MS Exchange database recovery

To protect the Exchange Server against data loss, it is required to add the Exchange data source to the Backup Manager schedules. This protected Exchange database can be recovered in two ways.

  1. Restore to a local drive and mount the database as Recovery database.
  2. In-place restore, when the original database is replaced in the still available storage group.

The in-place restore is useful only when the recovery of the complete Exchange database is required, for example in the case of a disaster or corruption.

Use the restore to a local drive to restore specific items or mailboxes from a protected Exchange database from a previous backup session, within the Backup Manager retention time or from an archive session.

Option A: restore to a local drive

Requirements and pre-recovery settings

The Backup Manager must be installed on the same machine where the Exchange Server is running.

Optionally, the Virtual Drive can be used to mount the Exchange database. We recommend using the LocalSpeedVault to improve the performance.

Step-by-step example

Restore mailbox data using an Exchange recovery database is supported by Microsoft. This procedure is for the Exchange versions 2010 SP1, 2013 and 2016 similar, see the Microsoft TechNet site for more information.

The step-by-step example below is based on Microsoft information. The following parameters are used in the example:

Parameter Value
Exchange Administrator username / mailbox Administrator
Recovery mailbox for recipient Kate James
Folder used for recovered items on target mailbox RecoveredItems
Exchange database name for this mailbox MailboxDB01
Database transaction log file prefix E00
Local drive for restored database D:\Restored
Exchange Recovery database name RecoveryDB
  1. Restore the Exchange database using the Backup Manager to a local drive. Start the Backup Manager, go to Restore > Exchange and select the required Exchange session time. In the recovery selection, select the whole storage group (this is necessary to complete the recovery).

  2. Check Exchange database shutdown state. For an Exchange online backup, the saved database will have the expected Dirty Shutdown state. In this example, the transaction log files 0x3f71-0x3f71 are required for recovery. See also this Microsoft Blog post for more information.

    ESEUTIL /MH "D:\Restored\Exchange Server\MailboxDB01\File\MailboxDB01.edb"

    Created ulVersion: 0x620,20
    DB Signature: Create time:06/24/2016 21:28:41.584
    cbDbPage: 32768
    dbtime: 14923861 (0xe3b855)
    State: Dirty Shutdown
    Log Required: 16241-16241 (0x3f71-0x3f71)
    Log Committed: 0-16242 (0x0-0x3f72)

  3. Bring the Exchange database to the Clean Shutdown state.

    ESEUTIL /R E00 /D "D:\Restored\Exchange Server\MailboxDB01\File" /L "D:\Restored\Exchange Server\MailboxDB01\Logs" /S "D:\Restored\Exchange Server\MailboxDB01\Logs"
    Initiating RECOVERY mode...
    Logfile base name: e00
    Log files: D:\Restored\Exchange Server\MailboxDB01\Logs
    System files: D:\Restored\Exchange Server\MailboxDB01\Logs
    Database Directory: D:\Restored\Exchange Server\MailboxDB01\File
    Performing soft recovery...
    Restore Status (% complete)
    0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
    Operation completed successfully in 0.891 seconds.

  4. Create an Exchange recovery database for the restored database and transaction log files. Use the Exchange Management PowerShell to execute these commands:

    New-MailboxDatabase -Recovery -Name RecoveryDB -Server $env:COMPUTERNAME -EdbFilePath "D:\Restored\Exchange Server\MailboxDB01\File\MailboxDB01.edb" -LogFolderPath "D:\Restored\Exchange Server\MailboxDB01\Logs"
    Name // Server // Recovery // ReplicationType
    ---- // ------ // -------- // ---------------
    RecoveryDB // ServerName // True // None

  5. Mount the Exchange Recovery database and check the state:

    Mount-Database -Identity RecoveryDB
    Get-MailboxDatabase -status | FT name,server,recovery,mounted,LastFullBackup
    Name // Server // Recovery // Mounted // LastFullBackup
    ---- // ------ // -------- // ------- // --------------
    MailboxDB1 // ServerName // False // True // 8-3-2017 10:09:48
    RecoveryDB // ServerName // True // True

  6. Get list of mailboxes in the mounted RecoveryDB database.

    Get-MailboxStatistics -Database RecoveryDB | ft –auto
    DisplayName // ItemCount
    ----------- // ---------
    Teri Snow // 55
    Ernesto Stephens // 57
    Kate James // 63

  7. Restore mailbox for Kate James, all restored items are saved in the original Kate James mailbox, in the subfolder RecoveredItems. The restore request is queued and processed by the Exchange Mailbox Replication service (MRS). After completion, cleanup this request.

    New-MailboxRestoreRequest -SourceDatabase RecoveryDB -SourceStoreMailbox "Kate James" -AllowLegacyDNMismatch -TargetMailbox "Kate James" -TargetRootFolder RecoveredItems
    Name // TargetMailbox // Status
    ---- // ------------- // ------
    MailboxRestore // sales.local/UsersExchange/Kate James // Completed
    et-MailboxRestoreRequest -Status Completed | Remove-MailboxRestoreRequest

After the mailbox restore, the complete structure for the mailbox Kate James is restored in the target mailbox. The user can search the missing emails or other items in this folder structure and move them back to the original folder.

See the Microsoft documentation for more information, like specific selection for the restore request.

Option B: In-place restore

Requirements and pre-recovery settings

  1. The Backup Manager must be installed on the same machine where MS Exchange is running.
  2. The original data stores must be available.


During the in-place Exchange recovery all the previous data gets overwritten except for transaction logs. Logs that have not been backed up are added to the recovered version.

Note that the original storage groups must be available (even if they are corrupted).


Here is how to recover MS Exchange databases to the original location:

  1. Start the Backup Manager. Click Restore > Exchange.
  2. Select a session to restore.
  3. In the recovery selection, select the whole storage group (this is necessary to complete the recovery).
  4. Leave the Restore to field blank.
  5. Click Restore.
  6. Hold on till the recovery process is completed (there will be a confirmation message).