Quick tips to use recovery storage groups to recover exchange files

The Recovery Storage Group allows users to create a secondary Exchange data base on the same server being used by the group, so that recovering lost files or entire mailboxes becomes simplified. Exchanges files or mailboxes can be damaged or deleted due to many reasons. The Recovery Storage Group secures the data so that valuable information can be recovered when it gets deleted. Detailed steps for recovering data using the storage group has been given below.

The Recovery Storage Group, which was introduced by Microsoft in Exchange Server 2003, allows administrators to create a secondary Exchange mailbox database on the same system with the original data base or a different system on the same Exchange group. The tool allows users to recover exchange files without the need of installing another Exchange recovery system. In order to use the Recovery Storage Group, users would have to make sure that the Active Directory topology of the Exchange server remains in its original state. This means that the mailbox or exchange files users wish the recover should not be deleted or moved to a different server. Keep that in mind that the Recovery Storage Group cannot be used to recover multiple storage groups or servers during an organisation wide system crash. The tool can only be used to recover lost data from a single database, mailbox and storage group. It should also be noted that sending and receiving emails from a mailbox in the Recovery Storage Group is not possible and neither is applying mailbox management policies. In order to recover exchange files, users would first need to access the Exchange System Manager and create the Recovery Storage Group and mount the mailbox users want to restore on the RSG. After the creating the back-up and mounting the mailbox for Storage, users would then be required to click on the ‘Mailbox’ under the ‘Mailbox Store’ filed under the Recovery Storage Group. Click on the ‘Mailbox’ and mailboxes will appear on the right window pane. Users would then need to select the mailbox they want to recover and right click on them to access the Exchange Tasks option. This will open the Exchange Task Wizard tool which pave the way for mailbox recovery. Select the ‘Recover Mailbox Data’ option and click on next. A window will open depicting the path on which the mailbox needs to be restored, click on the next option to continue. User will then be greeted by a window which will allow them to either ‘Merge Data’ or ‘Copy Data’. ‘Merge Data’ will allow users to merge the data between the mailbox in the Recovery Storage Group and the user inbox, adding missing files. ‘Copy Data’ will allow the users to restore the entire data on the backup mailbox to a folder titled ‘Recovered Data’, with the date and time of the recovery, located under the user inbox. Users can also check the progress of the recovery process from the Task in Progress dialog box. Log files are also located in <Installation Drive>:\Documents and Settings\<LoggedInUser>\My Documents\ExchanegTaskWizard. IT admins can recover exchange files by using the Recovery Storage Group, without the need of external help. But still, third party tools like the DataNumen Exchange Recovery tool can be of immense help if users are having problems with the recovery tool. One thing to keep in mind before using the Recovery Storage Group is that to make sure that the mailbox is still available on the original database and is connected to the Active Directory user account.

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