I don't understand this:

"i would use two and write a full plus incrementals"

Could  you please explain?
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Author Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33550468
Ok, I'm all set.  Datastore is restored and backup up!  Thank you so much!!
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Author Closing Comment

by:Randy_R
ID: 33550519
Endital1097 was VERY helpful and timely in his responses!
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33550950
Great news. Enjoy the rest of your weekend
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