How to Recover Mailbox from Exchange 2010 Recovery Database to PST?

Summary: In this guide, you will learn steps to recover Exchange 2010 mailbox from Recovery Database to PST format. The steps will help you restore single or multiple mailboxes from Exchange 2010 recovery database to PST format.

The primary reason for MS Exchange 2010 backup and Recovery Database (RDB) is to overcome the disaster recovery scenarios. Exchange backups and recovery database are used to restore corrupt or deleted Exchange mailbox database(s) in Exchange server. But the most common and routine request put forth to Exchange Admins is to restore single mailbox.

It is a known fact that Microsoft doesn’t provide support for the granular restoration of single mailbox through Exchange database backup. However, since the release of Exchange version 2010, Microsoft has added a specific solution where Exchange Administrators can use Exchange Recovery Database (RDB) to recover and restore single or multiple mailboxes to PST.

The PST file can be used for backup or to import mailbox into an Outlook account via Outlook Import/Export Wizard. But what if the backup is not available or obsolete and Exchange RDB recovery doesn’t work? In such cases, the most feasible option is to deploy a Mailbox Exchange Recovery software, such as Stellar Repair for Exchange, and recover single or multiple mailboxes from corrupt or dismounted Exchange database.

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Below we have discussed all these scenarios with solutions.

What is Exchange 2010 Recovery Database?

As the name suggests, Recovery Database or RDB is used for Exchange mailbox database recovery. It is a mailbox database that helps recover data from backup copies of the database, without disturbing user account.
RDB lets you mount a restored mailbox database and extract mailbox data from the restored database. It can be used to recover single mailbox or the entire database, as per the requirement.

In addition, the recovered data can be merged with a mailbox on the same or a different server without affecting the production server.
You can also use the recovery database with Dial Tone Recovery to restore a dismounted or corrupt database without downtime.

Before starting Exchange 2010 Mailbox recovery from Recovery Database (RDB), let’s understand how RDB is different from Normal (Standard) Mailbox database:

  1. Exchange Management Shell is used to create Recovery Databases (RDB)
  2. No provision for Sending or Receiving emails through RDB
  3. RDB cannot be used to add any information to the Exchange environment
  4. No mailbox policies available for RDB
  5. No rule of backup against RDB as with standard mailbox
  6. No connection possible between Recover Database and Normal Mailbox

Steps to Export Exchange 2010 Mailbox to PST from Recovery Database

To export Exchange mailbox to PST from Recovery Database, follow these steps,

Step 1: Clean Shutdown Database

Go to your Exchange 2010 server and open command prompt window as an administrator. Then follow these steps,

  1. Use cd command to navigate to the Recovery database location on the server cd E:\RDB1

Here, RDB1 is the Recovery Database located on E: drive.

  1. To clean shutdown database, enter following command in Command Prompt,

eseutil /r E001 /i /d

The E001 is the checkpoint file name in the RDB1 database. Check the checkpoint file name and replace it in the command before executing.

  1. This will clean shutdown the database.

Note: If it is in dirty shutdown state, use this link to fix this error.

Step 2: Mount Recovery Database

  • Open Exchange Management Shell (EMS) and enter the following command to mount the Recovery Database. In this case RDB1.

Mount-Database RDB1

  • Hit ‘Enter’

Step 3: Assign Mailbox Import Export Role to the User

All the users, including administrators, should have Mailbox Import Export role assigned to move or export mailbox data to PST. To check which users already have Mailbox Import Export role assigned, enter the following command in EMS,

Get-ManagementRoleAssignment -Role “Mailbox Import Export” | Format-List RoleAssigneeName

To assign “Mailbox Import Export” Role to a User,

  • Open Exchange Management Shell (EMS) and enter the following command,
New-Managementroleassignment –Role “Mailbox Import Export” –User “UserName”
  • Restart EMS after the role is assigned

Step 4: Create a Shared Folder

Exchange 2010 Mailboxes from Recovery Database are exported to PST by creating mailbox export requests. One can move primary mailboxes as well as archive mailboxes to Outlook PST using New-MailboxExportRequest cmdlets.

  • To export single mailbox from Exchange 2010 Recovery Database to PST, enter following command,
New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox “MailBoxName” -FilePath \\Servername\SharedFolderPathName\FileName.pst
  • To export an archive mailbox to PST, enter the following command,
New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox “MailBoxName” -IsArchive -FilePath \\Servername\SharedFolderPathName\FileName.pst
  • After exporting the mailbox to PST, the mailbox and its items can be accessed using MS Outlook.
  • To export all mailboxes from Recovery Database to PST, enter following commands,

This lists all the mailboxes. Then type,

foreach ($Mailbox in (Get-Mailbox)) { New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox $Mailbox -FilePath “\\Servername\SharedFolderPathName\$($Mailbox.Alias).pst”}

This exports all mailboxes to PST.

  • To get details about the mailbox request, enter the following command,

Problems with Above Manual Export Steps

  • The method is lengthy, requires expertise, and takes a lot of time to complete
  • There are chances of errors and data loss while utilising this procedure
  • Users should have required technical knowledge and permissions to perform this process
  • The server should be in Clean Shutdown state. There is no surety if the server can be brought to Clean Shutdown state using the command prompts
  • Uses PowerShell cmdlet which may or may not execute successfully
  • The process is not possible if Exchange backup (RDB) is in an inconsistent or unavailable state
  • The process fails if RDB fails to mount

Export Mailbox from Exchange 2010 Recovery Database to PST using EDB Recovery Software

The software prevents Exchange Administrators and users from any manual intervention and recovers single or multiple mailboxes, swiftly and efficiently. It helps when the backup and recovery database is obsolete or not working.

Stellar Repair for Exchange software is one of the highest performing software to repair the EDB files, which repairs and recovers mailboxes from a corrupt or dismounted database. You can use this Exchange Server Recovery Software to recover mailbox from corrupted Exchange database. You may also export recovered mailboxes from the database to Live Exchange server or Office 365 accounts.

The GUI-based user-friendly tool helps you perform these complex operations in a few clicks. If you want to avoid all hassle, errors and need a faster solution, use this software. To know how the software works, click here.


Use the steps and solutions mentioned in this guide to export mailbox to PST from Exchange 2010 Recovery Database. If you wish to extract PST via manual steps, make sure you have required permissions and information about the Exchange server and recovery database. Otherwise, choose the software-based method which is faster and more secure.

The software can recover and export mailbox to PST even if the EDB or mailbox is corrupt or dismounted state. It overcomes almost all limitations of the manual steps discussed briefly in this post. Thus, to avoid hassle and extract mailbox from offline EDB files, use the software. It’s the best Exchange Disaster Recovery tool that ensures minimal downtime and maximum EDB file recovery.

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