Error Solved: “Mailbox exceeded maximum number of corrupted items”

Summary: This Blog sheds light on a particular Exchange error that arises while migrating from one Exchange version to another. Reasons behind the error and some common fixes for it are also listed. It also highlights Stellar Repair for Exchange as the ultimate solution.

Migrating an existing emailing setup from one version to another is a complicated task that requires planning, expert execution, and several testing to accomplish successfully. Although automated tools have made this task relatively simpler, there are still a number of things that needs to be taken care of manually. The slightest of error may lead to one or many of the mailboxes being migrated, turn corrupt or lost. Further, other complicated errors could arise which may hamper the entire migration process.

Let’s look at a cryptic error that users sometimes face when Exchange migration is underway. The error pops-up with the following message:

“This mailbox exceeded the maximum number of corrupted items that were specified for this move request”

When this error comes up, it may disrupt the entire migration process. Until there is a solution at hand, the migration process comes to a temporary stop. This, in turn, impacts all user mailboxes on the server. Thus, rectifying whatever causes this error should be the top priority in such a scenario.

What causes this error?

Before attempting to resolve this error, it is essential to find the root cause in the first place. That will prove beneficial in preventing the error from occurring again. Below are the root causes that may trigger this error:

• As the message itself states, if the number of corrupt mailboxes being migrated exceeds its set limit, this error occurs. The Exchange server allows only a finite number of corrupt mailboxes to be a part of the migration. If the actual number of corrupt mailboxes is more than the set limit, the migration process is paused midway.

• If the Exchange server itself has turned corrupt, it needs to be isolated. This error occurs in such a case too. A corrupt mailbox has corrupt emails or attachments. Such a mailbox isn’t allowed to migrate. However, if any issues are faced while isolating such a mailbox, the server itself can turn corrupt, therefore, giving rise to the error.

The error in focus is most commonly observed while migrating Exchange Server 2010 and other versions of Exchange. It may also occur during the migration between Exchange server and Office 365 with hybrid deployment facility.

Now that we have discussed the possible root causes, let’s now look at resolution options available.

Free fixes

There are a number of ways to overcome this error. Common free fixes include:

1. Increasing the limit of corrupted mailboxes using Power Shell Commands

Power Shell enables you to execute complex internal commands that can alter the way Exchange server migration takes place. However, having some expertise for executing such commands is preferable. Any mistakes may worsen the damage or lead to permanent data loss. Follow the steps below to increase the set limit of corrupted mailboxes:

a. Launch Power Shell with admin rights
b. Type the command Get-MoveRequest and hit Enter. All mailboxes that failed to migrate will be listed.
c. Execute the command Set- Move Request with value 100.

Note: You will need the AcceptLargeDataLoss switch if you are setting the limit of “BadItems” anywhere close to 50.

2. Identify mailbox corrupt items and remove them from isolation

Though this is not a preferable solution as it turns off the isolation feature allowing corrupt mailboxes to be a part of the migration, it can be used as a last resort. Follow the steps below:

a. Get the GUID of the corrupted mailboxes by executing the command Get-mailbox-statistics-identity
b. Press F1
c. Find the registry entry
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS\Private-<db-guid>\Quarantinemailboxes\ <the mailbox guid>
d. Change the key mentioning GUID
e. Restart IIS with the command iisreset

This should remove mailbox corrupt items from isolation.

3. Repair damaged Exchange server database files (EDB) with ESEUTIL

The inbuilt Exchange ESEUTIL command line utility is often used by administrators to repair inaccessible or corrupt EDB files. The utility can help carry out hard as well as soft recovery from offline Exchange server. However, to use this option you should have administrator rights as well as a technical know-how of using the utility.

To repair the damaged database, ESEUTIL command is used with the /p switch. This is followed by Eseutil/d command to defragment the repaired database. Lastly, the integrity of the database is checked with the ISInteg command.

Recommended Solution

Although the above fixes are free of cost and may work, however, they come with a fair share of risk. In case a wrong step is taken, you may end up creating more damage than repair. Thus, if you’re not confident about applying the free fixes, our suggestion would be to opt for an automated third-party tool, Stellar Repair for Exchange for repairing the corrupt Exchange mailbox database.

Exchange Database Recovery deftly handles EDB corruption issues and repairs damaged EDB files to recover all mailbox contents such as mails, attachments, contacts, calendars, tasks, etc. The tool allows saving recovered mails in a variety of file formats such as PST, MSG, EML, HTML, RTF and PDF. With several other beneficial features to assist you, this software serves as an answer to all Exchange corruption issues.

The Bottom Line

Now that you are acquainted with the free fixes to resolve Exchange server issues, you can leverage them as when required; however, the downside is that technical expertise is an important pre-requisite in this case. Therefore, if you are less confident about running the technical commands or are looking at a non-lengthy and hassle-free recovery process, then Stellar Repair for Exchange would be the best bet!

  1. Matt Woodward November 14, 2017
  2. Jackson May 18, 2017
    • Eric Simson May 19, 2017
      • Jackson May 22, 2017
      • Eric Simson May 23, 2017
  3. Laurie Joi March 17, 2017
  4. David Sope March 13, 2017

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