Recovering Lost Mail/Mailbox Item.

Lost Mail Item / Mailbox

This scenario is not a service failure but more of a user
request (e.g. user requires recovering a mail item which he deleted and is no
longer in the mail deleted item retention period; or a previously deleted
mailbox needs to be restored for audit purposes). In both cases, a mailbox
needs to be recovered from backup from a certain point of time. Once that
mailbox is recovered, then any data in that mailbox can then be extracted and
provided to the user (e.g. as a PST file).

To recover a single mailbox, a Recovery Database must
be created on the server that mailbox is to be recovered to.

A recovery database (RDB) is a special kind of mailbox
database that allows you to mount a restored mailbox database and extract data
from the restored database as part of a recovery operation. After you’ve
created an RDB, you can restore a mailbox database into the RDB by using your
backup application (or if you have the database and its log files in the file
system, by copying those to the RDB file structure). Then you can use the
Restore-Mailbox cmdlet to extract data from the recovered database. After being
extracted, the data can then be exported to a folder or merged into an existing
mailbox. RDBs allow you to recover data from a backup or copy of a database
without disrupting user access to current data.

The Exchange mailbox servers have been provisioned
with a Recovery LUN to be used in such situations. The database in question
needs to be restored to this free disk. There is no impact to live users during
this operation.

Resolution Details

The procedure for recovering a mailbox is as follows:

  1. Use your backup application to restore the Mailbox database to the
    restore LUN on the Exchange 2010 mailbox server (drive R: on MBX SERVER NAME 1):
    1. In the backup program ensure that you are recovering to an alternate
      location (R:Recovery)
    2. Create a Recovery Database on the Exchange 2010 Mailbox server.
      1. Use the New-MailboxDatabase cmdlet to create the RDB on the

New-MailboxDatabase -Recovery
-Name DB01 -Server MBX SERVER NAME 1

-EdbFilePath “R:Recovery<DB_Name>.edb”
-LogFolderPath “R:Recovery”

  1. Run ESEUTIL to bring the database to a consistent state:

ESEUTIL /R E00 /l “F:Recovery”
/d “R:Recovery”


  1. Mount the database using Mount-Database cmdlet.
  2. Use the Restore-Mailbox cmdlet to restore the required data

Once data has been restored, you can dismount the
RDB and delete it and its files.