Lost and found: Use an Exchange recovery database to restore data

deleted an important email or to satisfy a request from a lawyer or regulator.

A company that runs Exchange 2016 off a single server in a branch office or lacks a database availability group can tap into the Exchange recovery database to restore information, messages and other items from mailboxes. Recovery databases are special mailbox stores that are accessible only to administrators; they exist solely to obtain deleted email or other items from a production Exchange mailbox.

Execute the email recovery process

Recovery databases are special mailbox stores that are accessible only to administrators; they exist solely to obtain deleted email or other items from a production Exchange mailbox.

The email message restoration process involves a few steps. The administrator creates a new database object on the Exchange deployment and identifies it as a recovery database. The admin then restores a production database into the recovery database, which copies the data from a backup into the new recovery space. After that, Exchange reads from the mounted database. Finally, the admin runs mailbox recovery requests to bring data from the mounted recovery database into the corresponding mailbox or mailboxes — or different mailboxes or archives — to the production side.

Build the Exchange recovery database

Create the new database to hold the content we want to retrieve with the PowerShell command below. The –Recovery flag instructs Exchange that this database should not be treated as a typical mailbox database.

New-MailboxDatabase -Server EXCHANGE2016 -Name MyRecoveryDatabase -Recovery -EdbFilePath c:exchange.edb -LogFolderPath c:logs

Next, restore the production Exchange database with software or the other backup processes. For example, administrators who use Windows Server Backup would pick the location of the backup files and the date of the backup, and then choose Files and Folders to locate the database file (EDB) and the log files associated with the database. The administrator would then restore files to the locations used in the PowerShell command above to create the Exchange recovery database.

Next, use the ESEUtil utility to put the database in a readable condition. Find the location of the recovery database, and run the following at the command prompt:

eseutil /r log_file_base_name /l c:path_to_log_files /d c:path_to_database

Run the command below from the database directory to make sure the State field says Clean Shutdown, which indicates a successful recovery.

eseutil /mh databasename.edb

Next, use the name of the database to mount it with this command:

Mount-Database MyRecoveryDatabase

Once the database mounts, choose from one of the following restore options:

  • Restore content from a mailbox on the recovery database to an identical mailbox on the production database;
  • Restore content from the recovery database to an archive database;
  • Restore content from one mailbox on the recovery side to a different mailbox on the production side; or
  • Restore specific folders from within a mailbox into a corresponding mailbox, a different mailbox or a target archive mailbox.

Here are some sample commands that illustrate the required PowerShell syntax:

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Tim Jones Restore” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Tim Jones” -TargetMailbox “Tim Jones”

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Tim Jones Restore” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Tim Jones” -TargetMailbox “Tim Jones” –TargetRootFolder “Your Restored Items”

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Susan Smith Restore” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Susan Smith” -TargetMailbox “Susan Smith” –TargetIsArchive  –TargetRootFolder “Restored Items In Your Archive”

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Susan Smith to New Info Mailbox” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Susan Smith” -TargetMailbox “General Info” -TargetRootFolder “Susan Smith Items” -AllowLegacyDNMismatch

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Tim Jones Recovery of Acme Matter Content” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Tim Jones” -TargetMailbox “Tim Jones” -IncludeFolders “Acme Litigation/*”

To restore content from the built-in folders, surround the folder names with hashtags — for example, #Inbox# or #Deleted Items#.

How to handle a conflict

When restoring a previous version of an item, the same name of the item already exists in the destination mailbox. The administrator needs to dictate which action to take and what data to keep — the item from the recovery mailbox, the item with the latest date or everything and allow duplicates. Use the –ConflictResolutionOption PowerShell parameter to set these options:

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Tim Jones Restore” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Tim Jones” -TargetMailbox “Tim Jones” –ConflictResolutionOption KeepSourceItem

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Susan Smith Restore” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Susan Smith” -TargetMailbox “Susan Smith” –TargetIsArchive  –ConflictResolutionOption KeepLatestItem

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Susan Smith to New Info Mailbox” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Susan Smith” -TargetMailbox “General Info” -TargetRootFolder “Susan Smith Items” –AllowLegacyDNMismatch –ConflictResolutionOption KeepAll

After the restoration process, remove the mailbox restore requests. Completed requests remain in a queue for auditing purposes, so remove them to prevent current requests from mixing with completed ones. The first line displays the current requests to ensure the administrator selects the correct ones, while the second line removes them.

Get-MailboxRestoreRequest

Get-MailboxRestoreRequest | Where Status -eq Completed | Remove-MailboxRestoreRequest

The final step is to delete the Exchange recovery database to free up the disk space using these commands:

Dismount-Database MyRecoveryDatabase

Remove-MailboxDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase

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This Week on Windows: Skype, Mixer and Ghost in the Shell

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of This Week on Windows! Head over here for all the news from Inspire 2017, read our Windows 10 Tip on how to get started viewing and streaming with Mixer – or, keep reading for what’s new in the Windows Store.

In case you missed it:

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Here’s what’s new in the latest update to Skype on Windows 10

Xbox at gamescom 2017

Xbox at gamescom 2017

We’re happy to announce that in August that Xbox is coming to Cologne, Germany for gamescom 2017. This will be the first time Xbox One X will be on the ground in Europe, with a huge line up of 27 playable games from developers around the world, including Forza Motorsport 7, Age of Empires Definitive Edition and Sea of Thieves. Head over to Xbox Wire for a rundown of what’s happening throughout the week. See you there!

Here’s what’s new in the Windows Store this week:

Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2, Episode 1

 Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2, Episode 1

The second season of the narrative-led Minecraft spin-off series is here! And so begins an all new adventure involving bitter rivalries, cursed gauntlets, obstinate llamas, mythical beings, mystic temples and much more.  The first of five episodes of Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2, titled Hero In Residence, is available to download today!

Candy Crush on CBS

Candy Crush on CBS

Candy Crush is more than just one of the world’s most popular and addictive games; it’s a live-action game show on CBS. And now, enjoy themed mini-games from each episode running in different versions of Candy Crush games – Candy Crush Saga has four mini challenges, Candy Crush Soda Saga has team-vs-team events, and Candy Crush Jelly Saga includes a TV-themed version of the Cupcake Challenge. It’s next-generation technology and whole new level of fun for Candy Crush fans.

Apps to Study and Play

Apps to study and play in the Windows Store

Apps to Study and Play Collection is a special selection of 18 helpful, handy apps to accompany students through another year of studying and accomplishment. Popular titles include Nebo, Complete Anatomy, Duolingo, Khan Academy and much more. Check out the whole selection in the Windows Store today!

Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 Sale – Buy for $69.99

Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 Sale

Technology makes it easy to capture images every day, but keeping them organized, easy to find and easy to share is where Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 ($69.99 through July 30, 2017; regularly $99.99) comes in. Now on sale for 30% off through July 30, Adobe PSE makes photo and video organization, editing, creating, and sharing as simple as it gets.

Ghost in the Shell – Buy from $14.99

Ghost in the Shell

Major is the first of her kind: a human mind inside an artificial body, cyber-enhanced to be the perfect soldier. When she learns that her creators lied about her origins to control her, Major will stop at nothing to learn the truth and take down the people who stole everything from her. Ghost in the Shell ($19.99 HD, $14.99 SD) is available now in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store, more than two weeks before it hits Blu-ray.

Have a great weekend!

Here’s what’s new in the latest update to Skype on Windows 10

With the new update, you can easily share your files to Skype, react to messages, and get to your calls and conversations faster than ever. Let’s take a look at what’s new in this update:

Get to your calls and conversations faster

Get to your calls and conversations faster

In the first in a set of updates we’ll be making, the new look helps you get to your calls and conversations faster – you can now start new conversations, see your profile and visit the dial pad from the top of your recent conversations.

Share photos, videos and more directly to Skype

Share photos, videos and more directly to Skype

Now you can easily share files, videos, photos, links and more directly to Skype from your Windows 10 PC – just click on the Windows share charm, and select Skype.

New message reactions

New message reactions

By simply tapping on the reaction icon next to any message or video call, you can now easily express how you feel at any time.

We’re excited to share these new features to make it easier than ever for you to stay in touch with friends from your Windows 10 devices. To learn more about the new Skype, check out the Skype blog!