Summary: In this Post, We will go through all the possible manual as well as alternative method to extract and recover exchange mailboxes from EDB File, also we will see implemented best practices by exchange administrators in order to perform this task, Read on to know more about this in detail.
As we know, Microsoft Exchange Server uses EDB files to save all your important mailbox information including emails, calendar events, contacts, and notes. All communication with your Exchange server, messages that are in-process as well as non-SMTP messages are also stored in EDB files. This file is therefore quite crucial for the proper functioning of the server. Sometimes, Exchange database can become dysfunctional due to various reasons like a dismounted database, virus infections, system failures, hard drive failures, etc. More often than not, in such problematic cases, a damaged EDB file is the culprit.
Since the EDB file is where all the action takes place, any kind of damage to this file can lead to temporary or permanent mailbox inaccessibility or data loss. Now that can be devastating. Thus, to revive a failed Exchange server, either the EDB file should be quickly repaired or you should extract exchange mailboxes from EDB that has been damaged and a new EDB file should be created in its place.
In this post, we’re focusing on the latter option wherein crucial mailbox data will be extracted from damaged EDB file. However, like always, let’s start at the root of the problem. Let us take a look at the scenarios in which you’d need to extract exchange mailboxes from EDB file.
Cases that need EDB data extraction
Primarily, data would need to be extracted from an EDB file if:
Exchange log file has a mismatched signature. This happens even when the database is consistent.
There is tampering from the antivirus program. Sometimes, the antivirus program installed on the server deletes or quarantines the log file. This can stop the database from mounting.
You run the eseutil command and do not delete the log files. Another common eseutil error is to run it with the incorrect log file name.
Exchange server is not working: All items from your Exchange account are stored in a cache. If this cache becomes corrupted, it will cause synchronization problems and cause the Exchange server to stop working.
Depending upon the scenario, there are different ways to extract exchange mailboxes from EDB file. Read on to find out what all you can do to salvage your important data.
Tricks to save inaccessible data
If the database isn’t mounted, use the Isinteg and Eseutil utilities:The Eseutil tool checks the integrity of your database and repairs it. The Isinteg utility performs a few tests on the database and fixes the errors that can be fixed. Before you use any of these utilities, perform the following procedure:
Log in to the Exchange server with your administrator credentials.
Create a replica of the database files by using the backup directory.
Reallocate unwanted data and free up some hard disk space.
Run CHKDSK to see if there are no bad segments in the hard disk.
Now run the Eseutil utility as follows:
Open command line.
Move to the C:\Program Files\Exchsvr\bin folder.
Run the eseutil/p command.
Next, run the Isinteg utility as follows:
Open command line.
Move to the C:\Program Files\Exchsvr\bin folder.
Run isinteg – fix.
This will fix all errors. If the errors still persist, run the isinteg – fix command again.
Note: If this procedure fails to yield the desired results, use Mailbox Exchange Recovery to Recover mailbox from repaired EDB file .
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If Exchange isn’t working, manually extract exchange mailboxes from EDB file: A good way to save EDB file data is by using the ExMerge utility by Microsoft. This tool converts EDB data to PST format so that you can access it easily through Outlook. Here’s how you can use this utility:
Perform the following procedure to extract exchange mailboxes from EDB file
From the Microsoft support page, download the ExMerge utility
Launch ExMerge.exe on your machine locally.
On the ExMerge.exe wizard, click on Next.
Select the Extract or Import (Two Step Procedure) option, and click on Next.
Select Step 1: Extract data from an Exchange Server Mailbox and click on Next.
In the Microsoft Exchange Server Name field, type the name of the Microsoft Exchange server from which you want to extract exchange mailbox data from EDB.
From the Available Databases drop-down menu, select the database from which you want to extract the data and click on Next.
Select the mailboxes you want to operate on.
In the Folder Name field, click Change Folder to browse to the location at which you want to save the PST file.
After the Process Status window displays the Operating completed successfully message, click Finish.
While using the ExMerge tool is an excellent free option to extract exchange mailboxes from EDB, it is not always a feasible choice owing to the following limitations of the tool:
To run this utility, Exchange Server 2003 is must to be installed in the system along with administrative tools.
It supports EDB to PST only on Exchange versions: 5.5, 2000, and 2003.
Supported OS includes Windows Server 2003, XP, and Windows 2000 SP3. This utility does not work smoothly with Exchange Server 2007.
A mailbox of size 2GBor less can be exported to PST or to another Server
For large-sized EDB file, the software takes around 45 minutes which means the process is time-consuming.
Only private Information Store can be exported from EDB to PST with Exmerge tool.
Thus, you’d need to have a very specific set of eligibility criteria if you wish to use the ExMerge tool to export EDB to PST.
Note: To overcome the limitation of the manual method, Extract exchange mailboxes data from EDB using a third-party tool. Using reliable third-party tools to convert EDB to PST saves not just your time and effort but also relieves you of the risks of migration. We recommend using Stellar Converter for EDB to fulfill the job with finesse.
We have discussed in detail how to perform Extraction of Exchange Mailboxes from EDB file through free methods as well as recommended and trusted alternative method. As a human, we always tend to opt for free methods which are often harmless, but sometimes, they can worsen the damage. Since manual method, sometimes prone towards human error and you are not likely to let it happen. Thus, make sure you cover your bases before trying any new method out. If you’re in doubt, then trust the experts and use automated utilities.
Eric Simson is an Email Platform Consultant and is associated with Stellar Data Recovery from last 6 years. He writes about the latest technology tips and provides custom solutions related to MS Outlook, MS Exchange Server, Office 365, and many other Email Clients & Servers.