Restoring Exchange Mailbox Data Using the Recovery Storage Group, Part 2

In part one of this article series, I showed you how to create a recovery storage group, and how to restore data to it. In this article, I will continue the discussion by showing you how to use your recovery storage group to recover data.

Mounting the Recovery Storage Group

The first thing that you need to do after the restoration process completes is to mount your Recovery Storage Group. To do so, open the Exchange Management Console, and go to the Toolbox folder. Now, double click on the Database Management Recovery icon. When you do, the console will launch the Microsoft Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant.

The first thing that the Troubleshooting Assistant will ask you to do is to provide a name for the operation that you are about to perform. Just as before, you can call the operation anything that you want. Click Next, and you will be taken to a screen prompting you to select the task that you want to perform. Choose the option to Mount or Dismount Databases in the Recovery Storage Group.

A this point, you will see a screen, similar to the one that’s shown in Figure A, prompting you to choose the database that you want to mount. Click the check box next to the dismounted database, and then click the Mount Selected Database link.

Figure A

You must select the database that you want to mount.

When the operation completes, you should see a screen informing you that the database has been mounted successfully. Now, it’s time to begin extracting data from the recovery storage group. Begin the process by clicking the Go Back to Task Center link.  This will take you back to the screen that lists all of the various tasks that you can perform using the Troubleshooting Assistant.

Click the Merge or Copy Mailbox Contents link, and you will be taken to a screen that displays the mounted Recovery Storage Groups. This screen gives you a chance to select a source database for merging the mailbox contents. Since there is only one recovery storage group that has been mounted, you can just accept the default choice, and click the right arrow icon.

You should now see a screen that displays the names of the recovery storage group and of the linked storage group that will be involved in the operation. It is critical that you review this information to make sure that it is correct.

This screen also gives you the option of viewing the Advanced options. Normally, you won’t have to worry about the Advanced Options, because they provide options for the recovery that you won’t normally have to use.  You can see the summary screen along with the various advanced options in Figure B.

Figure B

You won’t normally have to use the advanced options.

When you are satisfied with any options that you might have chosen, click the right arrow icon. You will now be taken to a screen asking you which mailboxes you want to copy or merge. If you look at Figure C, you will notice that only one mailbox is listed. That’s just because this is a lab server though. In the real world, all of the mailboxes in the entire recovery storage group would be listed. You must simply select the check boxes that correspond to the mailboxes that you want to copy or merge, and then click the right arrow icon to begin the process.

Figure C

You must choose the mailboxes that you want to copy or merge.

The actual length of time that the recovery process will take varies depending on the amount of data that you are trying to restore, the server’s current workload, and your hardware’s capabilities. When the process eventually completes though, you should see a report, similar to the one shown in Figure D, telling you which mailboxes have been restored.

Figure D

The results screen shows you which mailboxes were recovered.


In this article series, you have learned how you can use a recovery storage group to recover the contents of individual mailboxes using Exchange Server. Using a recovery storage group is the most efficient way of recovering data from individual mailboxes.

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