Tuesday, 24 February 2015
2/24/2015 11:14:00 pm 0

How to Restore Inaccessible Exchange 2010/2013 Mailboxes Using a lag copy in DAG

Exchange Admins quite frequently come across many issues in real time scenarios where several users request them to restore mailboxes from backup.

In two scenarios, restore can be done:

1. A recent data (say 15-20 days older) might be requested by the user

2. A very old data (say 6 months) might also be requested by the user.

We have got the concept of LAG copy from Exchange Server 2010 and from which we can execute restoration of mailboxes as per the replay lag time set.

However, LAG copies can not considered as full backup but still they can assist us in disaster recovery situations as well as in restoration of the mailbox items for the user only for shorter period i.e. within two weeks of disaster.

You can follow the steps given below to restore the mailboxes from a LAG copy in Exchange 2013/2010.

1. Initially, find out the requirement of the user i.e Whether user want to restore complete folders or deleted mails

2. If the user wants to restore mails only, you can restore them with the help of MFCMAPI . To perform the same, follow the steps given in this Technet post -

3. In case, user wants to restore complete folder, then you need to follow the standard restoration process because folders cannot be restored using  MFCMAPI.

4. First, we should check the database in which the user is – by executing the cmdlet given below:
Get-mailbox   <username> | fl database

5. Once you get to know about the desired database, you need to now find the LAG copy of the accompanying database.
get-mailboxdatabase  <DBname> -status | fl mountedonserver,replaylagtimes

6. You need to now interrupt the Lag copy server and begin copying the logs and DB folder into isolated folders. Once copied, start the replication process once again.

7. From the LAG server, save the copy of the original database into a distinct folder

8.  Now check the state of the database by executing the cmdlet given below;
Navigate to drive where database file is located:  eseutil /mh “DB Location”

9. Copy the logs file till that date for which your user has requested you to restore the data – to a distinct location in log sequence. Once, you are done, execute the cmdlet given below
eseutil /ml eXX

10. Execute soft recovery to get back the database to the clean shutdown state by executing the cmdlet given below:

eseutil /r /a exx  /d “DB location” /l “log file location”

Revise the location consequently and run the command given above to get the following output

11. Once the software recovery gets completed, you will get the following output

12. The database health should be in Clean Shutdown state when you check it as you can see below

13. With the powershell cmdlet given below, create a new recovery database

New-MailboxDatabase -Name RECOVERYDB  -Recovery -LogFolderPath “path location” -EdbFilePath ” path location” -Server  Recovery server name

Note:  If the following steps are not followed, an error will be generated and the database will not mount

You don’t need to mount the RDB which you have created, rather rename the database which you have repaired according to the RDB name.

14. You need to now check whether the mailbox is available in RDB by executing the cmdlet below. We are considering it as an output for our reference:

[PS] C:>Get-MailboxDatabase RECOVERYDB| Get-MailboxStatistics   > D:output.txt

15. Export to data to test mailbox folder or restore mailbox account from which we can extract the user data later.

 [PS] C:>New-MailboxRestoreRequest -SourceDatabase RECOVERYDB -SourceStoreMailbox "john"  -TargetMailbox recoverymbx -TargetRootFolder "testrecover”–AllowLegacyDNMismatch

16. Check the status of restored data with the following command

[PS] C:>Get-MailboxRestoreRequest   -Status Queued

To complete the restoration process, wait for 15 minutes and execute the cmdlet below:

Get-MailboxRestoreRequest   -Status Completed

Once the data gets restored, extract the PST from it and hand over it to the respective user.

What you will do in case, you are unable to restore the desired mailboxes using the above manual method using LAG copy? In that case, you can restore the data using professional Exchange Recovery Software like Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery Software, which works on a powerful scanning algorithm to restore inaccessible mailboxes easily and quickly.