Restore Exchange Database using a Recovery Database

In this article, we will take you through the process of using a recovery database to restore the Exchange database. We will also help you understand what a recovery database is, and if there is any more straightforward solution to restore Exchange database.

Brief about a recovery database

A recovery database can make your life easier when you need to restore an exchange database. It is a part of Exchange database recovery procedure using which a database administrator (DBA) can extract data from a restored database.

A quick overview of the process of restoring Exchange database using a recovery database

A recovery database is not the part of a database recovery toolkit, but it is a particular database that DBAs create on Exchange Server to deal with the situations leading to restore the Exchange database. According to expert DBAs, the whole process is not only complicated but also demands advanced skills and experience. Plus, the user must know “how to use Eseutil” and “how to execute cmdlet.”

The complete process of restoring Exchange database using a recovery database includes the below steps:

  • Create a recovery database
  • Restore database in the recovery database
  • Use the New-MailboxRestoreRequest and extract data from the recovery database
  • Export data to an existing mailbox or a new folder

These are the main steps that you need to follow when performing the process.

How to use a recovery database to restore Exchange database?

Before we take you through the process, you should know some points that are must to achieve a successful restore of Exchange database. Here are the points:

  • You must have required permissions to create, mount, and extract a recovery database
  • You must have an efficient backup recovery application that can help you restore data to a recovery database.
  • The database must be in clean shut down state.

Now, perform the below steps to execute the process:

  1. Go to a location where you want to store the recovered database and copy the Exchange database and its log file here.
  2. Bring the database in a clean shutdown state.
  3. Now, it is the time to create a recovery database. Use the below cmdlet to create a recovery database:
    New-MailboxDatabase -Recovery -Name <RDBName> -Server <ServerName> -EdbFilePath <RDBPathandFileName> -LogFolderPath <LogFilePath>
    In the above cmdlet:

    • <RDBName> is the name of the recovery database
    • <ServerName> is the name of the server
    • <RDBPathandFileName> is the path of the database file. For example “E:\Databases\RDB11\XYZ.EDB”
    • <LogFilePath> is the path of the log files. For example, “E:\Databases\RDB11”
  4. After the recovery database is created, restart Exchange server. You can use the below cmdlet to restart Exchange server:
    Restart-Service MSExchangeIS
  5. After the Exchange Server has been restarted, you need to mount the recovery database. You can use the below cmdlet to mount the recovery database:
    Mount-database <RDBName>
    In the above cmdlet:

    • <RDBName> is the name of the recovery database
  6. After the recovery database has been mounted, you can proceed to restore the mailboxes. If you are not sure which mailboxes to restore, you can use the below cmdlet to get a statistics of the mailboxes:
    Get-MailboxStatistics -Database <RDBName> | ft –auto
    In the above cmdlet:

    • <RDBName> is the name of the recovery database
  7.  Now, you can process to restore the mailboxes or their items. Moving a mailbox or items is totally up to you. Moreover, you can specify a location to restore the selected mailbox(es) or their items.
    Depending upon your requirements, you can execute different cmdlets. Here are some cmdlets that can help you make a decision easily.The below cmdlet will restore the complete database file (in our case, the file name is RDB11) to the mailbox named KFES:
    New-MailboxRestoreRequest -SourceDatabase RDB11 -SourceStoreMailbox 1d30655f-fd53-4681-98e6-e249f7326ddd -TargetMailbox KFES
    In the above cmdlet:

    • New-MailboxRestoreRequest is the cmdlet that will perform the restore operation
    • -SourceDatabase allows you specify name of the source database, which is RDB11
    • -SourceStoreMailbox allows you to specify the unique mailbox key to be restored
    • -TargetMailbox allows you to specify the target mailbox, which is the name of the mailbox in which you want to restore the recovered data.
  8. Once the above step is complete, you will get the Completed status when you execute the below cmdlet:
    Get-MailboxRestoreRequest
  9. Once you see the completed status, execute the below cmdlet to abort the restore request:
    Remove-MailboxRestoreRequest

This is how you can restore Exchange database using a recovery database. Though the process has been almost completed, one step has still been left. Let’s see that.

Verify is the restore is successful
Go to the location which you had specified to restore the database. You should see the restored mailbox there. If you do not see the same, the process has not been completed successfully, and you need to redo the complete process.

Conclusion
As you see the process of restoring Exchange database using a recovery database is quite complex, DBAs always suggest using a more straightforward application that does not demand to execute so many cmdlets. Plus, these applications have a graphical user interface, making the whole process easier and faster. EDB to PST Converter tool is one of the suggested applications by DBAs that you can use to restore Exchange database without undergoing a complicated process that we have demonstrated just above. Moreover, with the method described above, if you execute wrong cmdlets, you may lose the data, but with the EDB to PST Converter tool, you do not lose any data.

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