Recover Individual Mailbox in Exchange 2003.

Posted on 2011-05-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have an SBS 2003 with Exchange 2003 and 25 XP Clients.  An employee retired.  After making a copy of their "My Documents" I deleted the user. Of course someone is now asking for an old email they sent.  How do I recover their old mailbox?  I have an NT backup, but I have heard that you cannot use Recovery Storage Group or ExMerge if you deleted the user.  I have also heard that you can.  Can someone clarify?  I do not have a second server to install SBS and Exchange on.  What do I do?

Question by:paulfarmer

Expert Comment

ID: 35734222
Hi Paul,

If you have just deleted the AD user account, the Mailbox which was associated to the user account would still be there but in disconnected format.
You can check in ESM->Tools->Mailbox recovery Centre->Add mailbox store
I repeat, you will be able to see the Mailbox in disconnected format if you have deleted only the User account not the Mailbox.

Now, if you are able to see the Mailbox in disconnected format then the Job is easy.
You can connect that disconnected Mailbox to any new user account -> Create Outlook profile for that new user account and get the Email required.


Author Comment

ID: 35734499
When I go to Mailbox Recovery Center it says, "There are no items to show in this view."   I right-clicked on MRC and selected Add mailbox store, but it couldn't find anything.  

Expert Comment

ID: 35734538
Well that means that the Mailbox itself is deleted.
In that case you would have to restore the backup under Recovery Storage Group and then merge the Mailbox.
You can also refer:-
Creating Active Directory Users from a Text File

If your organization has a need to mass-create AD user accounts, watch this video to see how its done without the need for scripting or other unnecessary complexities.


Author Comment

ID: 35737576
Can I just create a new user and merge the mailbox to that user?  The Microsoft article that covered this said you could NOT use this method if the user had been deleted in AD because the GUID wouldn't match.

Author Comment

ID: 35750080
Any Ideas?
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

Postmaster earned 1200 total points
ID: 35766476
You can recover a mailbox - even if that user does not exist anymore.

After recovering to the recovery Storage Group and running ExMerge - You will NOT be able to access the mailbox, because the user is not in AD. This can be fixed.

You need to create a user account to mimic the deleted mailbox.
This mailbox needs  a matching GUID number - which ExMerge can report for you.
Here is an article on the process.

LVL 47

Assisted Solution

noxcho earned 800 total points
ID: 35767319
See if this software fulfills your needs: http://www.nucleustechnologies.com/exchange-edb-viewer.html
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 35770435
1. You could create a lab environment, recover AD to that environment that contains that users account information and then use RSG from there.

2. Check out this article http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998109(EXCHG.65).aspx that then leads to this article http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997796(EXCHG.65).aspx

3. There are a handful off 3rd party tools that will let you export from an offline EDB,. just do a Google search for something like "Export Mailbox from Offline Exchange 2003 database"

LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 35783008
Use Postmaster's suggestion.  We had deleted a user and purged his mailbox and the method listed in Postmaster's his link worked like a charm; it's a big tedious, but it does work.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35793484

Featured Post

Problems using Powershell and Active Directory?

Managing Active Directory does not always have to be complicated.  If you are spending more time trying instead of doing, then it's time to look at something else. For nearly 20 years, AD admins around the world have used one tool for day-to-day AD management: Hyena. Discover why

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

With so many activities to perform, Exchange administrators are always busy in organizations. If everything, including Exchange Servers, Outlook clients, and Office 365 accounts work without any issues, they can sit and relax. But unfortunately, it…
MS Outlook undoubtedly is the most widely used email client.Its user-friendliness, cost effectiveness, and availability with Microsoft Office Suite make it the most popular email application.  Its compatibility with Microsoft applications like Exch…
To add imagery to an HTML email signature, you have two options available to you. You can either add a logo/image by embedding it directly into the signature or hosting it externally and linking to it. The vast majority of email clients display l…
This is my first video review of Microsoft Bookings, I will be doing a part two with a bit more information, but wanted to get this out to you folks.
Suggested Courses
Course of the Month13 days, 23 hours left to enroll

809 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question