Creating a Recovery Database in Exchange 2010

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in Exchange, Exchange 2010

Exchange 2010 admins can use Recovery Databases to mount backup copies of their Exchange databases when they need to perform recovery operations. These can come about when an admin needs to perform a dial tone recovery of a failed server, a mailbox recovery of a deleted mailbox, or simply to retrieve something that a user inadvertently deleted after it has aged beyond the reach of their recovered items. Admins who use Exchange archiving may have never run into the need to create a recovery database, since the content is available both to users and admins on the archive system. But admins without Exchange archiving, and who have not enabled legal hold, probably deal with users’ requests to restore data on a regular basis.

Before you create a recovery database, you should be aware of the following key differences between a recovery database and a normal mailbox database:

  • A recovery database can only be used for restore operations. You cannot back up a recovery database or any data it contains.
  • Client connections are not allowed over any protocol. Recovery tools can use MAPI connections.
  • You cannot create copies of a recovery database or configure it as part of a DAG.
  • None of the normal mailbox database operations, like online maintenance, circular logging, retention policies, etc, are performed on a recovery database.
  • ACLs are not restored as part of the recovery operations.
  • You can have only one recovery database per mailbox server.
  • A recovery database does not count against the maximum number of databases you are allowed by your license.

A recovery database is still an Exchange database, and will require enough space on the volume(s) to hold both the mailbox database content, and the associated log files. You may also want to separate the database and the log files across different volumes both for space and performance considerations.

Once you have your target server and volumes chosen, you can use the Exchange Management Shell to create a new recovery database. Open an EMS session and run the following command, substituting the appropriate values for the italicized data:

new-mailboxdatabase –recovery –name databasename –server servername –edbfilepath pathtodatabase –logfolderpath pathtologfiles[enter]

Once you have created a recovery database, you can mount a mailbox database you have restored from backup so that you can access the data contained within it. There is no attachment between a recovery database and a regular mailbox database, so you can access data in the recovery database while the user is still accessing data in a mailbox on a regular database without issue. Of course, if you are trying to recover a deleted or corrupt mailbox, your user won’t be accessing anything unless they have access to their mail content in an Exchange archiving solution.

This guest post was provided by Casper Manes on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. Read more on how to improve your Exchange archiving.

If you require any assistance with your Email Archiving solution or other IT needs, the team at GKM2 are happy to assist.  You can contact us via or  call us on 1300 797 288 within Australia.

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  • Marshal Hubs

    Nice post about recover mailbox database from Exchange server using free methods. You can easily recover your exchange email information using above steps but I have seen that some of Exchange users does not recover complete mailboxes. It may be possible that they have some other situation. You can try
    other method to recover your mailboxes through third party Stellar Phoenix Exchange Server Recovery Software. It will repair your corrupt exchange mailboxes and recover them without losing of original email information.

  • Ooiver Lepo

    Hello thanks for the your suggestion. I also found another third party applications tool called “Kernel for Exchange Server”. Software to help

    Recovery Database in MS Exchange 2010 and repair & recover deleted mailboxes items as well as the permanently deleted emails from the exchange mailbox folders