Worktrainers Ltd., a not-for-profit company providing traffic control and hire services while assisting students with their employment and career paths, experienced a catastrophic email outage when their Exchange Server 2013 started dropping mailboxes. This outage affected approximately 50 users and brought their business operations to a halt. This case study explores the issues faced by Worktrainers Ltd., the attempted solutions, and how Stellar Repair for Exchange software resolved the critical email outage, minimizing the impact on the company.
The Exchange Server 2013 Standard, which hosted the main database for Worktrainers Ltd., began encountering problems with dropping mailboxes. Users were unable to access their mailboxes, send, or receive emails. After a few hours, the database completely dismounted, leaving the entire company without email access.
Impact on the Business:
Emails are vital for business operations, and even a short outage can result in significant issues and lost opportunities. Worktrainers Ltd. issued a statement highlighting the impact of the email outage on their business: "We missed out on work with some of our customers as they tried to send out urgent emails while we were offline. This has caused us thousands of dollars in lost work and time recovering the old emails and server."
- As the sole IT administrator in the company, resolving the email outage was a pressing matter. The administrator attempted to repair the database using the built-in ESEUTIL command on the Exchange Server, employing both smooth and hard recovery methods. However, after six hours, the repair process failed, and the database still did not mount.
- Another option was to restore from the backup software in use. However, a complication arose during the merge operation of the VHDX files with the auto VHDX file created after the restore. Despite investing additional time and resources, the virtual drives were eventually merged, and the Exchange Server was booted. However, the server reported numerous health errors with the core services.
- Administrator decided to make an emergency migration to Exchange Online on Microsoft 365. The process involved creating a tenant, verifying the domain, creating mailboxes and groups, and changing the MX record to Microsoft 365. After conducting quick tests using Outlook Web Access (OWA), emails were sent and received. User accounts were secured with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), and credentials were distributed. Gradually, normal operations resumed. However, the challenge remained of migrating data from the non-operational and corrupted Exchange Server databases.
Solution and Benefits
Due to the Exchange Server's unusable state and the corrupted databases, the decision was made to utilize Stellar Repair for Exchange. The software license was purchased, and it was installed on a separate virtual machine. The application was initiated, and after a quick scan of the EDB files, the administrator was able to export all mailboxes to PST files for safekeeping. The software also facilitated the seamless migration of all data to Office 365, leveraging automatic mailbox mapping. As a result, users were finally able to continue their work. The administrator expressed their satisfaction with the software: "After using Stellar Exchange Repair, I realize I would have been better off deciding to migrate to Microsoft 365 earlier to prevent further email loss. Stellar was very easy to use and allowed me to recover mailboxes while we were up and running with Microsoft 365."
Worktrainers Ltd. suffered significant losses and expended substantial resources to resolve the critical email outage. However, had Stellar Repair for Exchange been employed at the onset of the issue, the impact would have been minimal and less stressful for both the administrator and the business. While failures are unpredictable, the software ensures easy problem resolution with minimal impact. The positive feedback from the client further affirms the software's efficacy: "Very happy with the outcome of being able to recover all my mailboxes. It was effortless to decide whether to merge old emails back into Outlook or attach them as archives for users. I highly recommend this software for mailbox recovery from a damaged Exchange Database."
Stellar Repair for Exchange provides a seamless solution for recovering, exporting, and migrating user mailboxes, shared mailboxes, archives, disabled mailboxes, and public folders with no size limitations and compatibility with any version of Exchange Server databases.