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Exchange 2013 single mailbox recovery after quarantine.

Posted on 2013-10-31
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Last Modified: 2014-08-15
I had a situation where a single Exchange 2013 mail was quarantined and the user was not allowed to login to the mailbox. I did some research and was able to restore the mailbox into an active state by running powershell repair commands against the mailbox, modifying a registry key and restarting exchange store services.

The only problem I am having now is that user is missing mail during the period his mailbox was locked. I am not yet familiar enough with exchange 2013 web based tools or Powershell to know how to address this.  I remember back in the Exchange 2003 their was a folder were undelivered mail sat for a while and the messages could be replayed back to the mailbox in a situation when the mailbox was unavailable. Does anything like this exist in Exchange 2013.

In case this issue crops up again is there a way to check the status of the mailbox repair request once it is started in powershell?
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Question by:ubixtech
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 39615423
You should be able to view delivery reports from the Exchange Admin portal at Mail flow>Delivery Reports. That might give you some more information. You should also be able to look in the mail queues by using the Mail Queue tool. More info on that is available here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997263%28v=exchg.150%29.aspx
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by:ubixtech
ID: 39615555
Thank you for the reply. The delivery report works great for tracking outgoing messages but I am specifically looking to account for incoming messages. They were verified as being sent to the exchange mail server but never actually delivered to the mailbox (as it was quarantined) and no NDR was sent to the recipients. I suspect they are sitting in a folder somewhere waitiing to get replayed back to the pickup folder.

The messaging queue shows that nothing is stuck in queue and otherwise looks good.
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Adam Brown earned 1500 total points
ID: 39615565
Then the messages are gone. If there is no email in the Queue and the emails were not delivered, then they were dropped without notification and cannot be recovered. You'll probably want to check the configuration settings for NDRs on your server to see if it's actually sending NDRs to external recipients. That is likely disabled, since it presents a security risk in allowing backscatter spam.
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Author Comment

by:ubixtech
ID: 39617056
Changing the NDR settings is good advice.

I have a backup snapshot of the exchange server database and logs for the period in question. Are you aware of a procedure for log playback or single mailbox recovery using the database group in Exchange 2013?

I am trying to familiarize myself with the recovery process with the latest version.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ubixtech
ID: 40264701
The solution was to pull a log of delivered message from our SPAM filtering appliance. It only showed the email subject and name but it was enough to make the user reach out to the senders and have them resend the missing messages.
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