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Exchange 2010 - restore-mailbox 'the specified user couldn't be found'

Posted on 2015-02-12
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Last Modified: 2016-02-08
Long story short.. restored a backed up data base.  Followed all the steps to create a recovery database, successfully mounted a clean recovery db.  get-mailboxstatistics - database recover displayed the user "Waters, Cliff"

restore-mailbox -identity "Waters, Cliff" -recoverydatabase recovery -recoverymailbox cwaters -targetfolder recovery
The specified user "Waters, Cliff" couldn't be found.


Umm what?  Statistics shows the mailbox is there, what am I doing wrong?

Of note: new-mailboxrestorerequest fails at 18%, IDK where to look to determine the reason.  But the data I'm looking for is subfolders within teh users Deleted Items folder.  I was able to restore the DeletedItems via

new-mailboxrestorerequest -sourcedatabase recovery -sourcestoremailbox 'Waters, Cliff' -targetmailbox cwaters1 -allowlegacydnmismatch -targetrootfolder restore -includefolders 'DeletedItems'

But it was empty... it had teh deleted 2014, deleted 2015 folders that he created inside his Deleted Items however they were all empty.
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Question by:Ben Hart
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by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 40606612
Hey Ben,

What about trying the mailbox alias instead? With regard to errors, check the Application Log, should be in there.
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by:Ben Hart
ID: 40606699
Nah aliases didn't work either. 'Waters, Cliff", cwaters, cwaters@domain.com, domain\cwaters....
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40606916
restore-mailbox -identity "Waters, Cliff" -recoverydatabase recovery -recoverymailbox cwaters -targetfolder recovery
The specified user "Waters, Cliff" couldn't be found.

Umm what?  Statistics shows the mailbox is there, what am I doing wrong?
Looks like you're doing a restore to the same mailbox. If this is the case you don't specify the -RecoveryMailbox parameter as this is only required when you're doing a restore to a different mailbox.

The description for the RecoveryMailbox parameter on the Restore-Mailbox TechNet page states the following:
The RecoveryMailbox parameter specifies the mailbox to be used as the source mailbox. This parameter is required if the source mailbox is different from the target mailbox.
Try running this command instead to perform the restore:
Restore-Mailbox -Identity "Waters, Cliff" -RecoveryDatabase recovery -TargetFolder Recovery

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by:Ben Hart
ID: 40606923
Sorry typo, the recpverymailbox is a new user with the upn of cwaters1
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VB ITS earned 500 total points
ID: 40606948
OK I just re-looked at your initial command and I think I found the problem.

You need to specify the target mailbox in the -Identity parameter and the source mailbox (the one we're restoring from) in the -RecoveryMailbox parameter. See this example from the same Technet article linked previously:
EXAMPLE 2

This example restores John's mailbox content into Scott's mailbox under the Recovery folder.

Restore-Mailbox -Identity Scott -RecoveryDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -RecoveryMailbox John-TargetFolder Recovery
Bad syntax on Microsoft's part I'd say as I can see how that would confuse people. I recall running into this same problem a few weeks back when I had to do a mailbox restore myself.
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by:Ben Hart
ID: 40612860
Oh crap that did it! Outstanding.. well no idiot for me not realizing they were swapped, but awesome dude thanks.
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40613061
Not your fault mate, I blame Microsoft for their poor choice of wording in this case!

Glad I could help.
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Expert Comment

by:Andrew_Cross
ID: 41455658
Great work mate, this had me stumped all day today. I followed about 15 different website articles on this and they all had it back to front.
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