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Crashed Microsoft Exchange 2013 Database? No sweat. Learn how to recover it with ease

  • February 28, 2018
  • 12 min read
IT Engineer and Technical Author. Karim is specializing in Linux, he is a prolific blogger who writes for various websites.
IT Engineer and Technical Author. Karim is specializing in Linux, he is a prolific blogger who writes for various websites.

 Why is recovery so important for businesses and why Exchanges may crash?

Companies often store critical client mailbox data on an Exchange server database. The Exchange database is a warehouse of critical mailbox information such as contacts, notes, calendar items and emails of thousands of users. One of the most serious issues companies can face is the corruption of the Microsoft Exchange 2013 database file leading to unavailability of important data for the client. The Microsoft Exchange 2013 database can become vulnerable to crashes due to unavoidable hardware issues, software malfunctions, system freezes, server or boot failures, accidental shutdowns or any unforeseen circumstances. Since the last thing a company wants is to endanger business goals such as data availability during disasters, the first step is to make efforts to recover the damaged file.


The importance of Backup and Log files

One of the simplest ways to recover a corrupted or crashed server is to recover the Exchange server database from a recent backup. But to recover it from a backup, Exchange transaction log files play an important role. Each Exchange transaction is first and foremost written to a log file present on the hard disk and then committed to the database on the server from the log files. Database administrators use the gap between the two processes to copy log files to other discs to serve as a backup in a time of crisis. Therefore, even if the main database files get corrupted, the log files remain available and safe and can be replayed to recover lost mailbox data.

Manual Methods for Exchange 2013 Database Recovery

There are two ways of manually recovering the Exchange server database through replaying log files i.e. the soft and hard recovery. The first step to recovery entails providing a folder path location as to where the Exchange database and log files need to be restored while also ensuring there is enough free space on the disk. Depending on whether the database file is in Clean Shutdown or Dirty Shutdown state using the Eseutil /mh command, perform the soft and hard recovery. Then one should proceed to create the recovery database in order to mount the database from the backup, followed by restoring the mailboxes using the Exchange PowerShell commands. In case the log files are missing or unavailable, the database will show errors. In this case, the database administrators need to start the repairing process using the Eseutil/p command. However, the command should only be used in conditions of extreme desperation, such as a case where the recovery of a database from a backup doesn’t work.

Limitations of Manual Methods

These Microsoft-powered built-in utilities are commonly used to fix and repair Exchange database issues. However, these tools proved a failure in cases of severe corruption and database mount failure. Also, if the log files are missing, unavailable or can’t be replayed using the manual methods, then manual methods are called as unsuccessful in recovery. To top it off, these repair utilities are command-line based and not GUI-based, which requires a lot of technical knowledge and learning. Unless the database administrator has hands-on knowledge about the commands, one wrong command can result in devastating outcomes for data loss. For example, using the manual tool may lead to inevitable data loss, if the Eseutil finds a corrupt page, a table with a broken link, or if the deletion of an internal page is required to improve the structure. This would require defragmentation using Eseutil /d and correct B-tree structuring to rebuild the entire database, which is basically a lot of extra effort, manpower and time.

A reliable, efficient & effective solution for seamless Exchange DB Recovery

One straightforward solution that can be used in such cases is the Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery to repair corrupt Microsoft Exchange 2013 database without log file availability or replay. In cases where the Exchange database file is corrupt and the Exchange database crashes, Eseutil and PowerShell commands fail to help with recovery due to severe corruption, the database file is in Dirty Shutdown and inconsistent state or where the database is unsuccessful in amount; Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery is the best option for companies. Not only is it a safe tool to use, but it’s also much easier and quicker to use for fixing crashed Exchange databases.

You can try out the tool yourself. Simply follow Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery download link and steer away from a manual intervention for your Exchange database recovery. The best part is that you can try it out for free.

Benefits of using Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery

This automated tool is the saviour when everything else has failed in recovery. By repairing corrupted and dismounted Exchange database files, being able to repair multiple Exchange database files in parallel, and exporting recovered Exchange mailboxes onto the Live Exchange server as well as Office 365; the application proves to be the most helpful tool for businesses that need to keep their data up and running. The user interface is super easy and does not need the much technical know-how to launch a successful Exchange database recovery.

Final words on the choice between Manual Methods and 3rd party tools

In such fast paces and competitive times, businesses require hassle-free solutions for IT problems. They simply can’t afford downtimes and breaks in their regular workflow. Despite the fact that manual methods such as Eseutil and PowerShell commands are still used by database administrators for recovery purposes, they may not help businesses achieve the results they expect if the Exchange Database files have been severely corrupted. Moreover, using Eseutil commands can also lead to data loss.

The safer and intuitive 3rd party tool, Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery sure seems like an easier and efficient alternative. The completely automated and powerful tool helps repair the Exchange Database in no time and restores all mailbox contents including emails, to-do lists, journals, calendars, notes, contacts, attachments, tasks and much more.

Hey! Found Karim’s insights useful? Looking for a cost-effective, high-performance, and easy-to-use hyperconverged platform?
Taras Shved
Taras Shved StarWind HCI Appliance Product Manager
Look no further! StarWind HCI Appliance (HCA) is a plug-and-play solution that combines compute, storage, networking, and virtualization software into a single easy-to-use hyperconverged platform. It's designed to significantly trim your IT costs and save valuable time. Interested in learning more? Book your StarWind HCA demo now to see it in action!