How to restore a single mailbox in Exchange?

Mailboxes in the Microsoft Exchange Server are not free from damages and they often get corrupted for various reasons. Once a mailbox gets damaged it is quiet hard to recover it, and in most cases it depends on the time of deletion or damage which decides if the mailbox can be recovered or not. Now let’s look at a few ways through which you can recover Exchange to bring back your lost mailboxes.

There are various methods which you can use to recover the deleted or damaged mailbox from Microsoft Exchange Server. If you want to recover Exchange you do not need to look far enough as Microsoft has provided a free tool called ‘Exchange System Manager’ to recover individual or multiple mailboxes from the server. If you delete a mailbox by accident and the retention settings are not configured for deleted items in mailboxes and if the time for recovering the mailbox from the server has passed, you can still recover it to an alternate server or a recovery server.

You can use ‘Exchange System Manager’ only if the retention settings for deleted items are configured and the time for deleted items to remain in the server has not yet passed. To restore a mailbox using this tool you need to follow a few simple steps:

  • After starting ‘Exchange System Manager’, look if ‘Display administrative groups’ option is enabled. After this expand ‘Administrative Groups’ followed by ‘AdministrativeGroup’.
  • Expand ‘Servers’ then ‘YourServerName’ followed by ‘YourStorageGroupName’
  • After this expand ‘Mailbox Store’ and right click on ‘Mailboxes’ and click on ‘Run Cleanup Agent’
  • You need to right click on the mailbox to be recovered and then click on ‘Reconnect’.
  • Immediately service accounts will appear in the list of Microsoft Active Directory and you need to click on any user account where you want the mailbox to connect and click ‘OK’ and quit ‘Exchange System Manager’

Another method of recovering a mailbox from the exchange server is by using the ‘Recovery Storage Groups’. ‘Recovery Storage Groups’ are one of the most interesting features in Exchange 2003 Server. It is a unique tool which you can use to recover Exchange in a very short period of time. However, the main disadvantage of this group is that you can only use it to recover mailbox/mailboxes stores or items stored in single or multiple mailboxes. If you are trying to recover public folders then this group can do the least to help you.

Mailbox recovery through ‘Recovery Storage Group’ involves following a few simple steps. However, first you must open the group by following the steps mentioned below:

  • Open Exchange System Manager (ESM)
  • Expand ‘Administrative Groups’> ‘First Administrative Group’> ‘Servers’
  • Right click on ‘Servers’ then choose ‘New’> Recovery Storage Group
  • Click ‘OK’

Clicking on ‘OK’ will open the ‘Recovery Storage Group’ and after that you need to add mailboxes from where you want to recover the data.

Both the ‘Exchange System Manager’ and ‘Recovery Storage Group’ are excellent tools that you can try out to recover a single or multiple mailbox from Exchange Server. However, sometimes even these tools fail to recover mailbox/mailboxes from the server if the damage is too severe. If you are unable to recover your mailbox/mailboxes with these two tools you can always take the help of third party recovery tools like ‘DataNumen Exchange Recovery’ software which is currently the most effective tool in the market and can recover almost all data from the server.

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