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Restore an folder in individual mailbox from Windows Server Backkup

Posted on 2016-10-21
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Last Modified: 2016-10-25
Hi,
  I have SBS2011/Exchange 2010 being backed up to an external USB HD using Windows Server Backup software. Yesterday an user deleted a folder in his INBOX by mistake and wants to know if it can be restored from the backup. I run daily backup at 6PM. So the exchange backup was done after he deleted a folder in his INBOX using Outlook.
  How do I restore an specific folder in user's mailbox from Windows Server Backup?
  When I use Backup Exec SBS version of Backup software, I can restore a folder or an mail item from user mailbox, but not sure how it is done on Windows Server Backup.
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Question by:sglee
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11 Comments
 
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Adam Brown earned 500 total points
ID: 41854213
Backup Exec SBS has a feature called Single Item Recovery that allows you to dig into the backup and restore specific folders. Windows Server Backup doesn't have that feature. The only way you can restore a folder/email in an Exchange mailbox when the backup was done with Windows Server Backup is to restore the entire mailbox database, mount it as a recovery database, and then run new-mailboxrestorerequest to copy the recovered data. http://exchangeserverpro.com/restoring-mailbox-exchange-server-2013-recovery-database/ has a guide on how this is done in Exchange 2013, but the steps are pretty much the same in 2010, since it's done through powershell only.

That said, if the folder was deleted less than 30 days ago, it is likely still in his Recoverable Items folder, which can be accessed by right clicking the Deleted Items folder and selecting Recover Deleted Items. This is the most efficient method, but the folder has to be rebuilt from scratch and the messages recovered in bulk or individually and moved to the folder for this method to work.

If he hasn't emptied his deleted Items folder, the deleted folder is probably still in there and can be easily recovered exactly as it was.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41854238
Deleted ItemsWhen I right click "Deleted Items" folder in my outlook, I do not see "Recover Deleted Items".
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41854254
Adam,
 
 Another question. If I have .OST file in C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook folder (dated before  the user deleted that folder), I can open it (and make sure that the computer is NOT connected to Exchange Server to prevent sync) and perhaps export the deleted folder and import it into live Outlook?
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LVL 40

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by:Adam Brown
Adam Brown earned 500 total points
ID: 41854278
OST files don't really work the way PST files do, so they can't be easily opened. You can try replacing the existing OST with the old OST if you like, but I can't guarantee results on that. If Outlook is able to open with the old OST file, it will sync the deleted folder from the OST file up to Exchange.

For Outlook 2013's Recover Deleted Items, click on the Deleted Items folder, then look at where the search bar usually is. There will be a link to Recover recently deleted items just below that.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41854304
DeletedI see "Recover Deleted Items" on my Outlook and along with recently deleted emails items.
Let me check User's Outlook to see if I can do the same.
I will report back.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 41854306
Yeah. That should work.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41856076
Update:
1. I saw a ton of emails when I clicked "Recover Deleted Items" this morning going all the way back to 9/23/2016.
2.  I scrolled down to 10/20/2016 when the user claimed to have deleted files under "Search" folder.
3. Held down Shift Key on the first email on 10/20/2016 and press [PgDn] key to select thousands of emails and clicked [Restore].

I have two questions wit this.
1. The user said that he deleted thousands of emails from [Search Folders]. How these emails (that show up in [Search Folders]) get there?
2. If they come from a variety of other sub-folders under INBOX, then by doing [Restore], will each individual email go back to each original folder/location or do these all go back to [Search Folders]?
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41858479
Restore@Adam,

  I think I need to restore his mailbox  from the exchange database prior to last Thursday (10/20/16) when he deleted thousands of emails from "SEARCH Folders" and subsequently purged them from "Deleted Items" folder.
  The reason is that even though I restored all those files from  "Deleted Items" folder over the weekend, since those recovered emails are all in "Deleted Items" folder, he does not know where those emails were originally came from.
  So my thought is that I would restore his entire mailbox from Windows Backup into another mailbox account, export them into a PST file and import that PST into his mailbox with "Do not import duplicates" option.
 That way all the missing emails in all the folders will be restored.

 I have not restored the mailbox or exchange database before. So what I like to know is that if I choose last Wednesday date which is 10/19/16 from "Recover Wizard/Select Backup Date" window, will I able to restore his mailbox as of last Wednesday?
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 41859045
You should be able to, yes. There are a lot of steps involved in doing the restore, though. http://exchangeserverpro.com/restore-individual-mailbox-exchange-2010/ has a comprehensive guide.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41859056
I successfully restore the database as of 10/19/16 and currently following the steps outlined in:
http://exchangeserverpro.com/restore-individual-mailbox-exchange-2010/
I am about to create a recovery database, but I decide to create PST file from current mailbox account first before creating RecoveryMailboxDatabase and mouting.
I will report back with the result.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41859146
Strange. I created Recovery Database "RDB" and its size (8,256KB) is way smaller than the original (59,514,944KB)
and when I ran "Get-MailboxStatistics -Database RDB10192016", I get no statistics.
Have I done something wrong here?Recovery DatabaseRecovery-Database-Command.txt
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