How to Recover Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database

Summary: This blog highlights the process of recovering Exchange 2013 mailbox database that has been restored from a backup. Therefore, if you are a Database Administrator (DBA) of a business that runs Exchange Server 2013, but is experiencing issues with it, this Blog serves as the answer. It explains the process for Exchange 2013 database recovery at length.

Exchange Server is one of the most widely used servers in both small and large sized businesses. It stores and maintains all information such as emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, journals, etc. in the Exchange database (EDB) file in the form of users’ mailboxes.

However, when the EDB file gets corrupt or damaged, all its data becomes inaccessible, therefore, bringing businesses to a halt whereby none of the users can exchange emails or other valuable data. Such a situation of failed Exchange becomes a great hindrance in the proper functioning of businesses.

To turn such an unfavorable situation into a favorable one, it becomes necessary to for you as the DBA to execute Exchange recovery process so as to recover the inaccessible mailboxes. One method is to restore mailboxes from backup. Here, in this blog you will get to the process steps to restore an Exchange Server 2013 database.

Steps for recovering mailboxes from Exchange database restored from backup

Recover Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database

Below are the steps to recover mailboxes from the Exchange Server database that has been restored from backup:

Step 1: The very first step that you are required to do is provide the folder path location where the Exchange database and log file needs to be restored. However, it should be assured that there is enough of free-space on the disk for storing the restored EDB and log file.

Step 2: Next, you should verify the health of the restored database file as to whether it is in Clean Shutdown or Dirty Shutdown state. To do so, you will have to run the command as indicated below:

eseutil.exe /mh E:\Recovery\RDB.edb | select-string “State:”, “Log Required”

Dirty Shutdown state – If the Exchange database is in a dirty shutdown state, you will have to perform ‘soft recovery’ to make it healthy. If it is still in a Dirty Shutdown state, you will have to perform a ‘hard recovery’ i.e. an advanced version of ‘soft recovery.’ Once in a healthy state, you can proceed to the next step.

Clean Shutdown state – If the Exchange database is in a clean shutdown state, you should proceed to the next step without performing soft and hard recovery.

Step 3: Next, you will have to create ‘Recovery Database’ in Exchange Server 2013. Recovery Database (RDB) is a distinct type of Exchange database mailbox allowing to mount any database from backup. The RDB must be given a unique name. You should use the location of the recovered log files for the ‘LogFolderPath’ parameter. For the ‘EdbFilePath’ parameter you should use the name and path of the database file. Here, the name of RDB is RDB0.

To create Recovery Database, use the following command:

New-MailboxDatabase -Recovery RDB01 -Server MBX01 -EdbFilePath E:\Recovery\RDB.edb

Step 4: After creating the Recovery Database, you should verify if the database is in a mounted state. This can be done by using the following command:

MailboxDatabase RDB01 -status | fl Name, Mounted

Step 5: Next, mount the database with the following command: Mount-Database RDB01 –Verbose

Step 6: After mounting the database, its status should be verified with the below stated command:

Get-MailboxDatabase RDB01 -status | fl Name, Mounted

Step 7: Next, the mailbox statistics of the restored database should be verified by the following commands:

Get-mailboxstatistics -database RDB01 – This command should be used to find all the mailboxes present in the Recovery Database

Get-MailboxStatistics -Database RecoveryDB | ?{$_.DisplayName -like ‘xxx’} | fl DisplayName,MailboxGuid,DisconnectDate – This command should be used to find particular mailboxes that are present in the Recovery Database on the user account or GUID

Step 8: Next, the mailboxes must be restored using Exchange PowerShell commands as per the requirement. Specific commands can be used for restoring the entire mailbox, restoring the mailbox using GUID, restoring the source mailbox to a different user mailbox, and restoring the mailbox email in a separate folder (Restore) in the user mailbox.

Step 9: Next, the status of the mailbox restoration must be checked in the user mailbox on all the restored emails with the following command: Get-MailboxRestoreRequest

Step 10: Finally, you should remove the ‘Completed’ mailbox Restore with the use of following PowerShell command:
Get-MailboxRestoreRequest -status Completed | Remove-MailboxRestoreRequest


To check if the process has successfully recovered the mailbox data, you should access the target mailbox in Outlook or Outlook Web App. If data is present, it means that the process has been able to recover the mailboxes and vice versa. However, if the process has not given you the desired result, you can then leverage Exchange Recovery software by Stellar Data Recovery. This tool seamlessly recovers damaged Exchange database mailboxes and its data items. Also, it effectively handles almost all corruption issues and saves the recovered data in a healthy PST file. What’s more! It can also retrieve users’ mailboxes to live Exchange and Office 365 environment. And, it is compatible with Exchange Server 2019, 2016, 2013, and other lower releases for recovery of Exchange mailboxes.

Rating by MVP:

You may also like to read:  Restore an Exchange Server 2013 Database to a Recovery Database

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