Thursday, 11 September 2014
9/11/2014 09:44:00 pm 0

How to detect and prevent physical Exchange database corruption?

Microsoft Exchange server has been evolving as one of the most popular collaboration and communication email-server applications used now-a-days. It stores all its user mailbox data in EDB file format. These files may get corrupted due to various physical or logical reasons such as: Power failure, Virus Attack, over sized files and Dirty system shutdown etc.

Exchange database corruption can occur at three levels:

  • Page /file system level
  • Database (JET database engine) level
  • Application (Exchange information store) level
Page /file system level corruption occurs due to hardware malfunctioning, other hardware issues, problems in drivers & firmware, or some problems in Exchange.Database (JET database engine) level &Application (Exchange information store) level corruption occurs due to issues with Exchange code or in third-party programs installed on the exchange system

How to detect and prevent physical database corruption?

Any kind of damage to the Exchange database creates troublesome situations for the users. The user has to face various kinds of error messages and an obstructed mail communication indirectly affects the overall productivity of organization.

So detecting and resolving any kind of corruption to the Exchange database at early stage is a good practice. Otherwise later on it can lead to disastrous data loss situations that will be hard to tackle with.

How to detect physical corruption to the database:

Various error messages will be prompted to the screen if the database gets physically corrupt. For example, Exchange error 1022 (JET_errDiskIO) is a common error message that you may face if physical corruption occurs to the Information store.Such kinds of error messages are a clear indication that your database has got corrupt and needs to be repaired.

Online backups are a great way for detecting physical corruption in the information store. While online backup process, every page of the database is checked so if there is any corruption that will be spotted.

If you discover corruption in the information store then it’s better to run exchange recovery tools over the Exchange database before the corruption gets severe.

  • You can use The Esefile.exe utility to detect errors in databases at the page/ file level.
  • The page/file level corruption can be detected and repaired by Eseutil.exe utility.
Eseutil.exe can also detect the corruption at database level. To detect the application level corruption, you need to run Isinteg.exe utility. The page/file level corruption can further lead to database or application level corruption issues. So, it’s always recommended to use Isinteg utility after running Eseutil.

How to prevent physical corruption to the database:

  • The hardware components used must be of good quality
  • The configuration and other settings of the hardware components must be properly done and timely checked.
  • Avoid using antivirus or any other file level utility on the Exchange server computer.
  • Don’t use write-back caching, it’s better to turn it off but if using then keep the data protected completely
The above written are some preventive measures to avoid physical data corruption. These play a very significant role in preventing your valuable data from getting corrupted. Though these cannot guarantee to forbid the occurrence of physical corruption, there can be several other factor that can lead to a physically corrupt database.
Once the database is affected by corruption, you will not be able to access it or face troubles/errors while working with corrupt data. In such case you need to recover the corrupt data.

Below given are ways to recover data after physical corruption:

Restore from backup: If you have a recent backup of the data,then you can restore your data from it. You can easily roll forward the log files and get your data back to a previous consistent state.

Run  Exchange recovery tools: If you don’t have an updated backup of the data, then you need to repair the corrupt data.You can run Eseutil.exe utility for repairing corrupt Exchange database.Always make a copy if the database before running any Exchange Recovery tool over the exchange database. Especially in case you are using Eseutil.exe, it always recommended to backup your data as this tool can’t recover the severely damaged pages, it simply removes them. This can lead you to more troublesome situations.

This is one of the reasons why most of the users prefer to use other third party Exchange Recovery tools instead of using Eseutil.exe utility. Also, the software takes a lot of time while the recovery process and may fail in several cases.

If you are facing similar kind of issues and looking for a reliable Exchange recovery solution, here I would like to suggest “Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery” software.

This software is recommended by a lot of trusted users and Exchange experts. The software makes the recovery process easier, less time consuming and more user friendly. The software is capable of dealing with any kind of corruption to the exchange data. It can easily repair the severe corrupt exchange database and restores the inaccessible user mailboxes from them. The recovered exchange mailbox data is saved in pst format. You can import the recovered pst file into outlook and access the data stored within it.


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