We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

recover or move information store from one Exchange 2003 to another

Last Modified: 2012-05-11
A power glitch resulted in a corrupt active directory and our 2003 Standard Server (with Exchange installed - it's NOT SBS) won't start up.  We spent a couple of hours trying to recover the database, then the owner told us to just give up, get that pain-in-the-ass server out of there and move the email to gmail and the shared folder to an XP box as there are only four users in the company and some gung-ho IT guy sold him an expensive server solution that he didn't need, anyhow.

I went to the workstations and took them off the domain and put everyone on a workgroup instead.  But I FORGOT to create pst files on the workstations first.  Now, of course, the workstations won't RE-join the domain so I can start their Outlooks because the DC is gone gone gone, and nobody has email history, and the guy before me didn't enable offline storage so I don't even have ost files (insert sad face here).

I'm hoping I can recover the mailboxes from the information store.  I have access to another, "virgin" SBS 2003 server and could, if required, build a 2003 Standard server and add Exchange.  

Has anyone here had experience that MATCHES mine and can give me the best guidance on how to recover from my mistake?  
Watch Question

Ehab SalemIT Manager

you need to have AD running and a valid backup of the information store. Otherwise no hope.
You will need to create AD with teh same name as before and install the Exchnage server on it, remember to keep the exchnage organization nae same that the old installation had. Then create another storage group in teh exchange, and mount the database into this.

The mailboxes will not be connected o any user by default you will need to connect them manually and and use exmerge to create pst.
Sigurdur HaraldssonSystem Administrator

It is possible but you will have to set up a replacement server and let it be 100% identical to the old server, including name, Exchange organization name, domain name etc.

See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/174197 under More Information.

Unlock this solution and get a sample of our free trial.
(No credit card required)
Sigurdur HaraldssonSystem Administrator

@lucid8: Doesn't the Information Store need to be online and running to do that?


No not at all, you can open the offline EDBs to  see, export or recover mailboxes or just individual items if you want and you can even open the raw EDB from a workstation


We ended up using Kernel.  It's important to note that outlook HAS TO BE INSTALLED on the machine that you're using.   That was the only stumble we had.

Interesting, lucid8 seems to offer a utility as well, but didn't try to sell it to me.  That was honorable - so much so that I wish I had found his first!

Happy to assist, thanks for the points and glad you were able to get your issue resolved!
Unlock the solution to this question.
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Please provide your email to receive a sample view!

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.