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Recovered from corrupted SBS Exchange 2003, how do I sync emails back to Exchange?

Posted on 2011-02-27
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Our SBS 2003 Exchange database got corrupted yesterday morning after a power supply failure. We weren't able to recover any files off our backup tapes (another story) so we didn't have any functional backups of Exchange. Also, we lost all of the logs, so we couldn't do a soft recovery.

I was able to run eseutil /p, eseutil /d, and isinteg (repair the database forcibly, defrag it, and then run integrity checks) to get the database to mount. However, the database shrank from 17GB to 9GB, which means we lost a lot of data. Luckily, everyone runs Outlook in cached mode, so everyone should have an OST file on their local PC.

What should we do from here? Ideally I would love to a) move all of the mailboxes on the old store to a new store and b) force Outlook to resync everyone's OST to the server. Is that possible? Should we do a dial tone recovery? (I'm not sure if this will work for us since it seems to assume you have a good working backup)

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Question by:z7networks
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by:Postmaster
Postmaster earned 75 total points
ID: 34994594
The database shrink can simply be the removal of white-space in the database.
Check a known user mailbox (offline) with exmerge of the mailbox from the database.

This will indicate if you are up-to-date.
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by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 75 total points
ID: 34994912
You can export the mailboxes at the PC to a .PST file which should preserve all the mail in the mailboxes, which you can use to Import back to the server later if needs be.

Before you do anything, export the mailboxes - just in case - then see if you have lost mail or if you have emptied lots of white space.

Also check the server application event logs for event ID 1221 over the past couple of days and see how much space that is showing as recoverable by defragmenting - that should advise you if you lost white space or data.
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MegaNuk3 earned 350 total points
ID: 34994945
Or look in the application event log for a 1221 event which will tell you how much White space there was in the DB prior to failure.

Another thing to do, would be to dismount the DB and run "eseutil /mh" on it to look at the DB header, what is the RepairCount? If it is less than 3 then you haven't lost a lot of data and it is safe to continue using that DB.

As soon as the users open outlook, it will connect and the Pre DR state of the OST will be lost, if you want to avoid that then remove their network connectivity to exchange. You need to effectively open their mailboxes in 'Offline' mode and export the OST contents to PST. That's why checking your DB above might be better.
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Best Practices: Disaster Recovery Testing

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Author Comment

by:z7networks
ID: 35001168
I checked the last 1221 event and it said that there was 8.5GB of free space in the database. Also, I checked the DB with "eseutil /mh" and RepairCount was 2. I felt more confident in the database after checking those, so I put it back into production. No one has reported any email issues yet.

I would like to give MegaNuk3's comment most of the points since he had the idea of checking RepairCount. How does a 70/15/15 split work for everyone?
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by:MegaNuk3
ID: 35001218
Fine with me ;-)
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 35001258
They are your points - allocate them how you like.  If MegaNuk3's comment left you feeling more comfortable - then it makes perfect sense to award more points to that comment.

Alan
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